Kim Ja Ok: Remembering a Screen Icon


Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Kim Ja Ok, an award-winning South Korean actress who passed away on Sunday after losing her battle with lung cancer. She was 63 years old.


Kim Ja Ok is probably best known for playing the mother of various K-drama leads, but she also enjoyed the limelight as the leading lady throughout her career. In total, Kim Ja Ok appeared in 51 TV shows and 25 films since her debut in 1970. She won a number of Best Actress awards from 1975 to 1979.

Here are some of her most memorable roles during her illustrious career over the past five decades.

Coffee Prince

In this popular K-drama, Kim Ja Ok appears as Han Kyul’s mother. She is perfect in the role as a slightly overprotective mother who is always looking out for her son’s best interests. Kim Ja Ok’s great acting and realistic portrayal had a great deal to do with the success of this drama.


My Name Is Kim Sam Soon


In this fan favorite, Kim Ja Ok plays Park Bong Sook, the feisty mom of Sam Soon, who scolds her daughter about her guy troubles. Kim Ja Ok’s amazing ability to express a whole range of complex emotions are on full display in this drama.

Other noteworthy performances by Kim Ja Ok include “The Woman Who Married Three Times,” “Hate to Lose,” “Worlds Within” and “Attic Cat.”


We’ll remember Kim Ja Ok for her wonderful performances and sunny disposition. A true legend of the screen, Kim Ja Ok will be dearly missed.


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