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Incredible Veteran Series: "Nation's Mother" Kim Hae-Sook

in K-Drama Insights

Who can forget Rosa, the loveable mother of Dr. Ahn Jeong-won (played by Yoo Yeon-seok) in Hospital Playlist?

Or Choi Won-deck, the entrepreneurial corndog-selling grandmother of Bae Suzy in the 2020 K-drama Start-Up?

Nicknamed the Nation's Mother, Kim Hae-sook is a veteran actress whose acting career spanned four and a half decades with roles from a young lady to a wife to a mother and at times, the role of a grandmother.

Born December 30 (Capricorn), 1955, Kim Hae-sook (김해숙) grew up in Busan and attended Kyung Hee University. In 1974, she attended the 7th Actor Training course at MBC and debuted in MBC's Chief Inspector in the same year. She acted in her first movie Angry Apple in 1976.

One of her recent memorable and award-winning works is the Korean drama "Mother of Mine" (세상에서 제일 예쁜 내 딸), where she acted as a single mother (Sun Ja) who worked very hard to raise three daughters while running a small beef soup restaurant at the same time.

Korean Drama — Mother of Mine (세상에서 제일 예쁜 내 딸)

Kim Hae-sook gave a compelling performance as a tough mother who continued to be a strong pillar of support for her daughters even as they grew up and had their own families. In the later years, belying her tough front, Kim Hae-sook's character suffered from cancer and continued to think for her daughters' well-being until her unfortunate passing in the grand finale of the 108-episode long series. Touching ending :~)

Kim Hae-sook as Rosa Jung in Hospital Playlist

In the Hospital Playlist (2 seasons), Kim Hae-sook acted as Rosa Jung, the wife of the ex-chairman of the Yulje Foundation which ran the Yulje Hospital, the primary backdrop of Hospital Playlist.

In a comedic twist, it was revealed that Rosa had five children — both her two oldest sons and two daughters had dedicated their lives to serve the Lord as priests and nuns. Her youngest son served as a doctor in Yulje Hospital but shared a similar calling as his siblings to be a priest eventually, an aspiration that Rosa hoped to "suppress" by wishing for his son to find a girlfriend.

Kim Hae-sook had a loveable performance as Rosa in the Hospital Playlist, switching from the role of a mother to her children to the role of a friend among her ageing peers and on one occasion, as a mortal human who feared she was suffering from the Alzheimer's disease. A very relatable performance from Kim Hae-sook!

As an actress, Kim Hae-sook's career achievements are impeccable — she has acted in close to 120 Korean dramas and 50 movies and has won 27 nominations and 19 awards, including the Prime Minister's Commendation in 2010 and the Grand Prize (Daesang) in the 27th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards in 2019. She also released her memoir Mother of Hallyu Stars: Kim Hae-sook's Story in 2005.

An incredible veteran she is and no less an iconic figure of the Korea drama culture.

You might also be interested in..

Kim Young-ok — Aside from the nation's mother, you may also be interested in the "National Grandma" as well! That would be another incredible veteran in the Korean film industry whom you may also want to check out Kim Young-ok.You would surely have seen her appearance in at least a drama show each year!

How many drama shows did Kim Hae-sook act together with Kim Young-ok in?
By our count, there are at least five drama shows, namely — Forget Tomorrow (1988), To Live (1993), Pearl Necklace (2003), Saving Mrs. Go Bong-Shil (2011) and Marriage Not Dating in 2014. In the K-drama Marriage Not Dating, Kim Young-ok played the role of Kim Hae-sook's mother — both the national mother and the national grandmother in the same show!