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Five Fun Facts About Uhm Jung Hwa

BY Julie Jones | Sep 23, 2014 01:56 PM EDT

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Uhm Jung Hwa played a 39-year-old news reporter in love with a much younger man in the drama "Witch's Romance" and she also played a single TV producer in the film "Venus Talk."

But if you're new to k-pop or k-drama you may not realize what a long and varied career the 45-year-old actress has had.

1. She is known as the South Korean Madonna and the Queen of Korean Pop. Uhm Jung Hwa made her debut as a singer in 1993 and by the mid-90s was one of the most successful female singers. Her fourth album sparked some controversy since it was deemed suggestive but it sold over a million copies.

2. In the next decade, she worked on establishing herself as an actress, playing roles in "Marriage Is A Crazy Thing," "Singles," "Princess Aurora," Dancing Queen and Haeundae." She won two Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress in 2002 and another again in 2012.

She said that making the transition from singer to actor was not as easy back then.

"Early in my career, there were few people who were both singers and actors," she said in a Newsen interview. "Because I might get the response, 'Why is a singer acting,' I purposely tried to be different. When I stood on stage as a singer, I would put on heavy make-up or wear a wig or contact lenses. I intentionally tried to overdo it. But nowadays it seems like the public readily accepts singers who act."

And that's a good thing she says. "Singers have a good foundation in expressing their emotions, so I think they also act well."

3. Acting talent runs in the family. Her younger and only brother Uhm Tae Woong is an actor. You may have seen him in "Delightful Girl Choon Hyang" "Architecture 101" or "The Blade and The Petal."

4. Her favorite musical collaborator was Big Bang's T.O.P. In an interview on KBS' "Entertainment Tonight," she talked about how the two became friends and stayed in touch after they collaborated on the 2008 single D.I.S.C.O. After promoting the single together, the rapper showed up to support the release of her film "Dancing Queen.'

"The audience was as surprised as I was," she said.

5. She is both a fashionista and a fashion designer. Her love of fashion led to developing the clothing and lingerie lines, Corner Suite and ZHUM in New York. These clothing lines made $10 billion in the first three months after launching.

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