Beginnings and education
Jang Na Ra spent much of her childhood in her birthplace, Yeokchon-dong Eunpyeong District in Seoul, South Korea. She appeared with her father, Ju Heo Seong who is also an actor, in the play “Les Miserables” during her elementary school days, thus sparking her interest in becoming an actress. Jang also went on to become an advertising model for some TV commercials while attending high school before entering the Theater Department at Chung-Ang University in March 2000. She graduated after 10 years on February 19, 2010. The delay is due to her continuous work since her debut after she entered the university. She also received an award from the alumni association for her contributions to the university during the graduation rites.
2001: Debut under SM Entertainmet and beginnings in the acting business
Jang made her debut in show business as a singer in May 2001. She started her career by becoming a trainee and signing a contract with SM Entertainment. However, SM Entertainment did not give her much support due to the assumption that she would have less or no popularity compared to the other competing artists at that time. Despite SM management’s opinion, she released her debut album “First Story”.“ the title track, “Burying My Face In Tears”, was initially not well received, reaching only number 12 on the charts.
Jang also has a successful acting career.Her first acting appearance is the popular MBC sitcom “Nonstop 2. “This series is known to have produced big stars in Korea and Jang got her big break in the sitcoms with her cute image.She appeared with other young stars such as Park Kyung Rim, Jo In Sung, and Yang Dong Geun after starring in the comedy “Nonstop 2”, she became much better known and released the other tracks on the album, such as her pop ballad style song, “Confession” and “April Story”.“ the album sold 300,000 copies in the process. This gave her the opportunity to MC on the MBC music show, “Music Camp”. She was also MC of the talk show “KBS Love Story”. At the end of 2001, she received several awards for “New Female Artist” at the “Music Awards” and the “New MC Award” at the “MBC Best MC Award”.
2002-2003: Growing acting career and reaching the N°1 position
Jang landed her first starring role in the SBS drama “Successful Story of a Bright Girl” alongside Jang Hyuk the drama was well received and registered high ratings.
In October 2002, she released her second album “Sweet Dream”.the song “Sweet Dream became immensely popular and reached No. 1 on the Korean music charts instantly. The album also became one of the best-selling albums of that year in South Korea. The success of the drama and its song “Sweet Dreamlaunched her to stardom in South Korea that year. She became one of the most active and sought-after Korean artists with her numerous ratings endorsements, print ads and multiple TV show and movie offers. She immediately had another drama that same year called My Love Patzzi featuring Sweet Dream on the soundtrack. As a result of the album’s popularity, she won several awards, including two MBC Daesang Awards and KBS Music Festival Music Awards..
In April, she had her first lead role in a movie with “Oh! Happy Day” and in December 2003, she released her third album titled “The 3rd Story”. The album was very popular and produced hit songs that reached No. 1, but did not surpass or match the success of her second album. she also received the “Korean Singer of the Year” at the MTV-CCTV China Awards in 2003.
2004-2006: Best Album and entry to China
Jang released a Best Album in 2004 consisting of the best songs from her 3 previous albums. In June she returned to the small screen and starred in the weekend drama “Love Is All Around”. she then released her fourth album titled “Love Is All Around”.My Story” in December 2004 that achieved hits such as “I Love School” and “Winter Diary”.
With her growing popularity in China, in 2005 she also began to develop an overseas music career by releasing Chinese-language albums. Her first Chinese album was a huge success and featured her Korean songs translated into Chinese. The Chinese versions of “Sweet Dream, “It’s Probably Love and “I’m A Woman Toohe also performed in numerous concerts throughout China, often singing songs in both Korean and Chinese..
Her acting career also exploded in China and the first Chinese drama she starred in was “My Bratty Princess”. As the lead actress, she received much affection from Chinese-speaking viewers and became very popular in China and other Chinese-speaking countries in Asia. The success of “My Bratty Princess” catapulted her as a Hallyu or Korean Wave star in China.
In August, I return with a new KBS drama called “Wedding” along with Ryu Shi Won and at the end of the year she released her second Chinese album called “Kung Fu”.
2007-2013: New albums and consolidation in China
She returned to K-pop in 2007 and released her fifth album titled “She”. The following year, she released a multilingual album called “Dream of Asia”.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she was the only singer from a non-Chinese-speaking country to appear in the 2008 Olympic song “Beijing Welcomes You”.
In 2009, she returned to South Korea to film a movie called “Sky and Sea” and also sang for its soundtrack. The movie failed at the Korean box office mainly due to controversies surrounding the film even before its theatrical release. However, she won the Best Actress Award at the “Foreign Film Award at the 19th China Golden Rooster” and the “Hundred Flowers Awards”. The film also became the first Asian film to be invited and win the Media Award at the “8th Tirana International Film Festival in Albania”.
In May 2011, Jang decided to end her 6-year hiatus from Korean dramas by taking the lead role as Lee Seo-young in the KBS romantic comedy “Baby-faced Beauty” and also singing for its soundtrack. This mini-series marked her comeback in Korean TV dramas and coincided with her 10th anniversary since her debut. She later won the “Excellence – Actress” award at the KBS Drama Awards.
In the same year, she participated in the OST of the TV show “Dong Yi” and lent her voice to Korean animated film characters.
In 2012, four years after the release of “Dream of Asia,” Jang returned and unveiled the digital single “I Only Think Of You.” In August she also returns with a new Chinese mini album called “Journey Of Love” and films her first Chinese movie “Flying With You” alongside Taiwanese singer and actor Jimmy Lin she also made a cameo in another Chinese movie starring Jaycee Chan that same year, she appeared alongside her father in a Chinese drama titled “Race Track”.
In December 2012, Jang reunited with her co-star in “Baby-faced Beauty.” Choi Daniel while still filming “School 2013”, she received her second consecutive “Excellence – Actress” award at the KBS Drama Awards.
After the end of filming in “School 2013”, she immediately returned to China to film another drama called “Red palaquin”. In October 2013, she came back with the Korean single “Love” which was the latest one so far.
2014-present: Fated To Love You and Current
2014 turned out to be a busy year for Jang with three TV projects for MBC.In July 2014, Jang played the lead role as Kim Mi Young in “Fated to Love You,” the Korean adaptation of the 2008 Taiwanese drama.This TV series reunited her with Jang Hyuk after 12 years, the two starred in the drama “Successful Story of a Bright Girl.” Shortly after “Fated to Love You” ended, Jang starred in a one-episode special drama titled “Old Goodbay” on MBC Drama Festival, alongside Jang Hyuk then, she took the lead role for another MBC series this time as Ha-kyun Shin in the fantasy-romantic comedy drama “Mr. Back.” She later won the “Best Couple Award with Jang Hyuk “Popularity Award for Fated To Love You and Mr. Back” and the “Award of Excellence – Actress (Mini Series)” at the MBC Drama Awards.
In 2015, she was cast as Jang Cha Ji-An, a police detective in the drama “Hello Monster” opposite Seo In Guk she was nominated for the category “Award of Excellence – Actress (Mini Series)”.
In 2016 she was cast to star in the drama ” One More Happy Ending “of MBC together with Jung Kyung Ho and Kwon Yul she plays the role of Han Mi Mo who was once part of the k-pop group “Angels” and is now divorced.
Jang Na Ra Facts
- Yale Girls’ High School (graduate)
- Chungang University (Theater and Arts) (graduated)
- Hobbies: Cross stitch, reading, watching movies, pilates and taekwondo
- Specialty: Ocarina, dance and flute
- Languages Korean, Chinese, English and Japanese
- Religion: Christian
- Debut: 2001
- She acted as a role model for some CFs in her Institute.
- Previously, it belonged to the company SM Entertainment, but later changed agency, Pure Entertainment.
- She appeared in a play, ‘Les Miserables’, with her father in her elementary school days.
- Entered High School (Department of Theater, Faculty of Arts, Chungang University) in March 2000.
- She worked for Food for the Hungry International (FHI), which was responsible for providing charity by sending milk powder to North Korean children suffering from hunger.
- She proved to share a great friendship with the actor Jang Hyuk by surprising her with a truckload of coffee on the set of the drama Shine or Go Crazy.
- She was involved in a car accident on Aug. 11, 2015, while on her way to the filming set of Hello Monster fortunately, she did not suffer any injuries; the personnel accompanying her were taken to a hospital, but none of them were seriously injured.
- She is known for her youthful appearance despite being over 35 years old.
- Jang Na Ra Live Concert in Beijing 15th anniversary of Korea China Amity Treaty (08.06.2007)
- Jang Na Ra First Live Concert in Seoul (27.12.2003)
Jang Na Ra Drama
- Sell Your Haunted House (KBS2, 2021)
- Oh My Baby (tvN, 2020)
- V.I.P. (SBS, 2019)
- The Last Empress (SBS, 2018-2019)
- Go Back Couple (KBS2, 2017)
- One More Happy Ending (MBC, 2016)
- Hello Monster (KBS2, 2015)
- One-Winged Eagle (CCTV, 2015) cameo
- Old Goodbay (MBC, 2014)
- Mr. Back (MBC, 2014)
- Fated To Love You (MBC, 2014)
- Red Sedan Chair (Huzhou TV, 2013)
- School 2013 (KBS2, 2012)
- A Race-Course (CCTV, 2012)
- Baby-faced Beauty (KBS2, 2011)
- Diao Man Qiao Yu Yi (SETV/Hubei TV/Henan TV/Jiangxi TV, 2011)
- Iron Masked Singer (Jilin TV, 2010)
- Size 55 (TBA, 2009)
- Good Morning Shanghai (CCTV, 2007)
- Wedding (KBS2, 2005)
- My Bratty Princess (CCTV, 2005)
- Banjun Drama (SBS, 2005)
- Silver Love (2004)
- Love is All Around (MBC, 2004)
- Nonstop 4 (MBC, 2003) cameo
- Hello! Balbari (KBS2, 2003) cameo
- My Love Patzzi (MBC, 2002)
- Successful Story of a Bright Girl (SBS, 2002)
- Nonstop 2 (MBC, 2001)
Jang Na Ra Films
- Polaroid (2015)
- Whoever (2012)
- Flying With You (2012)
- Sky and Sea (2009)
- 55Size (2009)
- Girl’s Revolution (2007)
- Oh! Happy Day (2003)
Jang Na Ra Radio Programs
- As MC:
- (KBS) CoolFM (Jan 03, 2014)
- (SBS) Power Time (17.04.2012)
Jang Na Ra TV Programs
- (KBS) Happy Together (18.06.2015)
- (SBS) Healing C& (13.10.2014)
- (MBC) Section TV, Star ting (17.08.2014)
- (SBS) Strong Heart (18.04.2012)
- (SBS) Strong Heart (10.04.2012)
- (SBS) Chocolate (05/12/2010)
- (KBS) Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook (03.07.2009)
- (MBC) May I Sleep Over (16.05.2009)
- (MBC) Moowol Hotel (18.04.2007)
- (KBS) Happiness Channel (02/28/2001)
Jang Na Ra TV Drama’s
- DAYDREAM theme for Sell Your Haunted House (2021)
- Someday theme for Your House Helper (2018)
- Always For You (besides Yoo Da In, Yoo In Na, Seo In Young and Sandara Park ) theme for One More Happy Ending (2016)
- All Day theme for Mr. Back (2014)
- Snowman in may theme for Baby-faced Beauty (2011)
- Orange tree theme for Baby-faced Beauty (2011)
- Wind From the end of the Sky theme for Dong Yi (2010)
- It’s Alright theme for Queen of Ahyun (2008)
- Fan Zhe Ba (next to Alec Su) theme for My Bratty Princess (2005)
- Tian Bian theme for My Bratty Princess (2005)
- One Kiss theme for Love is All Around (2004)
- You Inside Me theme for Love is All Around (2004)
- Start theme for Punch (2003)
- Sweet Dream theme for My Love Patzzi (2002)
- Sky and Sea theme for Sky and Sea (2009)
- Witch, Go on a Trip theme for Sky and Sea (2009)
- If You Ask Me To theme for Sky and Sea (2009)
- After That Day (besides Ji Eui) theme for Oh! Happy Day (2003)
- Oh! Happy day theme for Oh! Happy Day (2003)