Steven Yeun is a Korean-American actor best known for playing Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead (2010-2016).
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Steven Yeun was originally named Yeun Sang-yeop at birth. He was raised by his two parents and alongside his younger brother, Brian Yeun. He and his family immigrated to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1988 and later moved to Taylor, Michigan, where he would stay until he graduated high school. He graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2005, receiving a bachelor's degree with a major in neuroscience.
Steven became interested in acting during his freshman year at Kalamazoo. That's also where he met Kasey Klepper, sister of comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host Jordan Klepper. After failing his first audition for the Kalamazoo improv team, Steven took acting lessons and returned for a second chance. Once he got in, he was drawn to the theater scene, which led to him being cast in his first play, Balm in Gilead, playing a Colombian drug dealer, Xavier. He later followed Jordan Klepper to Chicago, where he joined improv and sketch company The Second City.
Later, he moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career.
Upon arriving in L.A., Steven did three commercials in one sitting, which later led to him being tested for on a pilot on ABC. Although he didn't get the part, the casting director threw the minor role of Sebastian on The Big Bang Theory (2010) his way. After that, he was cast as Glenn Rhee on the hit series The Walking Dead. This all happened within six months.
Glenn Rhee would become one of Steven's biggest roles of his career. Glenn quickly became a fan favorite character the moment he saved Andrew Lincoln's character, Rick Grimes, from a hoard of zombies. The show soon became the highest-rated series in cable television history, with Variety magazine saying, "Although the show features a large ensemble cast, Steven was a major part of that success, with the character Glenn morphing from a plucky young member of the show’s central group to a bona fide action hero and sex symbol."
As one of the founding members of the show, Steven's departure from the series in the season 7 premiere broke the hearts of many fans. In 2011, Steven was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television for his portrayal of Glenn.
After his work on The Walking Dead, Steven would be cast in Bong-Joon Ho's Okja (2017), playing the role of K. The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
In 2018, he would star in the South Korean psychological thriller, Burning (2018), playing the antagonist, Ben. Steven would embrace both sides of his heritage in the film, speaking both English and Korean in it. His performance was met with critical acclaim, earning a great number of awards and nominations for Best Supporting Actor at award shows such as the 2018 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and the 2018 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.
Steven's next big screen project would come in the film Minari (2020), playing the lead role of Jacob Yi in a story about a Korean immigrant family becoming farmers in Arkansas. This film would sit close to Steven's heart, as he brought his own experience growing up to his performance. The film and Steven were met with critical acclaim, with the film earning a number of award nominations in multiple categories at a variety of film festivals, and Steven a number of award nominations for Best Actor, including an Academy Award nomination.
Steven has also voice acted for a number of television shows, which include The Legend of Korra (2013), playing Avatar Wan, American Dad! (2014), playing Charles, and Steve Palchuk in the Tales of Arcadia trilogy. He would also voice act in DreamWorks' Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016-2018), playing Keith. His work on Voltron: Legendary Defender would earn him a BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award in 2017.
He also appeared in the episode "A Traveler" in Jordan Peele's revival of The Twilight Zone.
In 2016, Steven married his longtime girlfriend Joana Pak. On March 17, 2017, they welcomed their first child, Jude Malcolm Yeun, followed by a daughter in 2019.
Steven is an investor in his younger brother Brian's Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles named The Bun Shop.
Having grown up in Michigan, Steven is also a big fan of Michigan sports teams, including the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings. ~Sean Olegario
The Humans (2021)
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (2020)
Tuca & Bertie (2019)
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (2019)
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
The Star (2017)
I Origins (2014)
A Moment of Youth (2011)