If you’re an Airen, you’re most likely going to remember Kim Ja Ok as one of the senior actresses who went to Croatia on tvN’s ‘Noonas over Flowers’. Sadly, she passed away early Sunday morning at 7:40am KST due to complications from lung cancer. She was 63 years young. She was originally diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery to treat it in 2008. She also underwent chemotherapy in the last years of her acting career. However, it had spread to her lungs, and very shortly after she was hospitalized for complications on November 13th, the world lost a great actress on the morning of Sunday, November 16th KST.
Lee Seung Gi and Kim Ja Ok shared a special bond together as their lives crossed paths on last year’s variety show, ‘Noonas over Flowers’ directed by Na PD. She was hesitant to go but was urged by long time friend and Sunbae, Actress Yoon Yeo Jung, to accompany her on the trip. The other two actresses who joined them were hoobaes, Kim Hee Ae and Lee Mi Yeon. Kim Ja Ok held a motherly affection for Seung Gi and said in an interview on the show, “When I see Lee Seung Gi, I am reminded of my son”. She also said to Seung Gi,”You’re like my son”. Many insiders expressed their sadness at the fact that she left this world without being able to attend her son’s wedding set for next March. Lee Seung Gi appeared at her mortuary this afternoon at Catholic University’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Seoul, Banpo-dong to offer his condolences. According to press articles, he was teary eyed and red. He was solemn and his expression was of one in mourning.
Lee Seung Gi was quoted as leaving a brief statement. “I’m sorry that I was very busy.” Due to his tight schedule, the press said he arrived at 4:27 pm KST and spent 20 minutes before leaving the hospital at 4:47 pm KST. Netizens said,”The friendly image between Lee Seung Gi and the late Kim Ja Ok makes me feel sadder” , “Lee Seung Gi’s shock upon hearing the news of Kim Ja Ok’s passing must also be great”, “I hope that Kim Ja Ok is in a better place”, “That time (on NoF) was so heart warming and nice”. etc. were some of the reactions.
The Official Noonas over Flowers Facebook page posted a message today which was very touching. I will close this post with their tribute and a few links on her acting career and life which was cut so short. ㅠㅠ
Credit: Official Noonas over Flowers Facebook Page
“Although we can’t hide our pain and sorrow, we were really happy to have been able to be together with you, Ja Ok Noona. How nice it would be if the words you spoke about; positivity, courage, and happiness would be relayed to more people.
May you rest in peace.”
Korean to English translation by Elise Min, Lee Seung Gi Forever