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Steven Yeun (Korean: 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop, December 21, 1983) is a Korean-American film and television actor, known for portraying Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead, Avatar Wan in The Legend of Korra, Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Nathan Park / Wingspan in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, K in Okja, and Bo in The Star.

He voices Steve Palchuk in the Tales of Arcadia trilogy.

Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to South Korean parents Je and Jun Yeun. His father was an architect in South Korea before moving his family to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Troy, Michigan. Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor in America by that name.

Yeun's interest in acting and improv began during his Freshman year at Kalamazoo College, where he was pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. He revealed to his parents that he planned to pursue an improv career in Chicago instead of enrolling in law school or medical school. While unhappy with the decision, his parents were supportive, and gave him two years to pursue acting.

After graduating, Yeun moved to Chicago in 2005, where he eventually became a member of The Second City 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 and main characters who, along with his friends, is forced to relentlessly fight evil (both living and dead) just to survive in a violent, apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating "walkers". Yeun left the show in 2016 after Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.

Yeun is an investor of The Bun Shop, a Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles, owned by his younger brother Brian and business partner James Seok.

He married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016; they have two children together, a son named Jude born on March 17, 2017, and a daughter born on April 28, 2019.

Trivia

  • Trollhunters and 3Below are Yeun's second and fourth respectively DreamWorks/Netflix collaboration series which he has worked on, the first being Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016–2018) and the third being Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters (2017–present).
    • In addition, Yeun played the role of K in the Bong Joon-ho film Okja, which was also released on Netflix in 2017. Most recently, he voiced the role of Speckle in the Netflix-original animated series Tuca & Bertie.
  • When Steven was initially presented with the role of Steve, he believed he was going to be fired, as the character was in great contrast in terms of his background and personality (i.e., a tall, blond-haired bully being portrayed by an Asian-American).[1]

References

  1. Steven Yeun talks Steve on Netflix' Trollhunters, NYCC 2016. (2016). [video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up9yf7Ofnf8 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2017].
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