It's with a heavy heart that we share the news of the untimely passing of actor Kim Joo-hyuk, who in a rich 20-year career appeared in works such as Singles, My Wife Got Married, The Truth Beneath and Yourself and Yours. He was just 45 years old.
While driving his Mercedes-Benz SUV along a Gangnam neighborhood road around 4:30pm on Monday, October 30th, the actor is believed to have suffered from cardiac arrest, which caused him to hit another car on the road and then drive into the wall of an apartment complex before careening down a staircase and overturning. Firefighters retrieved the unconscious Kim shortly thereafter but he was pronounced dead at 6:30pm at the Konkuk University Medical Center.
Kim's career began on TV in the late 1990s and film roles followed in 2001, first with a supporting part in the horror-thriller Say Yes. He appeared alongside Song Kang-ho in YMCA Baseball Team the following year and then became known for several romantic roles, such as in the ensemble drama Singles, the romantic thriller Love Me Not and the romcom My Wife Got Married.
Following his well-regarded turn in 2010's period drama The Servant, Kim began to change as an actor, taking on more challenging roles. In recent years he was considered to have hit his peak as a performer, impressing viewers and the industry for his intense and commanding presence in films such as The Truth Beneath, Yourself and Yours and Confidential Assignment, for which he earned the Best Supporting Actor award at the inaugural Seoul Awards just three days prior to his accident.
During what had been one of the most active years in his career, in addition to Confidential Assignment he appeared in the period noir The Tooth and the Nail this spring and was the lead of the TV mini-series Argon which screened in September. That same month he wrapped filming the period drama Heungbu and had recently completed his scenes for the still-shooting Korean Drug War remake. He was scheduled to play a small part in the upcoming period zombie action film Rampant, but had yet to film his scenes.
Kim was extremely well-regarded by his peers in the industry, known for his professionalism on set and his respect for his fellow performers. The film community mourns this shocking loss of a bright light of Korean cinema who was only growing stronger with each passing year. A wonderful actor cut down in his prime, we will dearly miss Kim Joo-hyuk.