Sohn Hyun-joo broke into the entertainment industry in 1991 after passing a public recruitment by KBS. He first gained attention for his performance in the 1996 KBS2 series First Love, which won him Best Supporting Actor at the KBS Drama Awards. He then bagged two more Best Supporting Actor trophies at the SBS and KBS Drama Awards in 2001 and 2002 for The Thief’s Daughter and To Be With You, respectively. In 2005, he starred in the hit KBS2 series My Rosy Life, which earned him an Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2009, he received a Top Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards for Sons of Sol Pharmacy House. The following year, he took home another Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards for Definitely Neighbors. In 2012, he led the high-rating SBS political thriller The Chaser, which scored him numerous acting citations including Best Actor at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2017, he was named Best Actor at the 39th Moscow International Film Festival for his impassioned acting in the crime-action drama film Ordinary Person.

Sohn Hyun-joo attended Chung-Ang University. He and his wife have two children together.