“I guess Jin should be able to speak English. I would love for him to learn some English and be able to communicate on a deeper level than grunts.” Daniel Dae Kim on his character in “Lost” (show began in 2004)
TV audiences might recognize actor Daniel Dae Kim as a plane crash survivor named Jin-Soo Kwok from the hit series “Lost” (show began in 2004), in which his strong performance also brought in a Screen Actors Guild Award. Starting out as a stage thespian, Kim has appeared in a number of famous TV series like “Law & Order” (1994), “Ally McBeal” (1998), “24” (2003-2004, as Agent Tom Baker) and “ER” (2003-2004, played Ken Sung). On the silver screen, the actor was seen in Hulk (2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004) and the drama Crash (2004).
Kim was one of the male celebrities on People Magazine’s list of “The Sexiest Men Alive in 2005.” He joined in the annual celebrity fundraising event “Starnight 2000,” which supported Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches. Kim currently lives in Hawaii with wife Mia Kim and two sons.
Childhood and Family:
Born on August 4, 1968, in Pusan, South Korea, Daniel Dae Kim immigrated with his family to the United States when he was two years old and lived in Easton, Pennsylvania. While attending Freedom High School, Daniel became an editor of the school newspaper and a student government president.
Daniel, who speaks Korean at home, became hooked on acting when he was a student of Bryn Mawr College. Later, he spent a semester at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Theatre Institute in Waterford and then earned a Master’s degree in Theater Arts from the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Daniel has homes in the New York and Los Angeles areas. Because of his current filming schedule, the actor relocated to Hawaii with his wife, Mia Kim, and their two sons, Jackson and Zander Kim.
24’s Tom Baker
Beginning his acting career on stage, Daniel Dae Kim gained his first major role in the Pan Asian Repertory Theater’s revival of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” as a very young Torvald. Kim, who also had many other theater roles in his early acting career, made a professional screen debut in the martial-arts themed action movie American Shaolin (1991, as Gao). In 1994, he appeared as Harry Watanabe in an episode of the legal drama series “Law & Order.”
Moving to Los Angeles, Kim steadily built his career with minor roles like the undergraduate assistant in the romantic comedy Addicted to Love (1997) and a police officer in “Ally McBeal” (1998, 1 episode). A year later, he earned the regular role of Lt. John Matheson in the short-lived science fiction series “Crusade” (1999), a spin-off of the cult hit “Babylon 5.” Following his supporting turn in the TV mystery film Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For (2000, played Everett Jay), Kim was seen on a recurring basis in the vampire series “Angel” (2001-2003), as the immoral attorney Gavin Park.
The voice of Rikimaru in the English version of the video game Tenchu san (2003) acquired more popularity after playing government agent Tom Baker in the acclaimed Fox drama series “24” (2003-2004) and social worker Ken Sung in the medical drama “ER” (2003-2004). On the big screen, Kim took supporting parts in the comic book epic Hulk (2003), Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004) and the racial-themed drama Crash (2004).
Kim’s fame rose even higher after creators J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof chose him to play Jin-Soo Kwok, one of the plane crash survivors in the now-airing hit adventure drama “Lost” (show began in 2004). Recently, a Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble was handed to him for his convincing performance in the series. Other cast members of the show include Jorge Garcia, Matthew Fox, Naveen Andrews, Josh Holloway, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Watros and Evangeline Lilly. On his many costars of “Lost,” Kim commented, “We all get together at least once a week to watch the episodes at one of the cast member’s houses. And you would think that in an ensemble as large as this one is, that there would be people who were kind of marginalized or aloof, but that’s really not the case and everyone really gets along.”
While doing “Lost,” Kim also portrayed documentary filmmaker Alex Kim in the summer thriller The Cave (2005) and voiced the guest character Metron in the animated series “Justice League” (2006). In 2006, the actor is set to play the Ivy Leaguer in an untitled Onion movie, which is a satirical comedy directed by Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire.
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “Lost,” 2006