Cha Seung-won began his entertainment career as a model before debuting as an actor in 1997 with appearances in the MBC sitcom New York Story and the movie Holiday in Seoul. He has since starred in several notable projects such as the films A Century’s End in 1999, Libera Me in 2000, and Kick the Moon in 2001. In 2002, he earned the Best Actor trophy at the 39th Baeksang Arts Awards for the comedy film Jail Breakers. In 2003, he headlined the KBS2 series Bodyguard, which earned him a Top Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2007, he showcased his versatility in the drama film My Son, in which he was named Best Actor at the 15th Chunsa Film Art Awards. In 2009, he was paired with Kim Sun-ah in the SBS romantic comedy City Hall, in which he bagged an Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2011, he picked up several Best Actor citations for his work in the hit MBC romantic comedy Best Love, where he played the role of an arrogant top star. In 2014, he was nominated for a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards for You’re All Surrounded. In 2017, he starred in the top-rating tvN fantasy series Hwayugi.

Cha Seung-won and his wife Lee Su-jin have a son named Cha No-ah and a daughter named Cha Ye-ni. In 2014, it was revealed that Cha No-ah is Lee Su-jin’s son from her previous marriage and that Cha Seung-won legally adopted him. The previous year, Cha No-ah was accused of marijuana use and sexual assault. He received a suspended sentence for the former while the sexual assault charges were later dropped by the complainant.