Donghae debuted as one of the 12-piece South Korean boy band Super Junior 05 in November 2005. The group later dropped the suffix “05” from its name following the addition of its thirteenth member Kyuhyun. They went on to become one of the most successful boy groups in K-pop history, known for their high-selling albums such as 2009’s Sorry, Sorry and 2011’s Mr. Simple. Donghae also became part of Super Junior’s sub-units Super Junior-M and Super Junior-D&E. In February 2020, Donghae made his solo debut with the digital single Harmony, which he wrote and composed himself.

Donghae embarked into acting in 2006 with Super Junior’s horror documentary Mystery 6. In 2007, he and his bandmates starred in the high school mystery comedy film Attack on the Pin-Up Boys a.k.a. Flower Boys. In 2011, he acted alongside Choi Siwon and Taiwanese actress Ivy Chen in the Taiwanese TV series Skip Beat! In 2012, he led Channel A’s romantic comedy Panda and Hedgehog, opposite Yoon Seung-ah. In 2014, he played a medical researcher in the fourth season of OCN’s God’s Quiz. In 2023, he returned to the small screen with ENA’s rom-com series Oh! Young-shim.

Donghae enlisted as a conscripted policeman for his mandatory military service in October 2015. He was discharged in July 2017.