Moon Geun-young began her entertainment career as a model before debuting as a child actress in 1999. She was launched into fame when she played the young counterpart of Song Hye-gyo’s character in the widely popular KBS2 drama Autumn Fairy Tale in 2000. Her performance in the series won her Best Young Actress at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2003, she appeared in the acclaimed horror-drama film A Tale of Two Sisters, which gave her a Best New Actress nomination at the 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards. She solidified her acting portfolio with her streak of successful films in the 2000s, namely My Little Bride, Innocent Steps, and Love Me Not. In 2008, she acted alongside Park Shin-hyang in the SBS sageuk The Painter of Wind, which earned her numerous acting awards, including the Daesang at the SBS Drama Awards and Best Actress at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2010, she starred in the KBS2 dramas Cinderella’s Sister and Mary Stayed Out All Night. She also led the casts of SBS’s Alice in Cheongdam-dong in 2012 and MBC’s Goddess of Fire in 2013. In 2015, she received an Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards for the mystery-thriller Village: Secret of Achiara. In 2022, she made her directorial debut at the 26th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Moon Geun-young studied Korean language and literature at Sungkyunkwan University. She briefly dated her Goddess of Fire co-star Kim Bum. In 2017, she underwent emergency surgeries after being diagnosed with acute compartment syndrome.