Ha Ji-won debuted in the big screen in 2000 in the film Truth Game, which won her Best New Actress at the 37th Grand Bell Awards and the inaugural Busan Film Critics Awards. That same year, she was named Best Supporting Actress at the 21st Blue Dragon Film Awards for the movie Ditto. In 2001, she took home the Best New Actress for TV trophy at the 37th Baeksang Arts Awards for the MBC series Secret. In 2003, she starred in the MBC sageuk Damo, in which she won a Top Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards. In 2004, she picked up the Best Actress honors at the 40th Baeksang Arts Awards for her work in the SBS romantic melodrama Something Happened in Bali. In 2006, she took on the titular character in the KBS2 sageuk Hwang Jini, in which she scored numerous acting awards, including the Daesang at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2009, she was cast in the movie Closer to Heaven, in which she took home the Best Actress trophy at the 46th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2010, her popularity soared to new heights after she appeared in the SBS series Secret Garden, which was hailed Best Drama at the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2013, she won another Daesang at the MBC Drama Awards for the hit sageuk Empress Ki. In 2017, she headlined the MBC medical drama Hospital Ship, which earned her a Top Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards.

Ha Ji-won’s younger brother Jeon Tae-soo was also an actor. On January 21, 2018, he was found dead at his home in an apparent suicide.