Gong Hyo-jin started out as a model before making her acting debut in the 1999 horror film Whispering Corridors 2: Memento Mori. In 2001, she became part of the SBS series Wonderful Days, which won her Best New Actress at the 38th Baeksang Arts Awards and the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2003, she led the KBS2 romantic comedy Sang-doo! Let’s Go to School!, in which she won an Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2006, she appeared in the film Family Ties, in which she shared the Best Actress honors with her co-stars at the 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival. In 2008, she took on the leading role in the film Crush and Blush, in which she collected several Best Actress trophies. In 2010 and 2011, she starred in the successful MBC dramas Pasta and Best Love, opposite Lee Seon-kyun and Cha Seung-won, respectively. Her performance in the latter earned her the Best Actress trophy at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2014, she picked up two Top Excellence Awards for her work in the SBS medical romance It’s Okay, It’s Love. In 2016, she was paired with Jo Jung-seok in the SBS series Jealousy Incarnate, in which she won a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2019, she headlined the KBS2 drama When the Camellia Blooms, in which she bagged the Daesang at the KBS Drama Awards. The series also took home the Daesang for TV at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Gong Hyo-jin lived in Australia from 1994 to 1997. She was appointed as one of the goodwill ambassadors for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of South Korea and Australia’s bilateral relations in 2011. She was in a long-term relationship with her Wonderful Days co-star Ryu Seung-beom. She also briefly dated actor Lee Jin-wook. In October 2022, she married singer-songwriter Kevin Oh in New York City.