Kim Sung-ryung first came into limelight when she won Miss Korea in 1988. She then represented her country at the Miss Universe 1989 held in Mexico, but was unplaced. After her beauty pageant stint, she became an entertainment news reporter for the KBS channel’s Entertainment Weekly program. In 1991, she made her acting debut in the film Who Saw the Dragon’s Claw, which won her multiple Best New Actress trophies. She also earned recognition for her succeeding projects such as SBS’s Juliet’s Man in 2000 and KBS2’s Empress Myeongseong in 2001. In 2008, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 45th Grand Bell Awards for the film Shadows in the Palace. In 2012, she appeared in the hit SBS series The Chaser, which scored her an Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2013, she was nominated for a Baeksang Best Actress trophy for SBS’s Yawang. In 2016, she played the titular character in Mrs. Cop 2, which also aired on SBS. In 2021, she starred in the Wavve drama Political Fever, which gave her a Top Excellence Award at the 8th APAN Star Awards.

Kim Sung-ryung tied the knot with a non-celebrity man in 1996. They have two children together. She is the older sister of TV personality and actress Kim Sung-kyung.