Originally a lead guitarist and vocalist for the trainee group Kokoma Band, Kwak Dong-yeon debuted as an actor in the 2012 top-rating KBS2 weekend family drama You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly. His work in the series earned him the Best Young Actor trophy at the 5th Korea Drama Awards. In 2014, he took home another Best Young Actor citation at the KBS Drama Awards for Age of Feeling and an episode of KBS Drama Special. In 2016, he became part of the main cast of the hit KBS2 sageuk Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, in which he was nominated for two Best New Actor trophies. In 2018, he acted alongside Yoo Seung-ho and Jo Boa in the SBS series My Strange Hero, which scored him an Excellence Award nomination at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2019, he was nominated for an Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards and the APAN Star Awards for his portrayal of a five-star hotel heir in No Second Chances. In 2020, he played Taecyeon’s half-brother in the tvN dark comedy Vincenzo.

Kwak Dong-yeon graduated from the School of Performing Arts Seoul in 2016.