SUNG HI LEE Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Sung Hi Lee was born April 1, 1970, in Seoul, South Korea. She spent a large part of her childhood moving around from city to city, even before the start of her modeling career. Due to her father’s job, Sung Hi and her family were forced to move around from Houston, Dallas, D.C., and Chicago. More of a tomboy than a little princess, and more of a school nerd than homecoming queen, Sung Hi was a very serious student and didn’t have much of a social life, also due to the constant change of high schools.


Although Sung Hi had originally planned to study medicine with the goal of working in sports medicine, fate had another ambition for her altogether, in different instances. Her first brush with luck occurred in Dallas, when she went to a nightclub that she frequented regularly. The nightclub was holding a fashion show, but since they didn’t like the models that the agency had picked out for them, they asked Sung Hi to participate.


She caught the attention of one of the agents, who wanted to work with the Asian beauty. While a full scholarship student at Ohio State University, Sung Hi had visited a friend of hers in Washington D.C.


Her friend’s friend was a Play.boy scout and photographer, who insisted on taking Sung Hi’s picture, and asked if she was interested in working for the magazine. For the next few months, the photographer asked Sung Hi’s friend if she had changed her mind as she refused at first; she eventually gave in and posed for the bunny mag.


After her Play.boy stint, she worked as a Hawaiian Tropic model. When she went to Montreal to promote the brand, she was chosen by a Play.boy executive (who was also a judge) to be one of the 15 Hawaiian Tropic girls for a Hawaiian Tropic special by the magazine.


Still a university student, Sung Hi decided that she wanted to temporarily put off her studies and pursue a full-time acting career in New York City. But most aspiring actresses in the Big Apple are also models, which was a problem for the 5′4″ Sung Hi. She therefore headed to L.A. to try her hand at acting and modeling.


While in L.A., she ran into a stylist at an audition, who happened to be the West Coast director for Play.boy. Three’s a charm, and Sung Hi posed for the magazine again, forming the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


From 1993 to 1998, Sung Hi appeared in over 12 of Play.boy’s Book of Lingerie (she was the first Asian model to appear on the cover solo, in 1996) and in Play.boy Specials such as Sexy Swimsuits, Wet & Wild, Girls of Summer, Cover Girls, Women of Color, and Supermodels. She also graced the covers of the bunny mag’s German, Taiwan and French editions.


In other magazine news, Sung Hi has appeared on the covers of Working Woman Korea in 1997, KOREAM 10th Anniversary issue in 2000, and has appeared in magazines like Sport (1996) and Yolk Magazine (1998).


As for calendars, Sung Hi has posed for the Pacific USA calendar in 1996 Black Pearl East Meets West calendar in 1997, 1998 and 2000, as well as the Black Pearl Sung Hi Lee calendar in 1997 and 1998.


She traveled to L.A. for more acting roles, and those she received: Sung Hi had a recurring role on Mortal Kombat in 1999, and made guest appearances on shows like Black Scorpion, Queen of Swords, V.I.P., and Nikki, Nikki Cox’s hit show.


Sung Hi has also been seen on TV, starring in several television commercials for products such as Mountain Dew, Maxwell House Coffee, Brut, Kopyong Fashion Co., and Acer Computers. She has appeared in print ads for Sunkist Orange Juice, New Core Department Store, Miller Beer, Hilton hotels, Chrysler Plymouth, and Camel cigarettes. You may also remember her from Coolio’s Too Hot video, in 1996.


The aspiring actress can also add film credits to her resume, with roles in 1994’s Midnight Blue; the 1996 made-for-TV movie, Weapons of Mass Distraction; 1998’s A Night On the Water and Error in Judgment; the more popular Nurse Betty in 2000; and Chain of Command and That Summer in LA, that same year.


Although she’s been a popular cover and centerfold for one of the most prestigious magazines (so that she can someday prove to her grandchildren that she was a full-out hottie in her day), and has a blossoming acting career on the horizon, Sung Hi Lee hopes to return to her original ambition of sports medicine. That may be in a long while.