All 35 guys who have been named People's Sexiest Man Alive

mel gibson patrick dempsey
Mel Gibson in 1985 and Patrick Dempsey in 2023.Ron Galella Collection/Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images
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  • People magazine has awarded 35 men the coveted title of Sexiest Man Alive.

  • Mel Gibson was the first to receive the SMA title in 1985. Patrick Dempsey currently holds the crown.

  • Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Richard Gere have each been selected twice.

2023: Patrick Dempsey

patrick dempsey people sexiest man alive
Patrick Dempsey attends a 2023 red carpet; Dempsey's People cover in 2023.Maria Moratti/Getty Images; People

Patrick Dempsey starred as Derek Shepherd, aka "McDreamy," for 11 seasons on "Grey's Anatomy." The role drew a passionate following, including many supporters of his character's will-they-won't-they relationship with Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo.

Although Dempsey had been featured in People's Sexiest Man Alive issue several times before, he didn't take the crown until 2023, eight years after he left the hit show.

"I'm glad it's happening at this point in my life," he told People of the honor. "It's nice to have the recognition, and certainly my ego takes a little bump, but it gives me the platform to use it for something positive."

The actor founded The Dempsey Center to make comprehensive cancer treatment more accessible. He has also starred in beloved movies like "Sweet Home Alabama," "Enchanted," and its 2022 sequel "Disenchanted."

2022: Chris Evans

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Chris Evans attends a 2022 premiere; Evans' People cover in 2022.Tristar Media/WireImage; People

Chris Evans is best known for playing Captain America in the MCU, although he officially hung up his shield following "Avengers: Endgame" in 2019.

He has also starred in celebrated films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," "Snowpiercer," and "Knives Out."

"This whole thing is tough to be interviewed about. It feels like a weird form of humble bragging," he told People of the honor.

"My mom will be so happy," he added. "She's proud of everything I do but this is something she can really brag about."

2021: Paul Rudd

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Paul Rudd attends a 2021 premiere; Rudd's People cover in 2021.Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images; People

Paul Rudd's breakthrough role came in 1995, starring opposite Alicia Silverstone in the popular coming-of-age drama "Clueless."

He rose through Hollywood primarily as a comedic actor, starring in films like "Wet Hot American Summer," "Knocked Up," and "Anchorman." He also portrayed prominent reoccurring characters in beloved TV shows "Friends" and "Parks and Recreation."

More recently, Rudd is widely known for his role as Ant-Man in the MCU, as well as the critically acclaimed Netflix original series "Living With Yourself."

The 52-year-old actor said his wife was "stupefied" when he received People's coveted crown.

"I'm hoping now that I'll finally be invited to some of those sexy dinners with Clooney and Pitt and B Jordan," he told the magazine. "And I figure I'll be on a lot more yachts. I'm excited to expand my yachting life."

He continued: "And I'll probably try to get better at brooding in really soft light. I like to ponder. I think this is going to help me become more inward and mysterious. And I'm looking forward to that."

2020: Michael B. Jordan

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Michael B. Jordan speaks at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020; Jordan's People cover in 2020.Rich Fury/Getty Images / People

Michael B. Jordan is the fifth man of color to receive People's honor.

He first rose to fame playing quarterback Vince Howard on NBC's "Friday Night Lights," but his Hollywood breakthrough came in 2013, when he starred in Ryan Coogler's directorial debut, "Fruitvale Station."

That same year, at 26 years old, he was featured in People's first annual Ones to Watch portfolio.

He has since starred in major blockbuster films, including the 2015 "Rocky" sequel "Creed" and the MCU's 2018 masterpiece "Black Panther."

Jordan has also made his name as a passionate activist and marched in Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020.

At 33, he described his new Sexiest Man Alive title as "a cool feeling."

"When my grandmother was alive, it was something that she collected, and then my mom naturally reads it a lot and my aunts as well," he told People. "This is one that they're definitely going to have a special place for."

2019: John Legend

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John Legend performing in 2019; Legend's People cover in 2019.Paras Griffin/Getty Images / People

John Legend is only the fourth man of color to be chosen and the third-ever musician — all three of whom have starred as coaches on NBC's "The Voice."

The "All Of Me" singer has released five critically renowned R&B albums, two of which have been certified platinum. His Sexiest Man Alive title came shortly after the release of "A Legendary Christmas Deluxe," the deluxe edition of his sixth studio album and first Christmas album.

Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, had an extremely on-brand reaction to her husband's announcement: "all downhill from here," she tweeted.

"She's proud of me," Legend told his fellow coaches on "The Voice." "You know, she makes fun of me almost all the time, but she hasn't even been snarky about this. She's like legit proud of me. I finally impressed my wife!"

2018: Idris Elba

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Idris Elba attends a 2018 premiere; Elba's People cover in 2018.Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage / People

Idris Elba became the third man of color to be given the honor. He rose to fame for his role as Baltimore drug kingpin Stringer Bell on HBO's "The Wire" in the early 2000s.

The actor also appeared in multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe films as the keeper of the Asgardian bridge, Heimdall. There has even been a fan-fueled campaign to crown him as the next James Bond.

"I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?'" Elba told People of being named Sexiest Man Alive. "Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, 'Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.' But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure."

2017: Blake Shelton

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Blake Shelton performing in 2018; Shelton's People cover in 2017.Jason Kempin/Getty Images / People

Blake Shelton is the second musician ever to be given People's highest honor (after his costar on "The Voice").

The decision to pick Shelton, however, did not go over well.

One person quipped: "I don't think he's even the sexiest man named Blake Shelton."

Still, Shelton's love life hasn't seemed to suffer since receiving his Sexiest Man moniker. He and singer Gwen Stefani wed in 2021.

2016: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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Dwayne Johnson in 2018: Johnson's People cover in 2016.Jeff Spicer/Getty Images / People

Former professional wrestler and current actor Dwayne Johnson became the second man of color to be named Sexiest Man Alive after his celebrated voiceover role in "Moana."

When he heard of his Sexiest Man title, he told People, "I said, 'That's awesome.' And then what went through my mind was just how cool and exciting it is. And then I thought, 'Wow, we've pretty much reached the pinnacle.' I'm not quite too sure where we go from here. I've done it all, this is it."

2015: David Beckham

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David Beckham in 2018; Beckham's People cover in 2015.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images / People

Despite being the first and only athlete to be honored with the annual cover, David Beckham told People, "I never feel that I'm an attractive, sexy person."

Beckham's wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, would likely disagree.

In 2019, the Beckhams' son Brooklyn Beckham was also featured in People's 2019 Sexiest Man Alive issue.

"I'm not sure if I want to know that. I don't know if I need to know that," she told Ellen Degeneres on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at the time.

2014: Chris Hemsworth

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Chris Hemsworth in 2018; Hemsworth's People cover in 2014.Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images / People

Chris Hemsworth has stolen hearts as Thor throughout the litany of Marvel's "The Avengers" franchise, which made him a natural pick for 2014's Sexiest Man Alive after "Thor: The Dark World" hit theaters the year before.


2013: Adam Levine

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Adam Levine performing with Maroon 5 in 2016; Levine's People cover in 2013.Kevin Winter/Getty Images / People

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine became the first musician and second nonactor — out of only five total — to grace People's Sexiest Man Alive cover.

Levine made headlines in 2022 after Instagram model Sumner Stroh came forward and said that she'd had an affair with the singer. Stroh said that Levine, in fact, had asked her if he could name his next child with wife Behati Prinsloo "Sumner."

Levine denied having an affair with Stroh but admitted that he had "crossed the line."

Prinsloo and Levine welcomed their third child in January 2023.

2012: Channing Tatum

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Channing Tatum in 2018; Tatum's People cover in 2012.Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images / People

Channing Tatum nabbed the cover after his star-making turns in "Magic Mike," "The Vow," and "21 Jump Street."

2011: Bradley Cooper

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Bradley Cooper in 2018; Cooper's People cover in 2011.Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

"I think it's really cool that a guy who doesn't look like a model can have this," Bradley Cooper told People after being named Sexiest Man Alive.

"I think I'm a decent-looking guy. Sometimes I can look great, and other times I look horrifying," the "Hangover" star said.

2010: Ryan Reynolds

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Ryan Reynolds in 2018; Reynolds' People cover in 2010.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images / People

Ryan Reynolds' forthcoming role in "Green Lantern" — and his self-deprecating humor — helped him become the first Canadian Sexiest Man Alive.

"The most difficult part is going to be organically working this title into a conversation with random strangers," he told the magazine.

2009: Johnny Depp

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Depp in 2017; Depp's second People cover in 2009.John Phillips/Getty Images / People

Johnny Depp landed on his second cover on the heels of his role in "Alice in Wonderland."

2008: Hugh Jackman

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Hugh Jackman in 2018; Jackman's People cover in 2008.Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images / People

Hugh Jackman was named Sexiest Man Alive after his turn as Wolverine in "X-Men: The Last Stand."

2007: Matt Damon

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Matt Damon in 2018; Damon's People cover in 2007.Araya Diaz/Getty Images / People

Matt Damon was given the title after his third "Bourne" movie rocked the box office.

2006: George Clooney

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Clooney in 2018; Clooney's second People cover in 2006.Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images / People

George Clooney became the third man, after Pitt and Gere, to win People's honor twice.

2005: Matthew McConaughey

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Matthew McConaughey in 2018; McConaughey's People cover in 2005.Roy Rochlin/Getty Images / People

Matthew McConaughey scored the cover for People's 20th anniversary of Sexiest Man Alive after he became known for starring in popular romantic comedies, like "The Wedding Planner" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."

2004: Jude Law

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Jude Law in 2018; Law's People cover in 2004.Charley Gallay/Getty Images / People

Jude Law scored People's most famous cover in the early 2000s.

"He's the most beautiful man who ever walked the earth — an absolutely perfect oil painting," Naomi Watts told People in 2004.

2003: Johnny Depp

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Johnny Depp in 2017; Depp's People cover in 2003.Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images / People

In 2003, Depp had charmed the world as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."

He has since fallen out of favor with many fans. Depp has been repeatedly accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard, a claim that she continues to maintain. He denies it.

2002: Ben Affleck

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Ben Affleck in 2017; Affleck's People cover in 2002.Neilson Barnard/Getty Images / People

The world couldn't stop talking about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2002.

"Chicks gravitate to him," Affleck's friend Kevin Smith, a director, told People at the time. "The word on the street is that he's the ideal man, chatty, gorgeous, generous and intelligent."

2001: Pierce Brosnan

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Pierce Brosnan in 2017; Brosnan's People cover in 2001.Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images / People

Pierce Brosnan was known as James Bond when he landed on People's coveted cover.

2000: Brad Pitt

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Pitt in 2017; Pitt's second People cover in 2000.Jason Kempin/Getty Images / People

In 2000, Brad Pitt was already a movie star — but coming off his wedding to Jennifer Aniston and his iconic role in "Fight Club," People decided to bestow Pitt with his second Sexiest Man Alive title.

1999: Richard Gere

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Gere in 2017; Gere's People cover in 1999.Rich Polk/Getty Images / People

When Richard Gere was named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1999, his ex-girlfriend Diane Von Furstenberg spoke glowingly of the decision.

"He walked like a biker, and that attracted me," she told People. "I knew I was going to get my hands on him."

1998: Harrison Ford

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Harrison Ford in 2017; Ford's People cover in 1998.Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images / People

Harrison Ford's 1998 cover recognized his role as a blockbuster heartthrob thanks to "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones."

1997: George Clooney

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George Clooney in 2018; Clooney's People cover in 1997.Kevin Winter/Getty Images / People

Clooney secured his first Sexiest Man title while portraying the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on "ER."

1996: Denzel Washington

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Denzel Washington in 2018; Washington's People cover in 1996.Jenny Anderson/Getty Images / People

Denzel Washington became the first man of color — and the first of only five total — to grace the Sexiest Man Alive cover.

1995: Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt in 2018; Pitt's People cover in 1995.Michael Kovac/Getty Images / People

A long-haired Pitt made the 1995 People cover after his much-celebrated starring roles in "Legends of the Fall" and "Interview With the Vampire."

Keanu Reeves was retroactively named 1994's Sexiest Man Alive.

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Keanu Reeves at the premiere of "John Wick" in 2014.Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Keanu Reeves never technically scored a cover; People never selected a Sexiest Man Alive in 1994.

But the magazine's editorial director retroactively bestowed the "Speed" star with People's honor in 2015.

1993: Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford

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Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere had been together for four years before they tied the knot in 1991.Brenda Chase/Stringer

In 1993, People forwent the Sexiest Man Alive cover in favor of naming a Sexiest Couple Alive. The magazine chose newly married couple Cindy Crawford and Gere, who split one year later.

1992: Nick Nolte

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Nick Nolte in 2012; Nolte's People cover in 1992.Kevin Winter/Getty Images / People

In 1992, People explained Nick Nolte's appeal as his being a "big-lug Adonis with the heart of gold."

1991: Patrick Swayze

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Patrick Swayze in 2004; Swayze's People cover in 1991.Kevin Winter/Getty Images / People

In 1991, Patrick Swayze had become one of Hollywood's favorite leading men thanks to "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost." The actor died in 2009.

1990: Tom Cruise

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Tom Cruise in 2018; Cruise's People cover in 1990.Shannon Finney/Getty Images / People

By 1990, Tom Cruise had already starred in a string of blockbusters, including "Top Gun," "Risky Business," "Rain Man," "Cocktail" and "All the Right Moves."

1989: Sean Connery

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Sean Connery in 2007; Connery's People cover in 1989.Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images / People

Sean Connery was 59 when he scored the coveted cover, making him the oldest Sexiest Man Alive to date.

1988: John F. Kennedy Jr.

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John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1996; Kennedy's People cover in 1988.Anne Sherwood/Getty Images / People

John F. Kennedy Jr. — known in 1988 as political royalty, but something of a rebel — is one of only two winners to have died in the years since his cover. Kennedy was killed in a plane crash in 1999 with his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette.

1987: Harry Hamlin

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Harry Hamlin in 2017; Hamlin's People cover in 1987.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images / People

Harry Hamlin made the cover during his five-year stint on the NBC legal drama "L.A. Law" as attorney Michael Kuzak.

The "Clash of the Titans" actor is now married to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Rinna.

1986: Mark Harmon

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Mark Harmon in 2010; Harmon's People cover in 1986.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images / People

Mark Harmon received the second annual honor — largely thanks to his starring roles on two hit shows, "St. Elsewhere" and "Moonlighting."

1985: Mel Gibson

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Mel Gibson in 2017; Gibson's People cover in 1985.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images / People

Mel Gibson was named People's first-ever Sexiest Man Alive after his star-making turn in the original "Mad Max" trilogy.

In the years since, Gibson has become a controversial figure thanks to rampant anti-Semitism, racist rants, and a recording of him making a death threat against his ex-girlfriend.

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