Top 7 list of parents-loving Korean celebrities

June 19, 2015

Won Bin, Suzy top the list 

Clockwise from top left: Won Bin, Bae Su-ji, Cho Kyu-hyun, Park Shin-hye, Kim Tae-yeon, Seo In-gook and Nam Bo-ra. (Korea Times file)

Clockwise from top left: Won Bin, Bae Su-ji, Cho Kyu-hyun, Park Shin-hye, Kim Tae-yeon, Seo In-gook and Nam Bo-ra. (Korea Times file)

By Ko Dong-hwan

Which Korean celebrities give back to their parents the most?

A TV entertainment show has revealed a list of seven who have been generous helping their parents before and after their stardom.

“The List 2015″ aired on tvN Monday and actor Won Bin, 38, topped the list.

The show said the star, managed by Eden9 Entertainment, built a house for his parents in 2008, in Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon Province, where he grew up. The 387-square-meter (4,166 sq. ft.), two-story house was his way of thanking them for raising him.

The list put idol singer Bae Su-ji (stage name Suzy) from four-member girl band “Miss A” in second spot. The show said the star, 20, managed by JYP Entertainment, bought her parents a coffee shop, a luxury car and a new home in the city of Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province.

Debuting in 2010 with the band’s single album, “Bad But Good,” Suzy got a big break in 2012 with romance movie “Architecture 101,” which drew an audience of more than 4.1 million. The movie led to her signing for series of TV commercials. She used the money from these to pay for the properties for her parents.

Suzy also helped her parents run a small restaurant before her debut.

Idol singer Cho Kyu-hyun (stage name Kyuhyun) from 10-member boy band “Super Junior” followed Bae on the list. The show said the star, with the money he has earned in the past 10 years, bought his parents an apartment worth almost a billion won ($890,000) and an eight-story building in Myeong-dong, Jongno-gu district, in northern Seoul, worth 7.3 billion won ($6.5 million), which he turned into a 67-room guesthouse.

The show said the star, 27, managed by SM Entertainment, once volunteered to be a guarantor for his father who was running a private school and wanted a bank loan to expand overseas. He also tried hard at high school to satisfy his father, taking a top spot with academic scores and once winning a ministry award in a math competition while in first grade.

Fourth spot on the list was actress Nam Bo-ra, 25. The eldest among 13 children, she used to support her parents, who ran a restaurant, by taking care of her younger siblings. Nam, managed by Will Entertainment, helped the siblings with studying and provisioning allowances. She also bought them clothes and covered an acting school fee of 400,000 won ($357) a month for one of the siblings. Some media outlets have dubbed her a modern-day “Shim Chung” — a character from Korea’s folklore tale “The Story of Shim Chung” — who was devoted to her blind father and reminds readers of filial duty.

Idol singer Kim Tae-yeon (stage name Taeyeon) from nine-member girl band “Girls’ Generation” was next on the list. The show said Kim, 26, managed by SM Entertainment, bought her parents the most expensive apartment in the city of Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, worth more than 900 million won ($800,000), with money she has earned in her musical career.

Actor/singer Seo In-gook, 27, took sixth spot. The star bought his mother, who lives in the city of Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province, a coffee shop with the prize money, 100 million won ($89,000), he won on TV singing competition show “Super Star K” on cable network Mnet in 2009.

Seo, managed by Jellyfish Entertainment, had not forgotten the loving care he received from his parents, who had lived by working as a welder and collecting recycling waste, the show said.

Last spot went to hallyu actress Park Shin-hye, 25. Managed by S.A.L.T. Entertainment, she bought her parents a grilled beef tripe restaurant with the money she has earned in the past 10 years. She surprised TV viewers in late May when she visited reality cooking show “Three Meals a Day” on tvN and boasted of her beef tripe grilling technique.

Other media reports have said Park sometimes visits the restaurant to help her parents by serving and washing dishes. Not only are celebrities, including actors Jang Geun-seok and Lee Seo-jin, singer/actor Lee Seung-gi and idol singer Kim Hee-chul from “Super Junior,” frequent customers of the thriving restaurant, but the star’s Chinese fans have consistently flocked there to see her.