Lovely Veteran K-actress Kim Ja Ok Passes Away After Battling Lung Cancer


The week starts with on terribly sad note as the Korean entertainment newspapers have confirmed that veteran actress Kim Ja Ok has passed away. She was only 63 years old and left the world too early after losing her battle with lung cancer on the early morning of November 16th in a Seoul hospital. To Hallyu drama viewers she’s probably best known for playing the mom to various K-drama leads, such as Sam Soon’s mom in My Name is Kim Sam Soon or Han Kyul’s mom in Coffee Prince, but she’s been acting for 40 years starting off as a leading lady herself.

She was one of my favorite veteran mom actresses and am truly saddened that she couldn’t shine her acting light on the world longer. She had been fighting the aggressive cancer since March of this year after wrapping the long weekend drama Thrice Married Woman where she played the male lead’s mom. Before TMW she got to take a wonderful trip with the cast of Noonas Over Flowers to visit Eastern Europe where errand boy Lee Seung Gi took care of her and the rest of the noonas. It’s on that show where I got to glimpse the real Kim Ja Ok and found her charming and sweet.

Before she was everyone’s mom, she was also a beautiful young actress who started acting in her early twenties and these old stills capture that old school movie star effervescence.

Thank you for sharing your acting talents and beautiful personality with the audience, Kim Ja Ok. Rest in peace now and I’ll always be able to rewatch how much fun you had with the other noonas Yoon Yeo Jung, Lee Mi Yeon, Kim Hee Ae, as well as bumbling luggage boy Seung Gi traveling through Turkey and Croatia. There’s a recent article that feels so on point as the medical statistics confirm that more non-smokers have died from lung cancer than smokers due to the pervasiveness of second hand smoke in countries with high smoking rates. Makes me so mad that lung cancer took Kim Ja Ok from her loved ones just like that.

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Lovely Veteran K-actress Kim Ja Ok Passes Away After Battling Lung Cancer — 41 Comments

  1. It’s so sad. I loved her in Noona over Flowers especially even though I had seen her in other dramas before. She shined on the screen.
    Rest well ma’am

  2. It felt surreal when I heard about her death. I’ve watched her in handful of dramas as I was growing up to this point, and always admired her for her acting and her beauty. It’s such a shame for her loss, and she will truly be missed. RIP Mrs Kim Ja Ok </3

  3. i gawd i cantttt.i loved her so much in noona over flower’s and this is hitting me harder coz she was the life of that show!!!

    i’m so glad she went on that trip coz she said she hasn’t traveled a lot (thanx na pd ) and rember how she joked she’s getting pretier and can’t believ herself that she’s in her sixties.

    rest in peace angel you will be missed :'(

  4. I remember her in High kick 2 as the old harabuchi’s girlfriend. “Ja Ok-shi! Ja Ok-shi!”, I remember him always saying to her. She was a very endearing character and I’m sure she was also in person. Goodbye to a great Omma and Halmoni. =(

  5. RIP Lovely Kim Ja Oak. I am so sad by this news. I first saw her as Han Kyul’s mom in CP. She off screen personality is so fun and endearing! She will be missed!

  6. Even before her appearance on Noonas, she was often referred as “Ja-ok unni” than “ajumma,” “umma,” or (god forbid) “halmoni.” She was the Korean equivalent of a Southern belle, the Blanche Devereaux (minus her sex life), and we loved her for it. Wish we could have seen her age just as gracefully into her 70s and 80s. RIP, unni…

    • She was beauty AND class all the way. She’s dancing in a place where she’s not in pain anymore, that’s all I’ll keep believing to hold it together that she’s left much much too early.

  7. She was soo sweet, like a young girl in an adult’s body. I knew she had been sick but I didn’t realize it was so serious. I’m still shocked. She’s gone way too soon. 🙁

  8. Just feeling sad. First met her in MNIKSS and the latest mtng being Noona. what I remember most about the Noona series was that though she had been going through such a serious health issue, she was the one who managed to stay calm and composed throughout. Thanks to Yoon yeo Jung who persuaded her to join the trip. She seemed to have lots of fun.

  9. RIP Ms. Kim Ja Ok. I really loved her in Noonas as well as all the other Korean dramas that I’ve seen her in. Such a very lovely person.

  10. I’m saddened with this news. I love her motherly portrayals, most especially the feisty mother of Kim Sam Soon.

    Rest In Peace, Kim Ja Ok.

  11. I hope her family knows how much her international fans love her and finds solace in the times they had with such a special lady. I always think of family and friends when someone so special leaves this world. If we feel such pan, what must they be going through? My blessings go to them in this sad time.

  12. RIP Kim Ja Ok

    I am so aad to hear this. She was a wonderful actress and was taken from this world much too soon. I first remember her as Sam soon’s mom but I’ve seen her many times gracing the screen 🙂 you will be dearly missed.

  13. What sad news! She was just beautiful and had a smile that could light up a room. You can also tell she was loved by people who knew her. I pray for strength for her family and loved ones. Losing a loved one in such a way can be earth shattering. I’m glad she is free from pain and suffering. RIP.

  14. Oh no! That’s so sad– I can’t stop the tears. She’s one of my all-time faves. Such a wonderful actress and charming person. I’m so glad she was able to take the NOF trip. She’ll be missed by many from all over the world.

  15. I am so sad to hear this news. I was just thinking yesterday how much I loved her in Ojakgyo Brothers. She seemed like such a warm person. May she rest in peace.

  16. I can’t even….
    I can’t believe that, she is just so bright. I remember an episode of strong heart when she couldn’t recognized Seung Ri and shared her beauty secret. She is very bright and kind and childish in NOF… I remember she told that she want to bring her loved ones there. For her who always smile, for her who was able to sleep anywhere, for her two sided bag, for her pranks… I love her more after NOF. Rest in Peace noonim…may God give your family strength

  17. This makes me so sad. My first K-Drama ever was Kim Sam-Soon, and she held her own and made that show so much better. She will be missed.

  18. My condolences to her family. I think she is an example for all actresses to follow as she always seemed became the character she played.

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