The Korea Herald


Veteran actor Namkoong Won dies at 90

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Feb. 5, 2024 - 18:09

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Namkoong Won poses for a photo at the 2016 Korean Popular Culture And Arts Awards (Yonhap) Namkoong Won poses for a photo at the 2016 Korean Popular Culture And Arts Awards (Yonhap)

South Korea’s veteran actor Namkoong Won passed away at age 90 in Seoul on Monday, years after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Born on Aug. 1, 1934, he debuted as an actor with director No Pil’s “Bring Back the Night Once More.” Since then, he came to represent the Korean film industry from the 1960s to the 1980s, starring in more than 300 films including director Lee Man-hee’s “Six Shadows,” director Shin Sang-ok’s “War and Humanity,” director Im Kwon-taek’s “Swordsmen” and director Go Young-nam’s “Subzero Point.”

Starting with the best supporting actor prize at 9th Buil Film Awards in 1965, he received various accolades at local film festivals. In 1970, he received the best supporting actor award at the 7th Asia Film Festival.

In 2004, he was named the recipient of the France Hermes Contribution Prize, and in 2016 he received the Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit.

In 2004, he was appointed honorary president of the Korean Film Actors Association and in 2013, he was named president of the Motion Pictures Association of Korea. In that same year, he was inducted into the National Academy of Arts.

Namkoong most recently served as the honorary chairman of Herald Corp., which publishes The Korea Herald and Herald Business.

He is survived by his wife Yang Choon-ja, his son Jungwook Hong, chairman of Organica and a former member of the National Assembly and a former chairman of Herald Corp., daughters Hong Sung-a, CEO of Herald Academy, and Hong Nari, a violinist.