Here's everything you didn’t know about South-Korean heartthrob Lee Min Ho
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He miraculously escaped death twice
Lee Min Ho actually had two very serious near-death encounters. In 2006, he was involved in a tragic car accident when he was just starting out as an actor. He and his longtime best friend, Jung Il Woo (also a famous South Korean actor), were on a trip with two other friends when a vehicle went off-track and collided into their car head-on. They were both 19 years old at the time. Unfortunately, the two actors were the only ones who made it out of the accident alive but with major injuries that still prevail to this day—Lee was under a coma for one month, broke his thigh and ankle, and tore his knee cartilage, which required a 46-centimetre metal plate to be inserted in his left thigh for three years for him to even walk. He was hospitalised for a whole year. He has since removed the plate but still does action stunts with his good leg.
In 2011, the actor was in another car accident on the set of his series City Hunter. The vehicle drove into a stationery store and on-lookers expressed that Min Ho was extremely lucky to come out of the accident without any major injuries, considering how the front part of the vehicle was completely crushed. He resumed filming shortly after.
He had a stage name in his early years as an actor
When he first debuted, his agency Starhaus Entertainment thought that his name was too ordinary to stand out so what did they decide on? Giving him the wonderful stage name of Lee Min which he called himself for two years. Unfortunately, they forgot to take into account that it also meant ‘immigration’ in Korean which resulted in some pretty funny and ineffective internet searches for him. He ditched the name and in 2016, moved to MYM Entertainment (which is also co-founded by his sister)—a start move.
He is known to be an extremely good gamer in the celebrity circle
Not much is known about Lee Min Ho’s personal life but one thing is for sure—he is so good at video games that he could very well be a professional e-gamer if he decides to quit acting one day (gosh, we hope not!). Super Junior member, Heechul has gushed about Min Ho’s skills numerous times on talk shows. Heechul is also known to be one of the best e-gamers amongst Korean celebrities alongside APINK’s Hayoung and VIXX’s Hongbin; so when he cites Lee as his arch-rival, you know he’s good. Min Ho’s speciality is the famous strategic war game, League of Legends (LOL).
He’s an extremely private man who rarely appears on entertainment shows and social media
Going off the previous fact, it is clear that Lee Min Ho is still an enigma despite being in the acting industry for 15 years now. Much of this is due to the fact that he has never appeared on entertainment or variety shows, which are typical stepping stones for any celebrity in Korea to build a public presence. He only seems to be comfortable appearing on news-type of talk shows and it’s not because he wishes to enshroud himself in a mysterious black cloud—he simply thinks he’s not funny enough. Though he has been increasingly open to appearing on more shows now and even posts multiple times a day on his Instagram since his return from military service.
He set up his own charity to give back to society
Apart from his dashing good looks and likeable disposition, Lee Min Ho is also a humble individual. He is big on charity and went as far as to form his own donation platform, Promiz, which is a combination of ‘promise’ and his official fan club, Minoz. Created in 2014, Promiz has worked with Unicef, WWF and other organizations to provide resources for underprivileged children and families in the country.
He is a proud doggo father to his Mini Pinscher, Choco
Even a top celebrity in the country can still fall into the paws of a little furry animal. Lee Min Ho is known amongst fans to express his love for his adopted dog frequently on social media. Choco has even accompanied him in photoshoots. Thanks to donations from his fans, Lee Min Ho even revealed that Choco has more clothes than him. Now that’s a spoiled dog!
He was the first Korean celebrity to appear on China’s Lunar New Year Gala in 2014
China’s Lunar New Year Gala celebration is the most-watched show during the Lunar New Year in the country, garnering an average of half a billion viewers every year. A testament to Lee Min Ho’s immense popularity in China, the actor made history as the first Korean celebrity to grace the stage. A whopping 700 million viewers tuned in to watch Lee perform the OST from Boys over Flowers with Taiwanese singer Harlem Yu.
He’s actually an amazing singer
We guess you can figure out by now that along with his acting skills, he is also blessed with smooth vocals. During his fan meetings, he often performs songs, much to his fans’ delight. His love for singing also culminated in three albums such as My Everything in 2013 and several singles such as Thank You and Painful Love.
He gets plenty of love calls from Hollywood
Of course, the ever-so-talented actor would get a ton of requests from Hollywood. As much as we would love to see Lee Min Ho debut in Hollywood, the actor explained that he is grateful but will only take that step once he feels he is ready.
His iconic line in Legend of the Blue Sea became an internet meme
Probably the funniest fact that you probably weren’t aware of—if you don’t spend much time on social media—was his hilarious line in his Korean drama series Legend of the Blue Sea with Jun Ji Hyun. His character, Heo Joon Jae, is a spoiled rich businessman’s son and during a tour around the company, he smells something horrible and says the phrase “disgusting sh*t” in complete sassy loathing. We guarantee you won’t be able to stop laughing.