Lee Da-hae broke into the entertainment industry after winning a local beauty pageant in 2001. In 2004, she landed her first leading role in the MBC series Lotus Flower Fairy, which won her Best New Actress at the MBC Drama Awards and the 41st Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2005, she was launched into Hallyu stardom after starring in the hit SBS romantic comedy My Girl, which earned her an Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2007, she took home another Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards for Hello! Miss. In 2008, she scored Excellence Award nominations at the MBC and SBS Drama Awards for East of Eden and Robbers, respectively. In 2010, she was paired once again with her Robbers co-star Jang Hyuk in the top-rating and award-winning KBS2 sageuk series Chuno. In 2012, she made her acting debut in China through Hunan TV’s Love Actually, opposite Taiwanese actor Joe Cheng. In 2013, she and Jang Hyuk worked together for the third time in the KBS2 series IRIS 2, which gave her an Excellence Award nomination at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2014, she reunited with her My Girl leading man Lee Dong-wook in the MBC drama Hotel King, in which she was nominated for an Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards.

Lee Da-hae and her family moved to Sydney, Australia when she was in fifth grade. Aside from her native Korean, she is also fluent in English and Chinese. In September 2016, it was confirmed that the actress is dating singer Se7en. They tied the knot in May 2023.