Thursday, February 24, 2011

'Jewel in the Palace' star is now a mom of twins

My article from the Manila Bulletin online edition:

By JONATHAN M. HICAP

MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 23, 2011) - Top Korean actress Lee Young-ae, who played Jang-Geum in the highly popular Korean drama “Jewel in the Palace," is now a proud mother of fraternal twins: a boy and a girl.

Lee Young-ae as Jang Geum in "Jewel in the Palace" (Photo courtesy of MBC)



Top actress Lee Young-ae leaves the hospital together with her husband and babies Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of www.newsen.com)
She was discharged from the Seoul Jung-gu Jae-il Hospital on Feb. 22, just two days after she gave birth to the twins.

The 40-year-old actress surprised her fans when she announced that she got married to her Korean-American boyfriend, Jung Ho Young, on Aug. 24, 2009 in Hawaii. Lee was able to keep her love life secret and no announcement was even made regarding the engagement or the wedding. The wedding ceremony was held in the US to keep it private.

She even kept her pregnancy a secret. It was only last January that it was announced that Lee was pregnant and was expected to give birth this month.

Lee catapulted to immense fame when she starred on “Jewel in the Palace” (aka “Dae Jang Geum”) in 2003 as a royal doctor. The period drama became a hit in many countries including the Philippines. “Jewel in the Palace” was credited for popularizing hallyu, or the Korean Wave, in Asia.

After the series ended in South Korea, Lee starred in the film “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” in 2005, which earned her best actress awards.

However, Lee retreated to her private life after the film and has not made any drama or movie until now.

Instead, she focused on her studies, earning a master’s degree at Joongang University and then enrolling in a doctoral degree at Hanyang University in South Korea last year.

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