Yoo Dong-geun made his acting debut in 1983 with appearances in various movies and TV series. In 1995, he won a Top Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards for the sageuk Jang Nok-su. In 1996, he starred in the MBC series Lovers, which earned him Best Actor trophies at the 9th Grimae Awards and the 33rd Baeksang Arts Awards. Also in 1996, he became part of the KBS1 sageuk series Tears of the Dragon. His performance in the drama scored him numerous acting honors, including the Daesang at the 1997 KBS Drama Awards and Best Actor for TV at the 34th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2002, he once again took home the Daesang at the KBS Drama Awards and the Best Actor for TV trophy at the 38th Baeksang Arts Awards for the sageuk Empress Myeongseong. That same year, he joined the cast of the movie Marrying the Mafia, in which he was named Best Supporting Actor at the 23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards. In 2007, 2014, and 2018, he was awarded the Daesang for his work in the dramas Yeon Gaesomun, What Happens to My Family, and Shall We Live Together.

Yoo Dong-geun has been married to actress Jeon In-hwa since 1989. Their son Yoo Ji-sang appeared as a contestant on JTBC’s Super Band in 2019.