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Beloved actress Kim Ja-ok passes away at 63

Posted November. 17, 2014 08:19,   


“Kim Ja-ok maintains class even in the sappiest scenes. One teardrop she sheds in the TV dramas is transcended into an esthetic art.” Thus wrote poet Kang Woo-shik in the Dong-A Ibo on May 27, 1978. He lauded Kim, “Her acting makes us feel the tears and tragedy of countless women in this land.” As the surpassing supreme star who portrayed romantic sadness, Kim could not be compared, and dominated the TV drama scene during the 1970s. She rose to stardom acting a woman wronged by her first love in the star writer Kim Su-hyeon’s 1975 drama.

Kim Ja-ok recreated her image in the 1990s. Passing 40, she appeared in a sitcom and acted a silly princess. Issuing comments deadpan, “You like me, don’t you?” she enjoyed a second heyday. Watching her swathed in dresses and playing a silly princess, the entire nation was whipped into a princess syndrome frenzy. She inspired puns delivering the ditzy yet likeable princess attitude, which were highly popular. A track she released in 1996, “Princess is Lonely” sold 600,000 albums.

The actress was as passionate in life as well as on TV. She married singer Choi Baek-ho in 1980 then divorced him in three years, but started a happy family by marrying singer Oh Seung-geun in 1984. She rose up from the ashes of her colon cancer surgery in 2008. She demonstrated her touch on TV and in the movies, which were abruptly stopped by her death. The cancer reportedly spread to the lungs and lymph nodes.

She was a delicate young lady in her youth, a silly princess in middle age, and a familiar sister in her later years in the variety show “Sisters over Flowers.” The familiar star beloved for her petite frame and a smile with a hint of a tooth showing has now left us. We hope she may rest in peace as we look back on the times she shared with us.