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Posted : 2009-06-07 13:19
Updated : 2009-06-07 13:19

Veteran Actress Do Passes Away


Veteran movie star Do Kum-bong
By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Veteran movie star Do Kum-bong passed away last Wednesday. She was 79.

Her death was later known as the actress insisted not to inform the world of her death in her will.

Born in 1930 at Incheon, Do started her acting career through a theater club called ``Changgong'' and made her movie debut when she was chosen by director Jo Keung-ha in 1957 for the main role of the film ``Hwang Jin-i.''

Do nailed the femme fatale character flawlessly, becoming the talk of the town and earning the nickname, ``the temptress of the century.''

She later appeared in Korea's first horror movie ``A Bloodthirsty Killer'' (1965) by director Lee Yong-min's as the villain, and proved once again her wide-ranging acting skills. Thanks to the ``Killer''s success, Do continued to star in following horror films, including ``A Neckless Beauty,'' ``A Public Cemetery of Wol-ha'' (1967) and ``The Magical Sword of Skeletal Spirit''(1969).

Despite her reputation of acting sexy and evil characters, Do still managed to pull off more serious roles, like in the movie ``Yu Gwan-sun'' (1959), which touched the story of the young independence fighter during the Japanese colonial rule.

Do's popularity especially bloomed during the 1960s and the '70s, winning the Best Actress award at the Daejong Film Festival for her role in the film ``New Wife'' in 1963 and also the Best Supporting Actress for ``When a Little Dream Blooms'' in 1972 and ``The Earth'' in 1974.

She continued to work on more than 500 films until she finished her acting career in 1997 with Park Chan-wook's movie ``Threesome.''

As if having a successful career as a movie actress was not enough, the glamorous Do also made headlines for gossip concerning her love life, but she was always confident and was more than eager to express her opinions about the sensational news and public's eye.

After retiring from her acting career, she was known to have run a restaurant in Samcheong-dong with her two sons, but disappeared from the public eye after she stopped her business 10 years ago.

The actress was later sent to a welfare facility, and according to her son, she was hospitalized 10 days before she passed away.

``She wanted her death not to be publicized, and so we tried to follow her wishes as much as possible,'' he said.

Do was cremated and her remains were moved to a charnel house in Heukseok-dong, Seoul.

``She was a brave woman, who was given many villain roles, but still managed to act many righteous and strong characters as well. In other words, she was a great actress who had a wide range. I remember her as a memorable supporting role, as sometimes her charisma was far more greater than the leading characters,'' said professor Jung Jae-hyung at the department of Film and Digital Media, Dongguk University.

sanghee@koreatimes.co.kr

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