Although K-Dramas pull us in with the main characters’ love stories, struggles, and adventures, the supporting characters we meet along the way make the main stories more interesting and bring the worlds of each K-Drama to life. Often, we’re just as wowed by the supporting casts’ talents as we are by the leads’ talent. One actress, in particular, has been wowing audiences since she first debuted 64 years ago in 1957!
Meet Kim Young Ok!
Over the course of her career, Kim Young Ok has portrayed many beloved K-Drama characters’ grandmothers, which has earned her the nickname “National Grandma!” She’s also appeared as characters’ mothers, maids, and mothers-in-law.
You may have seen her as the head maid at Gu Jun Pyo’s (Lee Min Ho) house in Boys Over Flowers.
She also played the grandmother of Deok Sun (Girl’s Day’s Hyeri) in Reply 1988.
She was Deok Mi’s (Park Min Young) grandmother in Her Private Life.
Kim Young Ok also played Jojo’s (Kim So Hyun) grandmother in Love Alarm.
Recently, Kim Young Ok appeared as Seong Gi Hun’s (Lee Jung Jae) mother in Squid Game and as Kim Gam Ri in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.
Kim Young Ok made her debut as an actress in 1957 in the film Farewell Sorrow! and she’s earned over 150 acting credits since then. In addition to the K-Dramas listed above, she’s also appeared in other hit K-Dramas like Coffee Prince, The King: Eternal Monarch, and Mouse.
Kim Young Ok’s incredible acting skills have been acknowledged many times over the course of her career. In 1979, she won the daesang (grand prize) for television with the K-Drama I Sell Happiness at the 15th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 1993, she won the Top Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2018, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 11th Korea Drama Awards.