It’s almost Mother’s Day! So, what better time to celebrate the best grandmothers and mothers in K-Drama history?
Although often hidden by the leads, these women have proved themselves time and time again that a mother can be an amazingly complex character Even if you don’t know their names, you have most likely found them in some of your favorite series and know them quite well.
It’s time to highlight these actresses’ hard work!
1. Kim Mi Kyung
It’s practically impossible to make a list about mothers without mentioning Kim Mi Kyung. She has been in many hit K-Dramas and has played a motherly role more times than we can count! In fact, this motherly queen has been impressing audiences since the ’80s!
Her emotional portrayals of these amazing mothers have made plenty of audiences cry buckets. She truly proved that a mother is not a character to be ignored.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Hi Bye, Mama, Her Private Life, Go Back Couple, 20th Century Boy and Girl, Another Miss Oh, and The Heirs.
2. Kim Young Ok
Well known as the “Nation’s Grandma,” Kim Young Ok has been mastering the stage and screen since 1957! She is truly a master of her craft, and she knows it! Most K-Drama fans will recognize her and her characters. If they don’t, they need to watch more shows, stat! She has truly worked her way into everyone’s hearts with her kind demeanor.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Coffee Prince, Birth of a Beauty, Shopaholic Louis, Welcome to Waikiki, Her Private Life, Love Alarm, and Mouse.
3. Youn Yuh Jung
Largely gaining her popularity (and even an Oscar!) for her role as the grandmother in the American movie Minari, Youn Yuh Jung is a veteran in the industry and always delivers in her motherly roles. Not to mention she is extremely versatile, going from sweet to cold in moments for her roles.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Minari, A Good Lawyer’s Wife, Be Strong, Geum Soon!, The King 2 Hearts, Canola, Boomerang Family, and The Old Garden.
4. Kim Hae Sook
With some giving her the title of “National Mother,” Kim Hae Sook has built an impressive resume of many motherly roles (and more)! She is usually the main lead’s mother, and more often than not, she sucks us in with a powerful performance that leaves us crying or thinking for days.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Winter Sonata, Pinocchio, I Can Hear Your Voice, Autumn in My Heart, and Mother.
5. Lee Hyo Choon
Although she is probably much less known than the others on the list, most K-Drama fans will recognize her from one of the most iconic K-Drama memes ever. Yes, Lee Hyo Choon is the savage mother who performed the amazing “Kimchi Slap” in Everybody, Kimchi! Such a historical moment deserves a place on the iconic moms list! Not to mention the many motherly roles she has played over the years.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Everybody, Kimchi!, Three Brothers, You Are The Only One, My Lovely Family, and Winter Sonata.
6. Kim Sun Young
Kim Sun Young has a wide variety of roles but has mostly become popular for her motherly roles… especially for Crash Landing On You and Reply 1988. Her wise-cracking nature, along with her loving and emotional side, has definitely made her an iconic actress.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Crash Landing On You, Reply 1988, Because This Is My First Life, Backstreet Rookie, Moment at Eighteen, and Her Private Life.
7. Lee Il Hwa
Lee Il Hwa is the perfect example of an actress showing just how versatile a mother figure can be. From ambitious, to weak, to long-lost birth mother, to neighborhood ahjumma, Lee Il Hwa has made herself known throughout much of the K-Drama community.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Reply 1988, You Who Came From The Stars, Doctor Stranger, Her Private Life, A Man in A Veil, Choco Bank, and She Was Pretty.
8. Lee Jung Eun
Although she became largely popular as her role of the housekeeper in Parasite, veteran K-Drama lovers will probably recognize her more as the mother in several popular series. Despite her chilling performance in Parasite, her mother characters are often the soft, sweet, and caring type, tugging at every viewer’s heartstrings.
Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Fight For My Way, My Holo Love, While You Were Sleeping, The Light In Your Eyes, and Hi Bye, Mama!