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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part VIII: Zhao Yun and Jo In-sung

Jo In-sung or Zo In-sung (Hangul/Hanja: 조인성/趙寅成) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his leading roles in the television series What Happened in Bali (2004) and That Winter, The Wind Blows (2013), and in the films A Dirty Carnival (2006) and A Frozen Flower (2008).

Jo In-sung was born in July 28th 1981 and raised in Cheonho-dong, Seoul Gangdong-gu, South Korea. As a native Seoulite, he is originated from Hanyang Jo Clan (한양 조씨/漢陽趙氏) where a Confucian Scholar, Jeong-am Jo Gwang-jo (1482-1519) originated from the same clan as Jo In-sung.

Jo first studied Modeling and Events Management at Chunnam Techno University. He later enrolled as a Theater and Film major at Dongguk University, but was expelled in 2007 due to inadequate class attendance.

Jo made his entertainment debut in 1998 as a model for clothing brand Ziozia. In 2000, he began his acting career by starring in the teen drama School 3 and in the second season of the sitcom Nonstop. In 2001, he first drew notice in a supporting role in the television drama Piano, co-starring Go Soo as his stepbrother. He was cast in his first drama leading role in 2002, as an illiterate actor in Shoot for the Stars opposite Jeon Do-yeon.

Meanwhile, on the big screen, Jo starred in three romance-themed films in 2003, notably Kwak Jae-yong's The Classic, with Son Ye-jin and Jo Seung-woo. In 2004, he returned to television in What Happened in Bali, alongside Ha Ji-won and So Ji-sub. Aside from its high ratings, the drama netted Jo a Best Actor award at the Baeksang Arts Awards, and several more trophies from the SBS Drama Awards, even minor ones like Best Kiss and Best Tears. In 2005, he starred opposite Go Hyun-jung in her comeback drama Spring Day, a remake of the Japanese drama Hoshi no Kinka ("Heaven's Coins").

Jo collaborated with renowned director Yoo Ha in his next two films: 2006's A Dirty Carnival, in which he played a charismatic small-time gangster who seeks a happier life; and 2008's A Frozen Flower, a Goryeo-period film where his royal bodyguard character is caught in a love triangle between the king and the queen.

In 2008, he appeared in two episodes of the MBC comedy variety show Infinite Challenge on March 15 and 22. These episodes were about wrestling training in order to encourage South Korean national team before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

On April 7, 2009, Jo enlisted for his two-year mandatory military service; he reportedly wanted to join the Air Force to follow in the footsteps of his father, who served as a non-commissioned officer. He served 25 months in the Air Force and the Air Force military band, and was discharged on May 4, 2011. Upon the expiry of his contract with talent agency SidusHQ, Jo joined IOK Company in March 2012.

He then paired up with Song Hye-kyo to star his first television series in seven years, That Winter, The Wind Blows, a remake of the Japanese drama Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu ("I Don't Need Love, Summer"). He later reunited with Winter's writer and director in the 2014 romantic comedy It's Okay, That's Love opposite Gong Hyo-jin.