Heo Sung-tae is a South Korean actor. He is known for mostly portraying villain roles in South Korean films and television series. In 2021, he gained international fame when he was cast in the lead role of ‘Jang Deok-su’ in the Kdrama ‘Squid Game.’
Heo Sung-tae was born on Thursday, October 20, 1977 (age 44 years; as of 2021), in Busan, South Korea. His zodiac sign is Libra.
He did his schooling at Seongnam Elementary School in Taepyeong-dong, Geumseong Middle School in Naju, and Geumseong High School in Naju. He did a Bachelor in Russian Literature from Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea. Heo Sung-tae – Hanahreum Company
Eye Color: Black
Hair Color: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father passed away on January 17, 2021, due to chronic illness. His mother’s name is I Hye-gyeong. His mother owns a clothing store at Busanjin Market, Busan. He has an elder sister named Heo Seong-aa.
In 2000, he began dating a woman with whom he studied in college. After dating her for ten years, he got married to her in 2010.
Before starting his career as an actor, he was in charge of selling television in the Russian market in the overseas sales department of LG Electronics. He then worked with the planning and coordination department of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., one of the “Big Three” shipbuilders of South Korea, in Geojedo, South Korea. One day, he came home drunk from a dinner party, he opened his TV, where the commercial for the SBS reality TV show ‘Miracle Audition’ (2011) was running with subtitles ‘Cast your Dreams.’ The show gives ordinary people a chance to become an actor. He registered via call for the contest while being drunk. He was 35 at that time. He was one of the fifteen selected to appear on the show out of 1000 Busan applicants. In the first episode of the show, he was selected by all the judges. After the show, he went to his company and filed his resignation. In the show, he gained a lot of attention and showed very good acting skills. However, he was eliminated in episode 16 of the show, placed fifth.
In 2012, he starred in his first Kdrama ‘God of War’ as ‘Yalyu Jyeorno,’ a Khitan person.
He played several uncredited and small roles in the Kdramas Reply 1994 (2013), Gu Family Book (2013), God’s Gift: 14 Days (2014), You’re All Surrounded (2014), Jeong Do-yeon (2014), and Saimdang, Light’s Diary (2017). In the 2017 Kdrama ‘Tunnel,’ he played the women mass murder case character named ‘Jung Ho-young’ from episode 1 to 3.
He played his first recurring role as ‘Baek Sang-ho’ of Brother Law Firm in the Kdrama ‘Witch at Court’ in 2017. The series tells the story of a materialistic female prosecutor, who does not shy away from fabricating evidence and using personal attacks, assigned to a special task force on sex crime.
He then played supporting roles in the Kdrama Cross (2018), Watcher (2019), Psychopath Diary (2019), and Beyond Evil (2021). In 2021, he appeared in the Netflix survival drama TV series ‘Squid Game,’ which was streamed on and distributed by Netflix. Written and directed by South Korean filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series is based on a contest, consisting of children’s games, in which 456 players participate to win prize money of ₩45.6 billion; the losers face the death penalty. He played the lead role of ‘Jang Deok-su’ (numbered 101), a gangster with massive gambling debts who enters to settle his debts including debts from his boss and underlings. Other main roles in the series were played by Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Jung Ho-yeon, Wi Ha-joon, O Yeong-su, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-ryoung. The series was a huge hit globally as it become Netflix’s most-watched series at its launch. The series is also the first South Korean drama to top Netflix’s top ten weekly most-watched TV show charts globally.
In the same year, he appeared in the supporting role ‘Kim Jae-sun,’ the chief of Resource Group of Aviation Administration, in the South Korean TV series ‘The Silent Sea,’ which centers around a team sent to secure a mysterious sample from an abandoned research facility, Balhae Base research station, on the moon.
In 2012, he made his film debut with the South Korean feature film ‘Masquerade’ in an uncredited role. The period drama centers around King Gwanghae’s look-alike commoner, who is hired to substitute for the poisoned king to save his country from chaos.
He made his short film debut with the South Korean short ‘D-Day’ (2012) as ‘Yong-su.’ He continued to star in short films like Jjajangmyeon-ui Yuhok (2013), Ak-su (2013), Reboot (2013), and Kahaejadeul (2013), and Red Blind (2014). In 2016, he gained popularity after being cast in the role of ‘Ha Il-soo’ in the South Korean feature film ‘Age of Shadows’ (2016), the story of a cat-and-mouse game between a group of resistance fighters and Japanese agents, who are trying to stop the resistance from smuggling explosives from Shanghai to destroy key Japanese facilities in Seoul. In the film, a scene went popular in which his character was slapped by Song Kang-ho‘s character. In an interview, he confessed that he had to request Kang-ho to slap him for 3-5 days, and the scene was initially not part of the script.
In 2017, he appeared in the short ‘ITAEWON,’ and in 2018, he appeared in the short ‘Miracle.’ He played supporting roles in the South Korean feature films The Royal Tailor (2014), The Fortress (2017), The Swindlers (2017), Mal-Mo-E: The Secret Mission (2019), and Hitman: Agent Jun (2020).
Awards & Achievements
- Korea Culture and Entertainment Awards — Male Excellence Award-Film for ‘The Outlaws’ in 2018
- Korea First Brand Awards — Scene Stealer-Male in 2019
- 2019 Top 10 Actors who Shine Korea
- Food: Cheonggukjang
- Film: Animal Farm (1999)
- TV Show: Living in Nature: His Paradise, Kim Young-ho (2017)
- To relieve himself from stress, he likes to take lower body baths while sipping herbal tea and watching his favorite television shows.
- Heo Sung-tae likes cooking and often cooks in his mother’s home or his home. He has been cooking breakfast for his wife for years.
- When he decided to leave his job and pursue acting, none of his family members agreed with him. Only his wife was supportive of his decision. After he left his job, he faced difficulties getting job acting roles in the industry. After almost getting rejected in 300 auditions, he bagged an uncredited role in a film.
- He has appeared in the advertisements for SONY, Kia Motors, and Coupang Eats (2021).
- He is close to three South Korean actors Jin Seon-gyu, Jeon Mi-do, and Kim So-jin.
- He is a cat lover, and he owns two pet cats named Namhan and Naju, both were abandoned stray cats. He found Namhan when he was shooting for The Fortress (romanized trans. Namhansanseong), and he found Naju when he was filming in Naju.