Yeun at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
December 21, 1983
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
South Korean (expatriate)
|Alma mater||Kalamazoo College (2005)|
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor|
Joana Pak (m. 2016)
|Revised Romanization||Yeon Sang-yeop|
Steven Yeun (//; Korean: 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop, December 21, 1983) is a Korean-American actor and voice 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 (2017) and Sorry to Bother You (2018).
Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to Je and Jun Yeun. His father was an architect in South Korea before moving his family in 1988 to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Michigan. Yeun was raised in Troy, Michigan in a Christian household. Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor by that name. His parents owned beauty-supply stores in Detroit.
Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from Kalamazoo College in 2005. At Kalamazoo, he met Jordan Klepper through Klepper's sister and later followed him to Chicago to join Second City.
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. 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.
Yeun moved to Chicago in 2005, living in the city's Lincoln Square with his brother. Shortly after graduation, he joined Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group composed of Asian-American members. 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.
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. The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics. Yeun left the show in 2016 after his character Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.
In March 2016, Yeun was cast in Joe Lynch's action horror film Mayhem. The film was released in theaters on November 10, 2017. In April 2016, Yeun was cast in Bong Joon-ho's action-adventure film Okja. The film competed for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It was released on Netflix on June 28, 2017. Yeun also provided the voice of Bo in 2017's The Star.
Yeun then co-starred in Boots Riley's dark comedy Sorry to Bother You alongside Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, and Tessa Thompson, which was released in theaters on July 6, 2018. The film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. The film won The 2019 National Board of Review's Top Ten Independent Films award. It also won Best Screenplay and Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards.
In late 2018, Yeun played as a mysterious character Ben in the South Korean mystery drama film Burning, directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film was first unveiled at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. His performance in the film was acclaimed. Yeun won Best Supporting Actor at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2018, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2018, and 2018 National Society of Film Critics Awards.
Yeun has also voice acted in both animated series and films. Some of these roles include Avatar Wan in season 2 of The Legend of Korra, Steve Palchuk in Trollhunters and 3Below, Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Nathan Park/Wingspan in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Little Cato in Final Space, and Speckle in Tuca & Bertie.
It was later revealed that Yeun's role as Steve Palchuk would continue into Wizards, the third series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The first season of 3Below was released on Netflix on December 21, 2018, and the second and final season was released on July 12, 2019.
In late 2018, Yeun landed a main role in an episode of Jordan Peele's revival of The Twilight Zone. He next will voice act in eight-episode animated series Invincible adapting Robert Kirkman's comic book series. The series will release on Amazon Prime in 2020.
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. Yeun married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016. They have two children together. Having grown up in Michigan, Yeun is a longtime Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings fan.
|2009||The Kari Files||Chip||Greg Grabianski||Short film|
|My Name Is Jerry||Chaz||Morgan Mead|
|2010||Carpe Millennium||Kevin||Eric McCoy||Short film|
|Blowout Sale||Customer||Timothy Kendall|
|2014||I Origins||Kenny||Mike Cahill|
|2015||Like a French Film||Steve||Shin Yeon-shick|
|Mayhem||Derek Cho||Joe Lynch|
|The Star||Bo (voice)||Timothy Reckart|
|2018||Sorry to Bother You||Squeeze||Boots Riley|
|2020||Minari||Jacob Yi||Lee Isaac Chung||Post-production; also executive producer|
|The Humans||Richard||Stephen Karam||Filming|
|2010||The Big Bang Theory||Sebastian||Episode: "The Staircase Implementation"|
|2010–2016||The Walking Dead||Glenn Rhee||66 episodes|
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)
Saturn Award for Best Television Ensemble (2012)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2011)
|2011||Law & Order: LA||Ken Hasui||Episode: "Hayden Tract"|
|Warehouse 13||Gibson Rice||Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Ricky Meeker||Episode: "16 Hop Street"|
|Harder Than it Looks||Steven||Episode: "Lockdown"|
|2013||The Legend of Korra||Avatar Wan (voice)||3 episodes|
|Filthy Preppy Teen$||Martin||Pilot|
|2014||Drunk History||Daniel Inouye||Episode: "Hawaii"|
|American Dad!||Charles (voice)||Episode: "Blagsnarst, a Love Story"|
|2016–2018||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Keith (voice)||64 episodes|
|Trollhunters||Steve Palchuk (voice)||28 episodes|
|2017–2018||Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters||Nathan Park / Wingspan (voice)||24 episodes|
|2017||Bajillion Dollar Propertie$||Eric||Episode: "Disaster Drills"|
|Robot Chicken||Glenn Rhee / Glenn and Maggie's baby (voices)||Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking"|
|2018–present||Final Space||Little Cato (voice)||22 episodes|
|2018–2019||3Below||Steve Palchuk (voice)||19 episodes|
|2019||Weird City||Barsley||Episode: "Chonathan & Mulia & Barsley & Phephanie"|
|The Twilight Zone||A. Traveler||Episode: "A Traveler"|
|I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson||Jacob||Episode: "Has This Ever Happened To You?"|
|Tuca & Bertie||Speckle (voice)||10 episodes|
|Wizards||Steve Palchuk (voice)|
|2020||Invincible||Mark Grayson/Invincible (voice)|
|2016||"Fire"||Park Jin-young (feat. Conan O'Brien & Jimin Park)|
|2007||Crysis||North Korean soldier 2||Voice|
|2017||DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles||Keith||Voice|
|2011||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actor on Television||The Walking Dead||Nominated|
|2012||Saturn Award||Best Television Ensemble (shared with cast)||Won|
|Satellite Awards||Best Cast – Television Series (shared with cast)||Won|
|2017||BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award||Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series (shared with cast)||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|BTVA Television Voice Acting Award||Nominated|
|Brooklyn Horror Film Festival||Best Actor||Mayhem||Won|
|2018||Buil Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Burning||Nominated|
|Grand Bell Awards||Nominated|
|Blue Dragon Film Awards||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Seattle Film Critics Society||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Boston Society of Film Critics||Best Supporting Actor||Runner-up|
|IndieWire Critics Poll||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Greater Western New York Film Critics Association||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|2019||Online Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Santa Barbara International Film Festival||Virtuoso Award||Won|
|National Society of Film Critics||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|International Cinephile Society||Best Supporting Actor||Runner-up|
|International Online Cinema Awards||Won|
|Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steven Yeun.|