Today we’re celebrating a big milestone — actors who’ve been working in the industry for 20 years. These actors got their start some 20 years ago, whether it be through dramas, commercials or film, and all have been diligently working till this day. They all have outstanding filmographies and have starred in some of the biggest hits in K-dramaland. More impressively, all these years later, they’re still huge names and continue to churn out works that are critical and/or commercial successes.

Here are six actors — in no particular order — who are celebrating this big milestone this year, and two of their earlier and most recent hits:

Kwon Sang Woo

Stairway to Heaven” (2003-2004)

Kwon Sang Woo made his drama debut in 2001 with “Delicious Proposal.” Two years later, he shot to stardom after starring as Cha Song Joo in the hit melodrama “Stairway to Heaven,” alongside Choi Ji Woo and Kim Tae Hee (who also makes an appearance on this list). This is probably the most famous drama in Kwon Sang Woo’s filmography, and for good reason. “Stairway to Heaven” was part of the epic Hallyu wave of that time and has affected K-dramaland profoundly, making way for all the tear-jerking, amnesia-involving, epic-love-story dramas to come.


Watch “Stairway to Heaven”:

Watch Now

Delayed Justice” (2020)

This currently-airing SBS drama is based on the true stories of a lawyer-journalist duo who successfully obtained retrials for wrongly convicted men. Kwon Sang Woo stars as Park Tae Yong, a public defender who became a lawyer with only just a high school diploma. Coming from a lowly social background himself, he makes sure to defend those who are mistreated or face malicious prosecution. He hides his insecurities with confidence and bravado, and he uses these qualities to fight against the system. Alongside him is Park Sam Soo, a reporter who has a knack for writing articles that can deeply move his readers.

Watch “Delayed Justice”: 

Watch Now

Kim Tae Hee

IRIS” (2009)

Kim Tae Hee became hugely popular after “Stairway to Heaven,” but it wasn’t until “IRIS” that she won her first ever acting award. This sleek action-thriller stars Kim Tae Hee alongside the also hugely popular Lee Byun Hun. She’s the expert profiler who recruits him, the elite soldier. “IRIS” saw both a huge critical and ratings success during its run and still has a major following even today. Just play Baek Ji Young’s “Don’t Forget” and you’ll draw out all the “IRIS” fans.