Kim Hye-ok began her acting career with a supporting role in the long-running MBC series Lifetime in the Country and has since become a staple in television dramas and films. In 2006, she starred in the award-winning movie Family Ties. She and her co-stars Moon Sori, Go Doo-shim, and Gong Hyo-jin bagged the Best Actress trophy at the 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival for their performance in the movie. That same year, she appeared in the MBC drama Over the Rainbow, which earned her a Special Acting Award at the MBC Drama Awards. In 2007, she was named Best Supporting Actress at the KBS Drama Awards for her work in Likeable or Not and Golden Age for Daughters-in-Law. In 2011, she played Kim Sun-ah’s mother in the SBS romantic drama Scent of a Woman, which gave her a Special Acting Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2014, she picked up a Golden Acting Award at the MBC Drama Awards for the weekend series Jang Bori Is Here.

Kim Hye-ok attended Chung-Ang University and the Seoul Institute of the Arts.