Choi Jin Sil: Wikis


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This is a Korean name; the family name is Choi.
Choi Jin-sil

Choi Jin-sil
Born December 24, 1968(1968-12-24)
Seoul, South Korea
Died October 2, 2008 (aged 39)
Seoul, South Korea
Years active 1988–2008
Spouse(s) Jo Seong-min (2000-2004)
Korean name
Hangul 최진실
Revised Romanization Choe Jin-sil
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Chin-sil

Choi Jin-sil (December 24, 1968 – October 2, 2008) was a South Korean actress and model. She was considered as one of the best actresses in South Korea, nicknamed "The Nation's Actress".[1] On October 2, 2008, Choi was found dead at her home, and the police chief stated that it was "a clear case of suicide".[1] It has been speculated that negative comments by Korean netizens[2][3] and rumors regarding her lending money to Ahn Jae-hwan[1] contributed to Choi's depressed state.


Early years

Choi Jin-sil was born as the first child to her parents Choi Guk-hyeon and Jeong Ok-sun[4] in Seoul, South Korea on December 24, 1968. She had a younger brother, Choi Jin-yeong (최진영) who is also an actor as well as a singer. Choi Jae-seong (최재성), star in 1980s and early 90s[5][6] is her cousin on paternal side.[7] Her family was so poor that her mother once managed the household by running a pojangmacha (a small street stall selling foods). She dreamed of becoming a star to survive from the poverty.[8] She confessed in talk shows her nickname during her school days was "Choisujebi" because she used to eat sujebi (a dumpling soup) everyday instead of ordinary meals due to the home environment.[9] Although Choi later became a high-paid model and actress, she was known for frugality, so she was honored by the South Korea president as "King of Savings".[8]


After graduation from Seonil Girls' High School, Choi debuted as a TV actress starring in the MBC historical drama, 500 Years of Joseon Dynasty (조선왕조 500년).[10] In the following year, she began to gain stardom by starring in a advertising campaign for Samsung Electronics[11] in which she acted as a newly wedded housewife. After several experiences in TV dramas as a supporting actress, and Choi was cast as leading roles in the MBC drama Our Paradise (우리들의 천국) and in the movie titled Partisans of South Korea (남부군).[10]

Choi returned in 2005 with the soap opera My Rosy Life (장밋빛 인생). She then appeared as a leading character in MBC's drama The Last Scandal of My Life (내 생애 마지막 스캔들) with Jung Joon-ho, generating more positive reviews from critics and viewers. A second season of The Last Scandal of My Life was being planned to be aired in early 2009 before her abrupt death.[12]

Personal life

In contrast with her successful career, Choi Jin-sil had suffered a series of misfortunes in her personal life. In 1994, her former manager Bae Byeong-su, who was an influential figure in the entertainment field, was murdered by her road manager, Jeon Yong-cheol. The incident shocked the Korean public.[13][14]

Her marriage and divorce with baseball player Jo Seong-min (조성민) received widespread attention in South Korea.[14] The marriage was once referred to as "the century's union" because both were prominent in their respective fields. Jo, who was a professional baseball player with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan, is 5 years younger than Choi; he said that he had been a big fan of Choi Jin-sil for a long time.[15] After first meeting on a television show in 1998, they then built up a close friendship and eventually became lovers. According to Jo, when he was in a recovery program for his injured elbow, she was of great assistance to him.[16]

However, their marriage officially ended in 2004 after Jo Seong-min's adultery, domestic violence against Choi, and debts were revealed to the public in 2002. At that time, Choi was pregnant with their second child and accused her husband of having an affair with Ms. Sim during the marriage, who was a bar owner. Jo also physically attacked Choi, who was then admitted to a hospital to receive treatment.[17] Jo claimed that Ms. Sim was just a business partner and he had no sexual relationship with her. However, he secretly married Ms. Sim without a wedding ceremony, 10 months after the final settlement of the divorce.[18][19] The fact was reported 2 years after the marriage and he did not notify his family.[20] Choi Jin-sil was said to have expressed shock over the marriage.[21] She had a son and daughter by him and took the parental rights and child custody over the children in the condition to exempt Jo's debt to her mother and brother, which totalled 180,000,000 won, as well as to drop the charges against her husband. He could only visit his children twice per month according to the mutual agreement.[22]

According to the South Korean family register, her children changed their family name from "Jo" (Choi's former husband's family name) to "Choi".[23]


Choi was found dead after an apparent suicide at her home early morning on October 2, 2008 at the age of 39.[24] She had apparently hanged herself in her shower.

Before her sudden death, rumors circulated in the Korean press concerning Choi and her alleged relations with actor Ahn Jae-hwan, who committed suicide in early September 2008. Ahn killed himself after incurring a large sum of debt following trouble with his business projects, sending a shock wave through Korea's entertainment circles. In 2007 he married Chung Sun-hee, an entertainer, in a high-profile ceremony, but signs of trouble began to show when Chung made a remark on her own radio show, prompting widespread public outcry which hurt Ahn and Chung's joint business. Ahn is now speculated to have left a huge debt resulting from his troubled business projects, and some of the money is said to come from loan sharks. Chung Sun-hee and Choi Jin-sil had been close friends, and when the news of Ahn's death hit the nation, Choi appeared deeply shaken at the funeral. Shortly after the funeral, a rumor surfaced, claiming that Choi lent money to the late Ahn. Choi flatly denied this and police subsequently arrested a suspect who had allegedly started the rumor.[25]

On October 1, the night before her death, Choi had a drink with her manager, went home and locked herself in a bathroom, asking her mother to go to sleep. She was found next morning by her mother with pressure bandages around her neck tied to a shower stall. Her brother Choi Jin-young was called in, who called the police at 7:34 a.m. local time. Just before her death, it was reported that Choi sent a text message to one of her colleagues and expressed her wish that her two children should be taken care of.

When the news of her death was reported in major daily newspapers and broadcasts, hundreds of reporters rushed to Choi's house in Seocho-gu, Seoul, and started to cover the event, while major portal web sites such as blocked online users from leaving replies for articles concerning Choi, for fear that some users might leave malicious comments. Choi is known to have suffered greatly due to some negative comments and rumors on the internet shortly after Ahn Jae-hwan committed suicide because she was a close friend of Ahn's wife, Chung Sun-hee.[26][27]

Choi's family members initially objected to the Korean police administration's decision that an autopsy was required but her body was ultimately released.[28]

In response to her death, the South Korean government has begun a legal push to regulate Internet postings by Netizens.[29] The government has identified over 2,000 people who may be prosecuted under the new cyber law. [30]

On August 15th, 2009, it was reported that Choi Jin Shil's ashes were stolen from her burial site and the back of her tombstone smashed. [31]

On August 26, 2009, the police arrested a 41-year-old man named Park, suspected of stealing the ashes. Choi Jin Shil's ashes were then returned to her mother. [32]


  • Note: The whole section is referenced.[33][34]


Year Title Korean Romanization
2000 The Legend of Gingko 단적비연수 Tan Jeok Bi Yeon Su
1999 Mayonnaise 마요네즈 Mayonejeu
1997 The Letter 편지 Pyeonji
1997 Holiday In Seoul 홀리데이 인 서울 Holidei in Seoul
1997 Baby Sale 베이비 세일 Beibi Seil
1996 Ghost Mamma 고스트 맘마 Goseuteu mamma
1995 Who Makes Me Crazy 누가 나를 미치게 하는가 Nuga Nareul Michige Haneunga
1995 Mom Has a New Boyfriend 엄마에게 애인이 생겼어요 Eommaege Aeini Saenggyeosseoyo
1994 I wish for what is forbidden to me 나는 소망한다, 내게 금지된 것을 Naneun Somanghanda Naege Geumjidoen Geoseul
1994 How to Top My Wife 마누라 죽이기 Manura Jugigi
1993 The Girl for Love and The One for Marriage 사랑하고 싶은 여자, 결혼하고 싶은 여자 Saranghago sipeun Yeoja, Gyeolhonhago sipeun Yeoja
1992 Mister Mama 미스터 맘마 Miseuteo Mamma
1991 The Room in the Forest 숲속의 방 Supsogui Bang
1991 Susanne Brink's Arirang 수잔 브링크의 아리랑 Sujan Beuringkeu-ui Arirang
1990 My Love, My Bride 나의 사랑, 나의 신부 Naui Sarang Naui Sinbu
1990 Kkokjiddan 꼭지단 Kkogjidan
1990 You Know What? It's a Secret 2 있잖아요 비밀이에요 2 Itjanayo Bimiriyeyo 2
1990 North Korean Partisan in South Korea or

Partisans of South Korea

남부군 Nambugun

TV drama

Year Title Korean Romanizaton Broadcast
2008 The Last Scandal of My Life 내 생애 마지막 스캔들 Nae Saeng-ae Majimak Seukaendeul MBC
2007 Bad Woman, Good Woman 나쁜여자 착한여자 Nappeun Yeoja, Chakhan Yeoja MBC
2005 My Rosy Life 장밋빛 인생 Jangmitbit Insaeng KBS2
2004 War of the Roses 장미의 전쟁 Jangmiui Jeonjaeng MBC
2002 Since We Met 그대를 알고부터 Geudaereul Algobuteo MBC
1999 Roses and Bean Sprouts 장미와 콩나물 Jangmiwa Kongnamul MBC
1998 Memories 추억 Chueok MBC
1997 Star in My Heart 별은 내 가슴에 Byeoreun Nae Gaseume MBC
1997 You and I 그대 그리고 나 Geudae Geurigo Na MBC
1996 Promise 약속 Yaksok MBC
1995 Asphalt Man 아스팔트 사나이 Aseupalteu Sanai SBS
1995 Jazz 째즈 Jjaejeu SBS
1995 APT 아파트 Apateu MBC
1994 Scent of Love 사랑의 향기 Sarang-ui Hyanggi SBS
1993 Storming Season 폭풍의 계절 Pokpung-ui Gyejeol MBC
1992 Enchantment 매혹 Maehok MBC
1992 Jealousy 질투 Jiltu MBC
1990 각시방 사랑 열렸네 Gaksibang Sarang Yeollyeonne MBC
1990 Our Paradise 우리들의 천국 Urideurui Cheon-guk MBC
1989 Sleepless Tree 잠들지 않는 나무 Jamdeulji anneun Namu MBC
1988 500 Years of Joseon Dynasty 조선왕조 오백년 Joseon Wangjo Obaengnyeon MBC


Film awards

  • Grand Bell Awards
    • 1995 (33rd) - Best Actress for How to Top My Wife
    • 1993 (31st) - Best Favorite Actor
    • 1991 (29th) - New Rising Actress for My Love, My Bride
  • Blue Dragon Film Awards
    • 1991 (12th), 1992 (13th), 1993 (14th), 1994 (15th), 1995 (16th), 1997 (18th), 1998 (19th) - Best Favorite Star
    • 1990 (11th) - New Rising Actress for Partisans of South Korea
  • Baeksang Art Awards
    • 2006, Best Actress for Television part
    • 1991, 1995, 1997 - Best Favorite Actor

Broadcasting awards

  • KBS Drama Awards
    • 2005, Best Actress Award, Netizen Award, Best Couple Award
    • 1998, Best TV Actress
  • MBC Drama Awards
    • 1997, Best Acting Award
    • 2008, Achievement Award[35]
  • SBS Drama Awards
    • 1995, Star Award, Good Acting Award

Broadcasting nominations

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c S. Korean actress found dead in apparent suicide. The Associated Press. October 2, 2008. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
  2. ^ “최진실, 악플이 죽였다” 동료·네티즌 공분 (Negative replies kill Choi.). SportsKhan. October 2, 2008. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
  3. ^ Choe, Sang-hun. Web Rumors Tied to Korean Actress’s Suicide. The New York Times. October 2, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2008.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Gi Seon-min (기선민) (2008-10-03). "최진실 충격의 죽음… 곡절 얼룩진 짧은 일생" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo.  
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Kim Hyeon-gil (김현길) (2008-10-03). "‘국민 요정’에서 ‘억척 주부’로 최진실과 함께 한 작품들" (in Korean). Kookmin Ilbo.  
  11. ^
  12. ^ 20년 연예계 정상 지킨 톱스타 최진실
  13. ^ Kim Su-jin (김수진) (2008-10-02). "故 최진실, 데뷔부터 사망까지… 온 국민 사랑받은 톱스타" (in Korean). Star News.  
  14. ^ a b Jeon Ye-jin (전예진) (2008-10-02). "질곡 많던 최진실..온갖 루머 오뚝이처럼 이겨내더니" (in Korean). Money Today.  
  15. ^
  16. ^ Go Seok-tae (고석태) (2000-06-01). "최진실-조성민 "우리 결혼해요"" (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo.  
  17. ^ (Korean)"때린 X이나 돈 밝히는 X이나…" 쯧쯧. January 3, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Interview by Cho, Choi's former husband
  24. ^ Star actress Choi Jin-sil found dead at home in apparent suicide
  25. ^ 자정능력 잃은 ‘악플’ 사회적 흉기로 둔갑하나 -연합뉴스 2008년 10월 2일
  26. ^ 최진실 `문자메시지 유서'…자살 유력
  27. ^ '연예여왕 20년' 최진실 가다 - 뉴시스, 2008년 10월 2일
  28. ^ 최진실 유가족, 검찰과 대치 끝 부검 동의... 시신 강남성모병원 이송 - 매일경제, 2008년 10월 2일자 보도]
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Suspect Caught Over Actress Urn Theft
  33. ^ "최진실과 함께 했던 영화, 그리고 드라마" (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo / Edaily SPN. 2008-10-02.  
  34. ^ "최진실 - 필모그래피" (in Korean). Naver Movie. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  
  35. ^
  36. ^

External links

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