2. Lee Min-ho
Lee Min-ho rose to international prominence for his work as Gu Jun-pyo in Boys Over Flowers (2009), which garnered him the Best New Actor award at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. Personal Taste (2010), City Hunter (2011), Faith (2012), The Heirs (2013), and The Legend of the Blue Sea (2014) are among his major starring performances in television series (2016). He earned $135 million for his performance in Studio Dragon’s The King: Eternal Monarch in 2020. In addition to his television career, Lee played the first starring role in the film Gangnam Blues (2015). This was followed by his first China-produced feature, Bounty Hunters (2016), and the mini-romance-webseries Line Romance (2014), which earned a total of US$51 million.
The popularity of Lee’s television series is largely responsible for his rise to the top of the Hallyu wave; he is now the South Korean actor who has the most followers on social media. Lee was the first Korean star to have a wax figure produced in his likeness at Madame Tussauds, with the figures being exhibited in Shanghai in 2013 and Hong Kong in 2014. These events took place in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He makes a total of $2.5 million only through sponsorships of various products.