Lee Young Ae: Stunning beauty in her 50s, Korea’s top paid actress, dreamlike marriage, and more

A-list actress Lee Young Ae is having a perfect life both personally and professionally.

While actress Lee Young Ae rarely appears on the small screen, she is still a household name in Korea. The actress started out with modeling and commercial gigs, before starring in her first drama back in 1993. Soon, she shot to stardom, got married to a Korean-American businessman, and lived a life free of scandals. 

Lee Young Ae

A highly-paid actress that rarely acts

The public widely know of Lee Young Ae as an actress, and she never fails to deliver with great expressions, pronunciation, and versatility, However, unlike other names at the time, Lee Young Ae was extremely picky with her works, and was even called “lazy” when it comes to acting. In fact, the actress only takes on one new project every 1 to 3 years, and her longest hiatus took over a decade, between the 2005 film “Lady Vengeance” and the 2017 series “Saimdang, Memoirs of Colors”. In 2021, the actress returned in the investigation drama “Inspector Koo”, which unfortunately failed with low viewership ratings, but still earned the actress a hefty sum. In particular, Lee Young Ae got paid around 170,000 USD per episode – a number similar to Song Hye Kyo and Jeon Ji Hyun, and which amounted to around 2 million USD after 12 episodes. So far, there has been no announcement about Young Ae’s next project. 

Lee Young Ae

Lee Young Ae is also a rare case whose life changed after one role. In particular, she played the female lead Dae Jang Geum in a series of the same name, and was watched by half the population of Hong Kong by the time of the finale. Her role as the revenge-filled single mother in “Lady Vengeance” also earned both public attention and critical acclaim. 

Lee Young Ae

With all these talents, Lee Young Ae was crowned the Best Leading Actress at the 2005 Blue Dragon Film Awards. Her Asia-wide popularity was also proven through the Hallyu Achievement Award the actress received at the 2015 Seoul International Drama Awards. 

Secret marriage with a divorced businessman 

At the height of her career, Lee Young Ae suddenly announced her marriage in 2009. In 2011, the actress gave birth to one son and one daughter, but her husband’s identity remained unknown. Ever since, she largely retreated from the entertainment industry to focus on the family, and it was only until 2018 did we hear about the actress’s spouse. In particular, Young Ae’s husband is Jeong Ho Young, who is 20 years older than the actress and is the President of Korea Elecom. Founded in 2002 and is a subsidiary of the telecom giant LG, Korea Telecom focuses on military communication services, and thus brings Ho Young a net worth of 2 trillion Korean won (over 1.5 billion USD). 

Before Lee Young Ae, Jeong Ho Young was a divorcee rumored to have cheated on his previous wife. He was also said to have a romantic relationship with the famous actress Shim Eun Ha, but Lee Young Ae entered her marriage without paying attention to any of these. 

An actress beautiful both inside and out

Nicknamed Korea’s beauty treasure, Lee Young Ae still looks youthful, classy, and chic at the age of 51. Her fashion style and makeup exude the vibe of an A-list actress and a rich madam, and she boasts perfect visuals with a soulful pair of eyes, a straight nose bridge, and extremely luxurious vibes. Even without heavy cosmetics, the actress draws eyes at all events she attends.

Wealth and beauty aside, Lee Young Ae is also praised for having a kind heart. In 2006, she donated 50,000 USD to build a library and improve studying conditions at an elementary school in Zhejiang, China. In October 2018, she contributed 50 million won (around 39,000 USD) to the victims of the Sulawesi tsunami in Indonesia. She also helped resurrect the Cheil General Hospital & Women’s Healthcare Center, which was facing financial difficulties due to the declining birth rates in South Korea.

Most recently, the actress gave away 100 million won (around 78,000 USD) to support Ukraine in their defense against Russia. 

Source: K14

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