5 things to know about “Pachinko” star Lee Min-ho

Renowned K-drama actor, Lee Min-ho, is finally making a powerful comeback on March 25 with Apple TV+’s Pachinko. Apart from his past hit dramas, here are five things you may not know about him

Influential K-drama star Lee Min-ho, whose hit drama milestones include Legend of the Blue Sea and The Heirs, is coming back to the screen by taking the lead role at Apple TV+’s Pachinko.

As Lee Min-ho became Fendi Korea’s ambassador and made a comeback as the K-drama king once again, here we want to highlight 5 things you need to know about him.

He was a child actor

Korean actor Lee Min-ho. Photo: MYM Entertainment

Among his many hit dramas, Boys Over Flowers definitely brought his name to the fore. As such, many people still believe it to be his debut drama – but actually, he was a child actor since 2003. Although his official debut was in 2006 in the EBS youth drama Secret Campus, he appeared in Sharp three years earlier. He played as a friend of Yoo Ah-in, whom he met at the art academy.

He played a high school student in drama I Am Sam in 2007 – when he was 20 years old. Park Min-young took the lead role in the drama, and surprisingly, the two met again as the lead couple in the drama City Hunter later in 2011.

He broke the record

Actor Lee Min-ho. Photo: MYM Entertainment

Some television stations have an impenetrable wall when it comes to airing foreign shows and their cast. Chinese state-owned broadcaster CCTV is one of them. However, in January 2014, Lee Min-ho made his way to appear on the station and even achieved the highest rating of the moment.

After his first hit drama of Boys Over Flowers, Lee consistently launched himself onto numerous masterpiece projects – including City Hunter and The Heirs. The Heirs raised his profile to the top by achieving 25.6 per cent of ratings. Lee received more than 5 awards in SBS Drama Awards in the same year, including Top Excellence in Acting and Best Couple awards. Moreover, it led to his global debut (and gaining massive attention from Greater China – hence his appearance on CCTV). Lee remain amongst one of the few Korean (and foreigners) to make it onto this broadcaster.

Also see: 5 K-celebs who are all about women power

He loves playing football

Photo: MYM Entertainment

Many K-celebrities enjoy playing sports. And Lee Min-ho is one of them. Lee is widely known as a football lover, and his favourite Football Club is Manchester United.

Beyond just loving it, Lee actually dreamed of becoming a football player before his debut. He was the top student at FC Chamboom – a youth football club trained by famed football player and manager, Cha Bum-kun. Lee also showed his football skill during his appearance on Boys Over Flowers.

Bonus fact: He is left-footed.

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He is a good friend of Jung Il-woo

Since their high school years, High Kick! star Jung Il-woo has been a close friend of Lee. They didn’t attend the same school, but the ones neighbouring each other. Both never forgot to mention each other’s names when asked questions about best friends.

The two also went through a hard time together too. In 2006, right after Jung Il-woo was cast to High Kick!, they went on a trip to the beach together and faced an unfortunate car accident. Following the incident, Lee Min-ho was hospitalised for half a year, and four months for Jung. Both suffered aftereffects in their recuperation, as such they were allowed to complete their military duties as social works – a provision for those with mental or physical health issues. Having overcome a difficult time together, they both made an astonishing comeback together.

He is a talented singer

Lee Min-ho. Photo: MYM Entertainment

Lee loves to communicate with his fans through acting and singing. Apart from his hit dramas, he has continuously released EPs since 2013. His unique album My Everything – which includes seven songs – ranked top five on Gaon Music Chart and number one on Japan’s Oricon Albums Chart after its release in May 2013.

This special album led him to have a concert-themed global fan meeting tour, My Everything, which attracted 52,000 attendees in total.

Also see: 5 K-celebrities to make a powerful comeback in 2022

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