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Actress Kim Ji-mi's '700 lives'

Posted July. 01, 2017 07:21,   

Updated July. 01, 2017 07:54


"The First Femme Fatale" was the title of an in-depth article on the first person to appear on the list of actresses who changed the paradigm of Korean women on the monthly magazine "Shin Dong-A" five years ago. She was named in 2010 as a "glamorous actress" when she was honored next to Shin Sang-ok, Yoo Hyun-mok, and Hwang Jeong-soon in the "Hall of Filmdom." Since her debut on the screen with the 1957 movie "Twilight Express," she appeared in hundreds of others including "Kilsodeum" and "Ticket" and served as the chairwoman of the Association of Movie Directors and Makers. Who is this unprecedented actress who left an irreplaceable footprint in the Korean movie industry? She is the 77-year-old actress Kim Ji-mi.

Kim is a woman of several charms. She is an actress of fatal beauty, charismatic heroine, and a scandal maker who surprised the world. No wonder she was called the "Korean Elizabeth Taylor" for her outstanding beauty, which was followed by a rocky life. She married and divorced with four husbands in the following order; movie director Hong Seong-ki, actor Choi Moo-ryong, singer Nah Hoon-ah, and doctor Lee Jong-koo. Kim was once locked up in the prison as she committed adultery with Choi. Kim made the headlines as she fell in love with Nah who was seven years younger than her, and was in de facto marriage.

Famous Korean actor Park Noh-shik once described Kim as "a heroine who can overwhelm most men." Kim was also a strong-willed person outside the screen. When Korea was reigned by the military forces during the Korean Third Republic, she openly endorsed Kim Dae-jung of the opposition party. She turned away from the movie industry, however, as she experienced a lot of friction with leftist cineastes who labeled themselves as "revolutionary army" after President Kim Dae-jung took office. Finally, she appeared on the public stage on Thursday after a long time, participating at the opening ceremony for honoring her 60th anniversary since debut.

Though wrinkles scathed her face and hair turned white, Kim was still attractive. "I have appeared in around 700 films for the last six decades, and lived 700 lives," said Kim. "I sometimes think to myself that I am proud of myself, but also felt bad about the fact that many elderly actors have no movie to appear in." Indeed, it is truly appalling that the Korean movie industry cannot catch up with Kim's strong passion for acting and her face clearly witnessing the test of times throughout her "700 lives."