Profile: Uhm Jung Hwa

One of the first Korean actresses that I came to adore was Uhm Jung Hwa. Where did you see her first? I saw her in the movie called “Singles” or 싱글즈 (Sil-geul-jeu), which also starred Jang Jin-yeong (R.I.P.), Oh Jee-hye (Green Fish), Lee Beom-soo (200 Pound Beauty), Kim Joo-hyeok (The Servant), and Kim Kwang-il (The Good, The Bad, The Weird).

Singles has it’s flaws but it has a likable and charming cast and the film deals with some important issues such as love, marriage, career choices, and unplanned parenthood in as-you-go-kind-of way.

Uhm Jung Hwa is a very likeable woman. She has a sweet countenance, a unique look, flawless beauty, a great singing voice, and a charming personality. She has great emotive skills and maturity that she lends to her roles.

Cho Dae (Remixed in this performance) is from Uhm Jung Hwa’s 4th Album – Invitation


Uhm Jung Hwa has had a successful acting and music career. In fact, Uhm is referred to as the “Madonna” of Korea.

Uhm Jung Hwa was born August 17, 1969. This makes her 42 years old at present. However, I swear she looks like she’s in her early 30s. Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, a South Korean broadcasting company, in 1989. Her film debut was in the 1992 film “Marriage Story” and released her first album “Sorrowful Secret,” in 1993 on Samsung Music (Wikipedia). Since 1993, she has starred in the Korean Drama “Tropical Nights in December” (2004) and over 17 films, such as “Princess Aurora” and “Haeundae”.

She has also cranked out over 11 albums. In the summer of 2008, she released her first EP titled “D.I.S.C.O” with help from long time friend Yang Hyun Seok of YG Entertainment. The lead single “D.I.S.C.O” featured T.O.P from the KPop phenom Big Bang. It was a very successful venture for Uhm Jung Hwa and spawned a remix that featured G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang.


So far, my favorite film starring Uhm Jung Hwa is a horror/thriller called “Princess Aurora. It has a nice twist ending. Sadly, this movie is a bit hard to find. I have a wonderful friend in the UK that found it for me and sent it to me. Tartan Asia put out in the European market. You might be able to purchase a copy on eBay. It’s a good movie to add to your Korean Film collection.

Princess Aurora is a 2005 South Korean film about a mother, grieving the death of her child, who goes on a murderous revenge spree. Though it was released with far less fanfare, its violent theme earned it comparison to Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, released the same year. It was the directorial and writing debut of Bang Eun-jin, who had previously worked on Address Unknown and 301, 302.


Uhm Jung Hwa and Cancer

In May of 2009, while Uhm Jung Hwa was having a medical checkup, her doctor found thyroid cancer. Since it was found at an early stage, she was able to undergo procedures to safely remove it and receive therapy that has since allowed her to recover. At the time that her cancer was revealed, she had hosting/judge duties on Super Star K2. In January 2012, she appeared on the talk format program “Win Win” and talked about her battle with Thyroid Cancer. She stated, “Once a year I receive a full medical examination, that is when I found out I had cancer. However, it would be fine after surgery and I only needed to rest for about a month. Right now I am fine.” (credit: Soompi, Win Win)

She also stated, “When I found out about it, I was very shocked. The words ‘Thyroid Cancer’ were just so scary. I hated being in that situation, and was afraid of people knowing. When I actually went into the surgery room, I thought to myself, ‘What If I die? Did I live a fulfilling life? Life is so empty.”


Life After Cancer

Uhm Jung-hwa is stilling going strong and what you might not know, she is also known as a fashionista. Her clothing and lingerie lines, “Corner Suite” and “ZHUM in New York,” were very successful, making 10 billion US dollars within 3 months of launching.(Credit: SeoulBeats)

Here are some pictures showing off that eye-for-style in Marie Claire Korea:

In 2012, Jung Hwa will star in the movie “Dancing Queen.” Here’s the trailer with English subtitles!


*Unnie is a way to acknowledge a woman older than you as your big sister. It’s a term of endearment.

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