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Steven Yeun
Steven Yeun 2016.jpg
Yeun at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Yeun Sang-yeop
December 21, 1983 (1983-12-21) (age 38)
Seoul, South Korea
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
South Korean (expatriate)
Occupation Actor
Spouse Joana Pak (m. 2016)
Children 2

Steven Yeun (/jʌn/; born Yeun Sang-yeop, December 21, 1983)[1] is a Korean-American actor. He is known for playing Glenn Rhee in AMC's horror television series The Walking Dead from 2010 to 2016 and for his role in the South Korean mystery film Burning (2018). For the latter, he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, among other awards. Yeun has also played supporting roles in the films Okja (2016) and Sorry to Bother You (2018).

Early life

Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to South Korean parents Je and Jun Yeun.[2] His father was an architect in South Korea[3] before moving his family in 1988 to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Michigan.[4][5] Yeun was raised in Troy, Michigan in a Christian household.[6][7][8] Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor by that name.[9] His parents owned beauty-supply stores in Detroit.[2]

Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience[2] from Kalamazoo College in 2005.[7] At Kalamazoo, he met Jordan Klepper through Klepper's sister and later followed him to Chicago to join Second City.[2]


Yeun's interest in acting and improv came during his freshman year at Kalamazoo, when he watched the college's improv group, Monkapult. He auditioned for Monkapult, but was initially rejected before successfully joining the group during his sophomore year.[7] Yeun revealed to his parents that he planned to pursue an improv career in Chicago instead of enrolling in law school or medical school. His parents, while unhappy with the decision, were supportive, according to Yeun, and gave him two years to pursue acting.[7]

Yeun moved to Chicago in 2005, living in the city's Lincoln Square with his brother.[6] Shortly after graduation, he joined Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group composed of Asian-American members.[7] Other alumni of the group include Danny Pudi from Community. He joined The Second City in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in October 2009.[7]

The Walking Dead

Yeun at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con

Yeun's biggest role to date was Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, an AMC television horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. The series began in 2010 with Glenn as one of the original main characters who fights to survive in a violent apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating walkers as well as other humans, some of whom are more dangerous than the walkers. The drama is the highest rated series in cable television history, with its third through sixth season garnering the most 18 to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series.[10][11][12] The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics.[13][14] Yeun left the show in 2016 after his character Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.

Personal life

Yeun is an investor of The Bun Shop, a Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles, owned by his younger brother Brian Yeun and business partner James Seok.[15][16][17] Yeun married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016.[18] They have two children together.[19][20] Having grown up in Michigan, Yeun is a longtime Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings fan.[21][22][23]


  1. Steven Yeun: 6 Things You Didn't Know About the Walking Dead Star Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yuen, Steven (May 13, 2011). Interview with Oliver Singer. "On the Road With Steven Yeun". Interview Magazine. http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/steven-yeun-walking-dead#page2. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  3. "'Walking Dead': Steven Yeun's Glenn is beating heart of AMC series". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2013. http://herocomplex.latimes.com/tv/walking-dead-steven-yeuns-glenn-is-beating-heart-of-amc-series/#/0. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  4. Yeun, Steven (October 6, 2014). Steven Yeun on his Parents. Interview with Ellen DeGeneres. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCqiCid71Ao&list=UUp0hYYBW6IMayGgR-WeoCvQ. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  5. Hinds, Julie (February 13, 2016). "Michigan's 'Walking Dead' star on life before, after Glenn" (in en). Detroit Free Press. https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/2016/02/13/steven-yeun-walking--dead-amc-network-zombie-drama/80197832/. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Arroyve, Luis (November 21, 2010). "Steven Yeun makes jump from Second City to AMC's 'Walking Dead'". Los Angeles Times. http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/about-last-night/2010/11/steven-yeun-makes-jump-from-second-city-to-amcs-walking-dead.html. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Liberty, John (October 30, 2010). "College grad vs. zombies: Michigan native stars in new AMC series 'The Walking Dead'". Kalamazoo Gazette. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/10/k-college_grad_vs_zombies_mich.html. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  8. Murphy, Kate (October 27, 2012). "Steven Yeun". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/catching-up-with-steven-yeun.html?_r=0. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  9. Peters, Megan (October 28, 2016). "Steven Yeun Says Conan Has Been Mispronouncing His Name For Years". ComicBook.com. http://comicbook.com/thewalkingdead/2016/10/28/steven-yeun-says-conan-has-been-mispronouncing-his-name-for-year/. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  10. "The Walking Dead Is First Cable Series to Beat Every Show of Fall Broadcast Season In Adult 18-49 Rating". AMC. December 2012. http://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead/talk/2012/12/the-walking-dead-season-3-ratings. Retrieved February 21, 2016. 
  11. Kissell, Rick (February 17, 2016). "Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Down, Still Huge in Return; Small Tune-In for HBO's 'Vinyl'". Variety. https://variety.com/2016/tv/news/ratings-the-walking-dead-vinyl-premiere-1201707036/. Retrieved February 21, 2016. 
  12. Bibel, Sara (March 30, 2015). "'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Finale is Highest Rated Finale in Series History, Garnering 15.8 Million Viewers". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/03/30/the-walking-dead-season-5-finale-is-highest-rated-finale-in-series-history-garnering-15-8-million-viewers/381342/. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. "The Walking Dead". http://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the-walking-dead. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  14. "The Walking Dead : Season 5". http://www.metacritic.com/tv/the-walking-dead/season-5. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  15. "Steven Yeun". The New Potato. February 7, 2014. http://www.thenewpotato.com/2014/02/07/steve-yeun-the-walking-dead/. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  16. "Photos: Steven Yeun Of 'The Walking Dead' Brings Flavor Of Detroit To K-Town". laist. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20141008043820/http://laist.com/2014/02/26/photos_steven_yeun_of_the_walking_d.php#photo-1. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  17. "Busting Out the Big Buns: Hanging with Brian Yeun and James Seok of the Bun Shop". May 14, 2014. http://iamkoream.com/busting-out-the-big-buns-hanging-with-brian-yeun-and-james-seok-of-the-bun-shop/. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  18. "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun Marries Girlfriend Joana Pak". December 4, 2016. http://people.com/tv/walking-dead-steven-yeun-marries-girlfriend/. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  19. Quinn, D.. "Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child — a Boy!". People. http://people.com/babies/walking-dead-steven-yeun-joana-pak-welcome-first-child-a-boy/. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  20. Durkan, Deirdre; Merrett, Robyn (April 30, 2019). "The Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome a Daughter". People. https://people.com/parents/steven-yeun-welcomes-second-child-daughter-wife-joana-pak/. Retrieved May 1, 2019. 
  21. Lapin, Andrew (February 6, 2019). "Detroit Actor Steven Yeun Is On Fire in Latest Film 'Burning'". SEEN. https://seenthemagazine.com/detroit-actor-steven-yeun-is-on-fire-in-latest-film-burning/. Retrieved April 11, 2019. 
  22. Gayomali, Chris (October 18, 2018). "Steven Yeun Is Lighting Up the Screen". GQ. https://www.gq.com/story/steven-yeun-burning-interview. Retrieved April 11, 2019. 
  23. Huang, Michael (November 8, 2012). "Steven Yeun talks 'Walking Dead' and Lin". ESPN. http://www.espn.com/blog/playbook/trending/post/_/id/10584/steven-yeun-talks-dead-pistons-and-lin. Retrieved April 11, 2019. 

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