Who is actress Nam Bo Ra?
You may have seen her in the K-Drama Moon Embracing the Sun.
Although she is known as an actress, the public remembers seeing how busy she was growing up as the first daughter of eleven children. In 2008, Nam Bo Ra appeared in the reality show Screening Humanity, which gave audiences an inside look at her big family. As the second eldest child—and the first oldest daughter—she helped raise the nine siblings younger than her.
She was nineteen when the show aired, and after the show, it was reported that her parents had two more children—making her one of thirteen kids.
Nam Bo Ra once said in an interview in 2012 that she had to start her acting career under the enormous burden of having twelve siblings. Despite the responsibilities, however, she said she gains strength from her family.
I get a lot of strength from small things. For example, it’s awfully crowded at graduation ceremonies. But if my younger siblings comfort me, I forget everything quickly. In a way, they’re like a driving force that helps me take my next step.
— Nam Bo Ra
Although Nam Bo Ra didn’t dream of becoming a celebrity, she was scouted by agencies who pestered her to join—and she ultimately became an actress. Therefore, she built her acting career in major and minor roles in K-Dramas and movies and established herself as an actress. She particularly gained attention for her role in the film Sunny.
Nam Bo Ra shared the burdens of being the eldest daughter on the show Dr. Oh’s Golden Clinic in 2021; she felt like she had no choice but to become the caretaker of twelve siblings but was handed the responsibilities regardless.
Then something tragic happened in 2015—her younger brother passed away. Her brother told her he was going to meet a friend, and she didn’t hear from him for two days, which led her to call the police. On her way to the police station, she fell four times and couldn’t breathe because she was shaken. The next day, her brother was found and pronounced dead.
Nam Bo Ra shared that at the time, she could not even cry at the death of her fifth-oldest sibling because she thought about how much more difficult it would be for her parents.
There was a time I had to say goodbye to my younger brother. At that time, when I came home, I couldn’t cry because I thought about how difficult it was for my parents… They’re my parents, but they are someone’s children too, and I thought about how they need someone to lean on, too. I thought they needed someone sturdy supporting them, so I endured it with all my might. I would cry somewhere else that’s not home.
— Nam Bo Ra
The young actress shared on JTBC‘s reality show Secret Sister in 2018 that after her younger brother’s passing, she attended morning prayer every day, praying for help. Stating that every Christmas is not a happy time for her, the actress struggled a lot after the tragedy.
Earlier this year, Nam Bo Ra officially re-started her YouTube channel in February. Since then, she has uploaded vlogs, makeup videos, and other content. She also revealed that she started her clean care brand, Muhas, in 2020 while acting. With her business, she donated to and sponsored single mothers with her hand sanitizers with pure ingredients, and beyond just financial support, she also launched a campaign to raise awareness of single-parent families.
In her first YouTube video, Nam Bo Ra revealed that her sixth sibling, Nam Hwi Ho, was diagnosed with developmental disabilities. She explained that he didn’t get a disability rating for a long time because he was on the borderline. After two or three months of visiting multiple hospitals to prove he does have a disability, Hwi Ho finally received a disability rating.
On July 3, Nam Bo Ra recently attended Hwi Ho’s barista skills competition for people with developmental disabilities as his “manager.” In a video titled, “The Life Of A K-Eldest Daughter…? The Busy Eldest Daughter’s Vlog,” Nam Bo Ra showed the process of her brother preparing for and getting an award after his barista competition, where she supported and encouraged her brother.
Juggling her acting career, taking on the responsibility as the oldest sister, and running her own business, Nam Bo Ra is as busy as ever. She will appear in a K-Drama called Hyo Shim’s Independent Life in September of this year, starring actors UIE and Ha Jun.