Cha In-pyo made his acting debut in the MBC series Ha Ji-bong’s Three Families in 1993. In 1994, he starred in another MBC drama called Love Is in Your Embrace, which earned him the Most Popular Actor for TV trophy at the 31st Baeksang Arts Awards. His career breakthrough came in the 1997 hit series Star in My Heart, which is considered part of the first generation of Hallyu. That same year, he appeared in the melodrama You and I, which reached a peak viewership rating of 66.9 percent. In 2000, he was named Best Actor for TV at the 36th Baeksang Arts Awards for his work in the MBC series The Boss. The following year, he received the Daesang at the 2001 MBC Drama Awards for his performance in Her House. In 2003, he appeared in the SBS series Perfect Love, in which he bagged a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2008, he headlined the movie Crossing, which was South Korea’s entry to the 81st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2010, he landed a main role in the SBS political drama Daemul, in which he took home the PD Award at the SBS Drama Awards.

Cha In-pyo married his Love Is in Your Embrace co-star Shin Aera in 1995. They have a son born in 1998. The couple adopted two baby girls in 2005 and 2008. Their decision received praise, given the rarity of domestic adoptions in South Korea.