A talented South Korean actress who made a name for herself throughout Asia with a powerful performance in director Kang Je-gyu's ultra-stylish, heart-stopping action film Shiri, Kim Yun-jin's popularity in her native country seemed poised to spill over into the U.S. when she was cast as the survivor of a horrific plane crash in the hit ABC series Lost in 2004.
Born in South Korea and raised in the United States, Kim enrolled in her school's drama club in the seventh grade. Though the bright simply prove too intimidating to some, the bilingual but somewhat shy young actress felt strangely at home in front of an audience. In the years that followed her initial exposure to the stage, Kim would refine her talents at both New York's High School of the Performing Arts and later at the University of Boston. Upon graduation, Kim wasted no time in taking the New York stage until a phone call from a friend in led her a temporary job as a film location manager in 1996. It didn't take long for Kim to catch the eye of the producers who were working on the project, and after being quickly cast in a role originally intended for another Korean actress, her career began to accelerate. Proving her abilities with a series of supporting roles on television in the following months, Kim received her breakthrough when cast in a pivotal role in the wildly successful South Korean action film Shiri. In addition to making the actress a household name in her native land, Shiri surpassed even Titanic at the Korean box office and found international success through Asia before eventually arriving on American shores. A series of high-profile roles in such profitable South Korean features as Iron Palm and Yesterday were quick to follow, and after appearing in the 2002 Hong Kong drama Milae, Kim returned stateside to essay the role as one- half of a South Korean couple whose airplane crash lands on a mysterious island in Lost.