Every year, TV and film actors get recognized and receive honor for their talents at one of the most prestigious entertainment awards in South Korea, Baeksang Arts Awards. This award-giving body is known to present awards to the most excellent Korean films, dramas, theaters, and actors who look for quality across various genres. The Grand Prize (Daesang) award is considered to be their highest honor in the ceremony.
From a badass detective to a tough lawyer to a rootless housewife to a sacrificial mother, here’s a rundown of Baeksang’s winners for Best TV Actresses including Grand Prize (Daesang) awardees from 2012 to 2021:
2012: Gong Hyo-jin for The Greatest Love
In the romantic-comedy series, The Greatest Love (2011), Gong Hyo-jin played as a popular star in a girls group. She gets embroiled in a scandal, her group gets disbanded, and her career suffers. She tries her best to enter variety shows where she meets a top movie star who helps her land a role on a reality show.
2013: Kim Hee-ae for How Long I’ve Kissed
Kim Hee-ae played as a married woman with a son in the romantic drama, How Long I’ve Kissed (2012). She feels pressured as a mother about her son’s quality of education and does her best to enrol him at the best school. Although he is married to a highly educated man, she finds herself falling in love with another guy and her life begins to feel complicated.
2014: Lee Bo-young for I Can Hear Your Voice
Lee Bo-young played a public defender in the legal-romance-fantasy series, I Can Hear Your Voice (2013). Due to her childhood poverty and difficulties, she tends to work with pursuit for money and glory. Her life dramatically changes when she meets a man who can read minds and becomes part of her team to solve cases.
2014: Jun Ji-hyun (Grand Prize-Daesang) for My Love From The Star
Jun Ji-hyun played a popular star in the romantic-fantasy series, My Love From The Star (2013-2014). Faced with personal pressures and threats in life, she meets an alien in human form who lives next door and happens to save her from various mishaps in life.
2015: Song Yoon-ah for Mama
Song Yoon-ah played a single mother with a terminal illness in the melodramatic series, Mama (2014). When she finds out about her sickness, she looks for a good family who will adopt his son. Upon this quest, she encounters a photographer who falls in love with her.
2016: Kim Hye-soo for Signal
In the thriller-fantasy series, Signal (2016), Kim Hye-soo played the first woman police detective officer in the Special Task Force who leads a long-term cold case team. Together with other detectives, they solve unsolved cases including her long-lost mentor.
2017: Seo Hyun-jin for Another Miss Oh
Seo Hyun-jin played a romantic-comedy role in the series, Another Miss Oh (2016). She gets dumped by her fiance a day before their wedding and becomes the talk of the town. Meanwhile, her life gets entangled with another person who has the same name as hers and a guy who will choose between them.
2018: Kim Nam-joo for Misty
In the mystery-thriller series, Misty (2018), Kim Nam-joo played as an intelligent, driven, and popular anchorwoman who gets entangled in a murder case after meeting her ex-lover and his wife. Her husband who is a public defendant legally handles her situation.
2019: Yum Jung-ah for Sky Castle
Yum Jung-ah played as one of the housewives in a luxurious apartment called Sky Castle where the elites live and parents are driven by materialism. She grew up in a poor family whose father suffered from alcoholism and tries to hide this dark past from the neighbors. She is determined to mold her daughter to become a doctor following the career path of her husband.
2019: Kim Hye-ja (Grand Prize-Daesang) for The Light In Your Eyes
Kim Hye-ja played the 70-year-old version of a young lady in the melodrama, The Light In Your Eyes (2019) who suddenly turns into an old woman for manipulating time using a mysterious watch. She moves on in life as an old lady while encountering her family members and friends who do not recognize her. Her life begins to reminisce the old times, the youthful moments, and meaningful memories.
2020: Kim Hee-ae for The World Of The Married
Kim Hee-ae played a mother and wife in the romantic-thriller series, The World Of The Married (2020). She has a good career as a doctor and life seems perfect until she finds out that her husband is having an affair with another woman. Their marriage begins to fall apart.
2021: Kim So-yeon for The Penthouse, War In Life
In this crime-thriller series, The Penthouse: War In Life (2020-2021), Kim So-yeon slayed her ruthless character as Cheon Seo-jin, a woman of grand ambition who lives in a luxurious penthouse. She does everything in her viciousness to protect her social status and her family’s image for the sake of power and pride.