Baek Yoon Shik made his debut in 1970 on KBS TV. In the coming years, he would appear in four films, taking lead roles in his debut Excellent Guys and in the romantic comedy Only With You with Seo Mi Kyung, a young star of the time. He also studied in the film and theater department at Chung Ang University’s graduate school.
Nonetheless, his film career appeared to end in the 1970s and he became known thereafter as a TV actor. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he attained a certain degree of visibility in TV dramas such as Moon Over Seoul (1994, with Han Suk Kyu and Choi Min Shik) and Jang Hee Bin (2002, with Kim Hye Soo).
In 2003, however, Baek’s career was revived in spectacular fashion with a major role in Jang Jun Hwan’s acclaimed debut feature Save the Green Planet. Playing an arrogant company executive — believed by the film’s hero to be an alien from Andromeda — Baek’s performance won him a Best Actor Award from the 2003 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as numerous best-supporting actor, mentions from local awards ceremonies. He quickly became a sort of a cult figure among younger cinephiles.
Following on this success, Baek went on to appear in several more high-profile films, including a memorable role in Choi Dong Hoon’s caper film The Big Swindle and a showstopping performance as intelligence chief Kim Jae Hyu in Im Sang Soo’s controversial drama The President’s Last Bang.
The year 2006 turned out to be a particularly prolific year for Baek, as he took leading and supporting roles in four films. It was a profitable year as well, with his fee rising to $400,000 per film — just a shade below that of the top stars. Of these four, Choi Dong Hoon’s Tazza proved to be a runaway hit, selling close to 7 million tickets.
Baek is married with two sons, the elder of whom is young actor Baek Do Bin (Seducing Mr. Perfect, Tazza).