|Ken Theeradej Wongpuapan|
(Sudsapda Magazine, 2007)
Theeradej Wongpuapan, also known as Ken, is an actor and model in Thailand. Having fan bases in most of the Southeast Asian countries, Australia, the United States, China and some parts of Europe, he is easily the most well-known and respected actor of Thailand. Winning the Best Actor category at Top Awards (one of the most anticipated award shows in Thailand) for two straight years in 2005 and 2006, Ken's career is still on the rise. This year (2008) he also received the Best Actor Award from Nine Entertainment Awards, where he was up against his senior actors. Along with the awards for acting, he has also received many awards for his humble and respectful personality. He was named Gentleman of the Year (2008) by TV Pool and The Press Favorite (2007) by Star Entertainment.
Ken was born on December 3, 1977 to a delightful family consisting of his mother, father and an older sister. His family was very close and, as a child, he traveled with his family on many adventures. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree at Brooks Institute of Photography in California, Ken returned to Thailand to begin his acting career. As his career sky rocketed, it enabled him to travel to places he'd never been. In some places he saw many children living side by side with poverty and disease. This touched him deeply because growing up as a child he felt he was very fortunate. He was saddened that these children didn't have an opportunity for a life like his.
Ken began to consistently hold fundraising events to gather donations for the children of Thailand. In 2007, Ken starred in a short film titled, "The Office," which he single-handedly produced and directed. The film also starred beloved leading actress Janie Thienphosuvan and talented senior actress Mew Lalita. The film was a big success as fans and celebrities both lined up for the premier. All the profits from the movie were donated to help build schools for children in areas of need.
In March of 2008, Channel 3 of Thailand aired a soap opera starring Ken and leading actress Ann Thongprasom titled, "Sawan Biang" (Heaven Diversion). The character of Kawee, played by Ken, caught viewers' attention with his devilish rebellion to call out for his father's love. Thai soap operas had never displayed such an emotional relationship between father and son before. Many Thai citizens were glad that a problem in today's society was being depicted on screen. Sawan Biang brought in record breaking ratings for Channel 3. Following the success of Sawan Biang, Ken and his leading actress, Ann Thongprasom, decided to join UNICEF and became Thailand's Youth Ambassadors later that year. During a press conference, they both stated that this was the perfect time for them to join UNICEF because they knew their popularity would draw people's attention to the challenges facing children in Thailand.
|Ken and Ann at UNICEF Press Conference|
Ken's first mission with UNICEF was to help projects in the province of Krabi. He taught the locals how to improve early childcare and educated them about HIV and AIDS. He also helped establish safe environments for children who have been victims of violence and abuse. Then Ken traveled to Ban Nop to help finish up the newly built early childcare center. He, along with the children, finished painting the new washrooms. Lastly, Ken visited areas that were destroyed during the tsunami in 2004.
|At Ban Nop Early Childcare Center|
In the beginning of 2008, Ken broke many fans' hearts when he announced his marriage to his girlfriend of eight years, Noi Bossakorn Punnawes. Then on August 17, 2008 Ken received a role he'd never taken on before, and that was the role of a father. Being a father and having his own son, Ken confessed, has completed him. He stated that having a child of his own made him understand better the needs of a son, the needs of a father and the needs of a child. There is no doubt, with a child of his own and a new understanding of children, Ken Theeradeth will continue to help the children in need.
|Ken with his wife Noi|
Ken is my hero because he takes advantage of his popularity to give back to his country instead of using it in a negative way. Many people say that children are always the ones to suffer when an adult figure in their life does something wrong. I believe Ken agrees with this as well and that is why he devotes his time to helping children. I, too, personally love children very much and it always saddens me greatly whenever I see a child suffering. I hope to become someone like Ken in the future.