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Overview for Daniel Dae Kim
Daniel Dae Kim

Daniel Dae Kim


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 4, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Busan Gwang'yeogsi [Pusan-Kwangyokshi], KR Profession: Cast ... actor


A veteran of episodic television, character actor Daniel Dae Kim became a familiar face on the small screen until he attained a different kind of stardom in 2004 when he was cast as the mysterious and controlling crash survivor Jin-Soo Kwok on the hit drama "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010). Despite his character's inability to speak English, Kim's character rose to the top of the heap as a favorite among audiences. Prior to his breakout success on "Lost," Kim had racked up a number of guest starring stints on shows like "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) and "Walker: Texas Ranger" (CBS, 1993-2001) before landing recurring roles on "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004), "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) and "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). He also made some headway into features with small parts in big movies like "The Jackal" (1997), "The Hulk" (2003) and "Spider Man 2" (2004). By the time "Lost" wound down, Kim had become a household name and moved on to another high-profile network series, "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS, 2010- ), which further established him as one of the more bankable stars on television. However, Kim and co-star Grace Park left the series in the summer of 2017 following a highly publicized contretemps with producer over the fact that the Asian actors were paid less than their co-stars.

Born on Aug. 4, 1968 in Pusan, South Korea, Daniel Dae Kim immigrated to the United States when he was two, settling with his family in the culturally diverse suburb of Easton, PA. A gifted athlete, Kim attended Freedom High School, where he played several varsity sports including football, golf and tennis. Kim was also editor of his school newspaper and was elected student government president during his senior year. While these accomplishments reflected his successful Americanization at an early age, they did not come at the expense of his Korean heritage. Raised in a Korean-speaking household, Kim became bilingual by speaking Korean at home and English at school. Later, he attended Bryn Mawr College, where he discovered acting for the first time. Against the advice of his parents, Kim changed majors and earned his bachelor's in both theater and political science. From there, he received his master's in acting from New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.

Kim soon had his first major stage role, playing a very young Torvald in a Pan Asian Repertory Theater production of Henrik Ibsen's classic, "A Doll's House." He followed by making his professional feature debut in "American Shaolin: King of the Kickboxers II" (1993), a martial-arts themed action flick about a young boy who travels to train at the famed Shaolin Temple. Meanwhile, his professional career in television began in 1994 while still living in New York, beginning with a guest stint on the venerable drama "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). But his first appearance on television proved to be his last for the next three years, which led to a move to Los Angeles in 1997 after having exhausted all his opportunities in New York. The move proved fortuitous, as he began working almost immediately.

Kim spent his first two years in Los Angeles rapidly building his résumé with guest starring roles on a variety of hit shows, including "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998), "Party of Five" (Fox, 1994-2000), "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) and "Walker: Texas Ranger" (CBS, 1993-2001). Kim displayed a knack for playing strong, enigmatic characters, which made him a favorite of producers who routinely called the actor back as a recurring player. Meanwhile, he began appearing in feature films, including "The Jackal" (1997), starring Bruce Willis, and the dark romantic comedy "Addicted to Love" (1997). Despite his entrée into Hollywood films, Kim's career blossomed on the small screen, especially after landing his first regular series role on the short-lived science fiction series "Crusade" (TNT, 1999), a spin-off of the cult hit "Babylon 5" (syndicated, 1994-99). Cast as Lt. John Matheson, the telepathic first officer of the starship Excalibur, Kim quickly became a fan favorite, though the series was canceled during its maiden season.

After "Crusade" folded, Kim continued to find work as a guest star on several television shows, including "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1995-2001) and "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09). Kim next had the recurring role of amoral attorney Gavin Park on the hit drama "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004), which he played over the course of a dozen episodes before his character was killed off. Following feature turns in the hip-hop action thriller "Cradle 2 the Grave" (2003), the big-budget comic book epic "The Hulk" (2003) and Sam Raimi's mega-blockbuster hit, "Spider Man 2" (2004), Kim was cast as government agent Tom Baker on the serial drama, "24" (Fox, 2001-2010). Following a recurring role as social worker Ken Sung on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), Kim landed his biggest role yet when he joined the ensemble cast of sci-fi adventure drama "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010). This time, Kim was undeniably Korean, playing the hotheaded Jin-Soo Kwok, a controlling husband marooned with his wife, Sun (Yunjin Kim), on a mysterious deserted island with dozens of other survivors from a plane crash. At first, Jin spoke only Korean - which forced Kim to brush up on his second language - while over time he worked in English until he was finally fluent in season five.

As "Lost" became a network hit and cultural phenomenon, particularly during its first two seasons, Kim continued his run of high-profile features with sci-fi horror thriller "The Cave" (2005), playing the photographer on a team of explorers leading biologists (Cole Hauser and Eddie Cibrian) into an elaborate cave system beneath the newly discovered ruins of a 13th-century Romanian abbey. Kim still had "Lost," which allowed him to transform his originally controlling nature to become a loving, sacrificing husband. Aside from appearing in the miniseries version of "The Andromeda Strain" (A&E, 2008), Kim focused mostly on "Lost," which built to a rousing emotional conclusion in May 2010. Meanwhile, Kim lined up his next job as Detective Chin Ho Kelly in the reboot of "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS, 2010- ), which also starred Alex O'Loughlin and Grace Park. Between seasons of the long-running crime procedural, Kim co-starred in a popular film series based on a series of best-selling dystopian novels, "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" (2015) and "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" (2016) and guest-starred as Chin Ho in an episode of another reboot, "MacGyver" (CBS 2016- ). However, Jim left "Hawaii Five-O" in the summer of 2017, along with co-star Grace Park, after it was revealed that the two Asian-American stars were paid less than their co-stars Scott Caan and Alex O'Loughlin. During this period, Kim also moved behind the camera, executive producing the medical drama "The Good Doctor" (ABC 2017- ), based on a South Korean series of the same name.

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