Jung Ae-ri began her acting career in 1978 after passing a talent audition by KBS. In 1981, she was named Best New Actress at the 17th Baeksang Arts Awards for the KBS series Set in the Lake Reman. She rose to fame in 1984 after starring in MBC’s Love and Truth, which won her a Baeksang Best Actress trophy as well as the Daesang at the MBC Drama Awards. In 2003, she played Gong Hyo-jin’s mother in the KBS2 series Sang-doo! Let’s Go to School!, which gave her the Best Actress citation at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2008, she became part of the popular SBS daily drama Temptation of Wife. In 2009, she took home a Golden Acting Award at the MBC Drama Awards for Good Job and Can’t Stop Now. In 2018, she joined the high-rating SBS social satire SKY Castle. In 2019, she appeared in the hit tvN romance drama Crash Landing on You.

Jung Ae-ri and her first husband of 20 years ended their marriage in 2005. They have a daughter together. The actress got remarried to a businessman named Ji Seung-ryong in 2011.