Byun In-chul was born in Jangseong County, South Jeolla Province, and attended Salesian High School in Gwangju. He took up Law at Chosun University before dropping out to pursue acting. Byun entered the MBC actor’s auditions in 1965, and made his acting debut in 1970. A year later in 1971, he became a regular on the landmark police proceduralChief Inspector. He began using the stage name Byun Hee-bong in 1977. Throughout the 1970s, he became known on TV as a character actor who played eccentric men who didn’t quite fit in with mainstream Korean society. He transitioned to the big screen in the 1980s, and earlier in his film career, starred in the classic Lee Doo-yong film Eunuch (1986) and A Surrogate Father (1993).