Aug. 4th, 1968
Pusan, South Korea
Daniel Dae Kim's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Daniel Dae Kim may not think of himself as a cultural ambassador, but through his role as native Korean "Jin Kwon" on the top-rated ABC series Lost (2004), he has both entertained and enlightened audiences since the show's debut in 2004. Sharing a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for his ensemble work in the acclaimed dramatic series, the Korean American actor's universal appeal was also recognized by People magazine, which named him one of the "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2005.
Born in Pusan, Korea and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Daniel graduated from Haverford College, where he received a B.A. degree. Though briefly considering a career as an attorney, he retained his acting focus and began his professional career with a guest role on Law & Order (1990). At the same time, he began his work on the stage, appearing in productions of Romeo and Juliet and an adaptation of the 'Henrik Ibsen' classic, A Doll's House. Despite his early success however, Daniel decided to renew his dedication to the craft by enrolling in the Graduate Acting program at New York University, where he went on to earn an M.F.A.
The choice to go back to school proved to be worthwhile, as he began to work immediately upon graduation. He guest starred on shows such as "NYPD Blue" (1993), "Seinfeld" (1990), "The Practice" (1997), "Ally McBeal" (1997), "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995), "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000), "Without a Trace" (2002) and "The Shield" (2002), among others. He also created several notable recurring characters on popular shows such as "Angel" (1999), "ER" (1994) and, for two seasons, as "Agent Tom Baker" on "24" (2001). Recently, he also began complementing his television work by lending his voice talents to video games, creating characters in Scarface: The World Is Yours (2006) (VG), Saints Row 2 (2008) (VG), Tenchu san (2003) (VG) and 24: The Game (2006) (VG), as well as the animated series "Justice League" (2001) and "Avatar: The Last Airbender" (2005).
On the big screen, Daniel's career began in earnest with the action film The Jackal (1997) which led to studio and independent films such as For Love of the Game (1999), Hulk (2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Cave (2000), as well as the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Crash (2004/I). In addition to his work on screen, Daniel remains committed to the stage, most recently performing in a production of Anton Chekhov's "Ivanov" in New York. His body of work ranges from Shakespeare to Beckett to improv comedy, and he credits his love of theater to his training at N.Y.U.
Besides his SAG Award, in 2006 he was individually honored with an AZN Asian Excellence Award, a Multicultural Prism Award, and a Vanguard award from the KoreanAmerican Coalition, all for Outstanding Performance by an Actor.
He currently splits his time between Honolulu, Los Angeles and New York.
- His acting heroes are 'Paul Scofield (I)' (qv), 'Gene Hackman' (qv), 'Robert De Niro' (qv), 'Sidney Poitier' (qv), 'Gene Kelly (I)' (qv), 'Denzel Washington' (qv), 'Robert Duvall' (qv) and, his favorite, 'Jonathan Pryce' (qv).
- Due to his childhood in America, he knew very little Korean before he did _"Lost" (2004)_ (qv). He has said that his co-star on that show 'Yunjin Kim' (qv), who is fluent in both English and Korean, has been invaluable in coaching him on his Korean, which has apparently improved. Ironically, to the audience's knowledge, Daniel's character knows nothing but Korean.
- He attended Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the same high school as 'Dwayne Johnson (I)' (qv).
- While getting small parts in plays and writing and performing in an improv comedy group, he seriously considered a career in investment banking.
- He was included on People Magazine's list of the sexiest men alive in 2005. 'Matthew McConaughey' (qv) topped the list.
- He has said that playing "Jin" on _"Lost" (2004)_ (qv) is a relief to him because he's finally playing someone of his own heritage (Korean), having been cast as characters of almost every other Asian heritage but his own.
- Son born in 1996.
- He holds an M.F.A. from the Graduate Acting program at New York University.