Kim Hee-ae made her acting debut in the 1983 film The First Day in the Twentieth Year and has since become one of the most acclaimed actresses in her home country. In 1987, she was named Best New Actress at the 23rd Baeksang Arts Awards for the KBS2 series A Woman’s Heart. In 1993, she took home the Daesang for TV and the Best Actress trophy at the 29th Baeksang Arts Awards for the MBC drama Sons and Daughters. In 2003 and 2004, she won back-to-back Best Actress citations at the 39th and 40th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance in KBS2’s Wife and SBS’ Perfect Love. The latter also gave her her second Baeksang Daesang for TV. In 2013, she starred alongside Lee Sung-jae in JTBC’s How Long I’ve Kissed, which won her another Best Actress trophy at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2018, she led the drama film Herstory, which scored her the Best Actress honors at the27th Buil Film Awards. In 2020, she received her fourth Baeksang Best Actress trophy for the smash hit JTBC drama A Couple’s World, which was based on the BBC One series Doctor Foster.

Kim Hee-ae married former DreamWiz web portal CEO Lee Chan-jin in 1996. They have two sons together.