After winning an online beauty contest in 2004, Kim Ok-bin made her big screen debut as one of the leads in the 2005 horror film Voice. Her performance in the movie earned her Best New Actress nominations at the 26th Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 42nd Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2008, she acted alongside Lee Jung-jae in the action comedy film The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan, in which she was once again nominated as Best New Actress at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2009, she starred in the horror film Thirst, which won the Jury Prize at that year’s Cannes Film Festival. Her work in the movie made her a co-recipient of the Best Actress trophy at the 42nd Sitges Film Festival. In 2014, she led the cast of JTBC’s Yoo-na’s Street, which scored her a Best Actress nomination at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2017, she received the Best Actress honors at the 23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards for the action film The Villainess.

Kim Ok-bin’s sister Kim Go-woon, also known by her stage name Chae Seo-jin, is also an actress. She briefly dated her Yoo-na’s Street co-star Lee Hee-joon from late 2014 to early 2015.