Soon-Yi Previn Biography

Soon-Yi Previn is an American actor best known for her controversial relationship with filmmaker Woody Allen. As the adopted daughter of Allen’s former girlfriend Mia Farrow, their union has faced significant criticism. Previn’s journey from being abandoned as a child in South Korea to her education at Columbia University and small roles in films like ‘Scenes from a Mall’ and ‘Wild Man Blues’ is a testament to her resilience. Despite the controversy surrounding their relationship, Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn married in 1997, making headlines and sparking ongoing discussions in Hollywood.

Quick Facts

  • South Korean Celebrities Born In October Also Known As: Oh Soon-heeAge: 53 Years, 53 Year Old Females
  • Family:Spouse/Ex-: Woody Allen (m. 1997)father: André Previnmother: Mia Farrowsiblings: Claudia Previn, Daisy Previn, Fletcher Previn, Frankie-Minh Farrow, Isaiah Justus Farrow, Kaeli-Sha Farrow, Lark Previn, Lovely Previn, Matthew Previn, Moses Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Sascha Previn, Tam Farrow, Thaddeus Wilk Farrowchildren: Bechet Allen, Manzie Tio AllenBorn Country: South Korea
  • Ancestry: South Korean AmericanNotable Alumni: Teachers College, Columbia University, Rider University, Drew UniversityCity: Seoul, South KoreaMore Factseducation: Drew University, Rider University, Teachers College, Columbia University

Childhood & Early Life

Soon-Yi Previn was born on October 8, 1970, in Seoul, South Korea. Although her actual birth date has never been confirmed, several documents, such as her passport, claim that she was born in 1970. The identity of her parents is unknown, but it is said that she was born to a prostitute in Korea.

Previn spent the initial years of her life in a hellish environment. Her mother was a maniac who beat her up badly and often slammed her head on a door. Previn was abandoned by her mother when she was 6 years old. She spent the next few months on the roads of Seoul, among the homeless. She ate from trash cans and slept wherever she could find a place to rest.

Luckily, she soon met Hollywood actor Mia Farrow. Mia was known in Hollywood as one of the most philanthropically active stars and had already adopted many kids from poor countries. Mia was married to musician André Previn at that time, and the couple came across a little homeless child on the streets of Seoul. They immediately decided to adopt her.

However, the adoption process was not easy. The US government only allowed two visas per family for international adoption. Miffed by this and determined to bring Previn home, Mia requested her friends to use their political influence to propose a change in the bill. In 1977, the law was finally changed, and Mia finally brought Previn home.

Life in America

The new life in America was comfortable for Soon-Yi Previn when it came to food, shelter, and clothing. However, she struggled with her academics. Years of physical and mental abuse had left her with learning disabilities that were severe enough for her to need psychological counseling. It turned out that the scars of her traumatic life in Korea had not healed.

Moreover, she did not speak English, and her learning disability made her a very slow learner. However, she soon showed immense progress. Mia chose Rose Styron to be Previn’s godmother. Previn attended the ‘Marymount School’ in New York and then joined ‘Rider University.’ She then attended ‘Drew University’ and earned her master’s degree in special education from ‘Columbia University.’

Mia Farrow was one of the muses of acclaimed filmmaker Woody Allen, who cast her in several of his films. The couple eventually started dating in 1979, after Mia divorced her husband André. As they started dating, they continued to work together. Woody ended up adopting two of Mia’s children: Dylan Farrow and Moses Farrow. Previn stayed back with her foster father, André, but stayed in touch with Mia, too. She also played small roles in some of Woody’s films, such as ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ and ‘Scenes from a Mall.’

For a long time after Mia’s divorce from André, Previn did not maintain any contact with Woody. They had not interacted with each other much. As an adult, in 1990, Previn once invited him to a game, where they started interacting. Their relationship soon turned intimate. Woody’s relationship with Mia, too, continued, and Mia did not have any clue that Woody and Previn were getting attracted to each other.

Relationship with Woody Allen

Soon-Yi Previn and Woody started dating toward late 1991. Mia discovered their relationship when she found naked photos of Previn in Woody’s room. When she asked Woody about the photos, he replied saying that he had taken those two weeks ago when Previn and he had had their first sexual encounter. This shocked Mia, as Woody was technically Previn’s stepfather.

This revelation ended Mia and Woody’s long-term relationship, and they both decided to fight the case in court and hired lawyers. In the summer of 1992, Previn was fired as a camp counselor because she was seen talking too much over the phone, with a certain “Mr. Simon.” “Mr. Simon” later turned out to be Woody himself. In August 1992, Woody’s relationship with Previn became public.

Mia was not the one to take it lying down, and on August 4, 1992, Mia alleged that Woody had sexually assaulted Dylan, one of her daughters. She further stated that Woody often visited her house when no one was around. The charges were, however, dropped when test results proved that Dylan had never been sexually assaulted. Woody started court proceedings to get the custody of his biological son with Mia, Satchel, and two of Mia’s adopted children, whom he had later adopted, including Dylan.

When the legal troubles ended, Woody and Previn started living together and eventually got married in December 1997 during a trip to Venice. The couple then adopted two children: Manzie and Bechet. The family currently lives in Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.


The relationship that Woody and Soon-Yi Previn share with each other has been under perpetual criticism by the moral police of the society. Inviting further backlash, Woody claimed in an interview that the father–child relationship they both shared with each other had played a great role in strengthening their relationship.

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