Lee Bo-young first came to limelight when she won the Miss Korea Daejeon beauty pageant in 2000. She became more known after she was selected as the face of Asiana Airlines. In 2003, she made her acting debut in the SBS series Escape from Unemployment. Her early notable works include the television dramas My Sweetheart, My Darling and Ballad of Seodong and the film A Dirty Carnival. In 2008, she starred in the heist comedy film Once Upon a Time, which earned her a Best New Actress nomination at the 44th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2012, she led the hit KBS2 family drama My Daughter, Seo-young, which scored her a Baeksang Best Actress nomination. The following year, she was named Best Actress at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance in the popular SBS fantasy romance I Hear Your Voice. The series also gave her the Daesang at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2017, she reunited with her My Daughter, Seo-young leading man Lee Sang-yoon in the SBS legal thriller Whisper, which won her a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2018, she bagged the Best Actress trophy at the 13th Seoul International Drama Awards for tvN’s Mother. The series was also hailed Best Drama at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Lee Bo-young married actor Ji Sung in September 2013. They met on the set of the 2004 SBS series Save the Last Dance for Me. They have a daughter and a son together.