Korean author and founder of UNIMA-Korea (see Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA)). After studying pharmacy, Lee Kyung-hee participated, from 1956 to 1976, in a number of radio and television programmes. An author appreciated by Korean readers, she wrote daily in English in the Korea Herald and became known for her support of theatre arts and cultural activities. Her interest in the neglected art of puppetry arose during this period.
Lee Kyung-hee founded UNIMA-Korea in September 1979 and served as its first president (1979-1980). She organized a number of puppet festivals in Korea. In 2005, she was made honorary president of UNIMA-Korea; she also served as a member of the UNIMA Executive Committee (1984-1988).
In April 1979, Lee Kyung-hee created the Marionette Theatre Orit-Kwangdae (Eolit Gwangdae) and staged a number of performances including Yangju Byeolsandae (at the Space theatre in 1980), the first adaptation to puppet theatre of the Korean mask dance of the same name (Yangju Byeolsandae is registered as a Korean intangible cultural treasure No. 2). She edited the quarterly journal Kkoktu-geuk (Puppet Play) which appeared three times a year in Korean and English, the only publication dedicated to Korean puppetry.
Lee Kyung-hee actively worked for puppetry, and her position in the history of the art is important not only due to her passion and efforts which raised the attention among intellectuals toward puppetry, which in turn promoted the familiarity of the Korean public with puppet theatre, but she also made it possible for Korean audiences and puppeteers to experience diverse forms of puppetry art from abroad through festivals and performance exchanges.