Through the diversity of his roles on stage and screen, Daniel Dae Kim continues to expand our perceptions of the Asian American man. In characters ranging from the King of Siam, a Shakespearean hero, a social worker for the Chicago needy, to a counter terrorist agent, his work has consistently proven to transcend the historical barriers of race and stereotype.
Daniel’s most recent work on abc’s “Lost,” is no exception. As Jin Soo Kwon, a Korean businessman and reluctant enforcer for his father-in-law, his character transformed from an overprotective “traditional” husband to a man who re-learns how to live and love. His portrayal of this multi-faceted character signaled a breakthrough for primetime network television, and has helped make LOST a worldwide hit since its debut in 2004.
Since then, both Daniel and the show have been widely recognized for their excellence. Sharing a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble, the Korean American actor’s universal appeal was also recognized by PEOPLE Magazine, which named him one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ in 2005, as well as TV GUIDE which named him one of ‘TV’s Sexiest Men’ in 2006. In that same year, Daniel was individually honored with an AZN Asian Excellence Award, a Multicultural Prism Award and a Vanguard Award from the Korean American Coalition, all for Outstanding Performance by an Actor. In 2009, his recognition continues with the prestigious KoreAm Journal Achievement Award in the field of Arts and Entertainment.
Born in Busan, South Korea and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Daniel discovered acting while a student at Haverford College. Though briefly considering a career as an attorney, he decided to follow his true passion and moved to New York City, where he began his work on stage. There he performed in classics such as “Romeo and Juliet, ” Chekhov’s “Ivanov,” and Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” as well as working with an improv comedy troupe. Despite his early success, however, he decided to deepen his dedication to the craft by studying at the Graduate Acting program at New York University, where he earned a Master's Degree in Fine Arts.
Upon graduation, Daniel’s film career began in earnest with roles in “The Jackal,” “For Love of the Game,” “The Hulk,” “Spider Man 2” and “The Cave,” as well as the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, “Crash.” Most recently he completed production on “The Adjustment Bureau,” starring Matt Damon and directed by George Nolfi.
On television, he’s guest starred on numerous shows, including “CSI,” “ER,” and, for two seasons, “24,” as CTU Agent Tom Baker. In 2008, he also starred in the Emmy nominated mini-series adaptation of Michael Crichton’s “The Andromeda Strain.” Kim has also complemented his television work by lending his voice talents to video games, creating characters in “Saints Row” 1 and 2, “Scarface: The World Is Yours,” “Tenchu” and “24,” as well as the animated TV series’ “Justice League Unlimited” and “Avatar.”
This past summer Daniel rekindled his love for the stage by performing the role of the King of Siam in the iconic production, “The King and I” at London’s world-renowned Royal Albert Hall.
Though he spends time in Los Angeles and New York, Daniel spends most of the year in Honolulu, where he devotes his free time to a number of different charities, his restaurant and his family.