Lee Jung-eun debuted in the 1991 play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2008, she received her first Young Theater Award for her work in the musical Laundry. In 2017, she was nominated for a Golden Acting Award at the MBC Drama Awards for the procedural series Thief-nom, Thief-nim. In 2018, she took home an Excellence Award at the 26th Korea Culture and Entertainment Awards for the tvN dramas Mr. Sunshine and Familiar Wife. In 2019, she was launched into international fame for her starring role in director Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed black comedy thriller film Parasite. The movie won numerous accolades, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. The film also gave her several Best Supporting Actress trophies from local award-giving bodies. Also in 2019, she bagged an Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards and the Best Supporting Actress citation at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards for KBS2’s When the Camellia Blooms and JTBC’s The Light in Your Eyes, respectively.

Lee Jung-eun studied theater and film at Hanyang University.