Here’s Every Star Who’s Been Named People’s Sexiest Man Alive
It’s almost that time of year again! On Nov. 7, People will crown this year’s Sexiest Man Alive. If you’re wondering how the publication makes its choice, according to People’s former Editor in Chief Dan Wakeford, the magazine makes its selection not only based on a celebrity’s looks but also their overall demeanor.
“Being sexy is about being decent, intelligent, funny, and talented,” Wakeford previously told CNN. He added that someone “who creates buzz” is a requirement and that sometimes who they’re in a relationship with may give them bonus points.
While everyone is wondering who will be the next recipient, take a trip down memory lane by seeing all the past winners, including Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, and more.
Paul Rudd, 2021
Paul Rudd has always been a heartthrob. The actor first stole our hearts while playing a cute college boy named Josh in “Clueless,” and our love for him only grew after seeing him take on the role of loveable dad Scott Lang in the Ant-Man franchise.
Michael B. Jordan, 2020
While naming him Sexiest Man Alive, People described Michael B. Jordan as “dashing, driven, and daring,” and that seems extremely accurate. The star has become one of the biggest actors in Hollywood due to his roles as Killmonger in “Black Panther” and Donnie Creed in the Creed franchise.
John Legend, 2019
John Legend has won countless awards throughout his career, including an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, making him one of the few artists to ever receive EGOT status. In 2019, he added Sexiest Man Alive to his long list of achievements. At the time, he said he was “excited” but a “little scared” to receive the title since it came with a lot of pressure. “Everyone’s going to be picking me apart to see if I’m sexy enough to hold this title,” he told People. However, he had nothing to worry about.
Idris Elba, 2018
Idris Elba has been a part of massive franchises like Star Trek, Fast & Furious, and Avengers. Next, fans hope to see him take on the highly coveted role of James Bond, and it’s easy to see why so many people envision him as the iconic character: he’s handsome, suave, and one heck of a talented actor.
Blake Shelton, 2017
Since 2011, Blake Shelton has made us swoon every week as a host on “The Voice,” which is why we’re sad to see him go after season 23. His witty sense of humor and undeniable charm are what made us love him so much. Of course, when he was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, he made light of the title by saying, “Y’all must be running out of people.”
Dwayne Johnson, 2016
Besides being one of the biggest action stars around, Dwayne Johnson is known for his ultragood looks, impressive muscles, and down-to-earth personality. It’s no wonder the “Black Adam” star earned the title of Sexiest Man Alive.
David Beckham, 2015
In 2015, People named David Beckham the Sexiest Man Alive – and quite frankly, we’re shocked it took that long. The former British soccer star made the announcement while appearing on an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that year. He called it “the best moment” of his career and even thanked his parents for “bringing me into this world.” Between his ripped body and adorable family moments, he’s pretty much perfect.
Chris Hemsworth, 2014
Chris Hemsworth was crowned Sexiest Man Alive in 2014, and we have plenty of undeniable evidence that he deserved the title. As the husband of Elsa Pataky and father of three, Hemsworth is a superhero stud who’s blown us away with his role as the God of Thunder in the Thor films.
Adam Levine, 2013
The Maroon 5 singer and former “The Voice” coach was crowned 2013’s Sexiest Man Alive. He was the first musician to earn the title and only the second nonactor after John F. Kennedy Jr.
Channing Tatum, 2012
Channing Tatum first danced his way into our screens in 2006 with his sexy role as Tyler Gage in “Step Up.” While he continued to make us melt in movies like “Dear John” and “G.I. Joe: The Rose of Cobra,” he really showed us what he’s got with his roles in “Magic Mike,” “21 Jump Street,” and “The Vow,” which rightfully earned him the title of Sexiest Man Alive that year.
Bradley Cooper, 2011
Bradley Cooper took the Sexiest Man Alive title in 2011 following his roles in “Limitless” and “The Hangover Part II” that year. Since then, his heartthrob status has only grown with his roles in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “A Star Is Born,” especially after giving a jaw-dropping performance of “Shallow” at the 2019 Oscars.
Ryan Reynolds, 2010
In 2010, Ryan Reynolds became the first Canadian Sexiest Man Alive. He received the title following numerous award show nominations for his previous year’s roles in “The Proposal” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” – more than one of which had to do with kissing his costar Sandra Bullock. Like many of the other past winners, Reynolds was part of an all-star couple at the time, having recently married Scarlett Johansson. Although they split at the end of 2010, Reynolds has since gone on to marry Blake Lively, and they’re currently expecting their fourth child.
Johnny Depp, 2009
In 2009, Johnny Depp earned his second Sexiest Man Alive title after starring in “Public Enemies” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”
Hugh Jackman, 2008
Hugh Jackman became the second Australian to be named Sexiest Man Alive in 2008, because we know that accent helps get your foot in the sexy door! After showing off his ferociously hot side as Wolverine in the X-Men movies in the 2000s, he continued to make his mark on the movie industry in 2008 with his roles in the erotic thriller “Deception” and the adventure flick “Australia.” And who could forget his sultry voice as the narrator of “The Burning Season” that year?
Matt Damon, 2007
Matt Damon had a lot to smile about in 2007. Not only was he part of two hefty film franchises at the time – “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” – but Forbes named him the most bankable star of the year, with an average of $29 at the box office for every dollar he earned for his last three films. To top it all off, Damon also received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was crowned Sexiest Man Alive.
George Clooney, 2006
George Clooney nabbed his second win in 2006 while he was in between Ocean’s movies – the franchise that has dominated the Sexiest Man Alive pool. That year, he starred in the crime film “The Good German” and won an Oscar for his role in the political thriller “Syriana.” As one of the hottest philanthropists in Hollywood, Clooney was heavily involved in advocating a resolution of the Darfur conflict that year. He even spoke at a 2006 Save Darfur rally in Washington DC and spent time in Chad and Sudan with his father to make a TV documentary about Darfur’s refugees.
Matthew McConaughey, 2005
Before he’d strip it all off in “Magic Mike,” Matthew McConaughey and his ripped abs made us swoon in romantic comedies like “The Wedding Planner” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” But it wasn’t until 2005 that McConaughey won the Sexiest Man Alive title. That year, the actor took to the wilderness in his action-adventure film “Sahara” and reportedly took a 6,000-mile road trip across the United States to promote the film. Maybe his adventurous spirit earned him the No. 1 spot?
Jude Law, 2004
Jude Law was the first Englishman to be dubbed Sexiest Man Alive. Law had a very busy year in 2004 when he won. He starred in six movies, including the romantic films “Closer” and “Alfie.” Those movies alone gave him the title, in our opinion. He’s since become more of a household name with his roles in “Sherlock Holmes” and “Fantastic Beasts.”
Johnny Depp, 2003
The first of two times Depp earned the Sexiest Man Alive title was in 2003, the year he starred in “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
Ben Affleck, 2002
Sure, Ben Affleck had shown us that he had romantic leading-man material in “Pearl Harbor” prior to snagging the Sexiest Man Alive title in 2002. And sure, he had a busy year starring in “The Third Wheel,” “The Sum of All Fears,” and “Changing Lanes.” But we all know what put him over the edge in 2002: Affleck started dating Jennifer Lopez while filming “Gigli” and became engaged to her shortly after. Although they broke up, Affleck and Lopez got back together nearly 20 years later in April 2021 and officially tied the knot in July 2022.
Pierce Brosnan, 2001
After Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan became the second winner to have played Bond, James Bond, and the first Irish Sexiest Man Alive in 2001. His win came after he portrayed another sexy spy in “The Tailor of Panama,” but he really heated things up in his four Bond films from 1995 to 2002. It was also a lucky year in love for Brosnan, who married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001 and has been with her ever since.
Brad Pitt, 2000
Brad Pitt became the first two-time solo Sexiest Man Alive winner in 2000, the same year he married Jennifer Aniston. Having starred in “Fight Club” the year prior and “Snatch” the year he won, Pitt would go on to be in “Ocean’s Eleven” – a movie that seems to be a good-luck charm for the Sexiest Man Alive title.
Richard Gere, 1999
This was a great year for Richard Gere. He became the first two-time winner and had his handprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The “Pretty Woman” actor also starred alongside Julia Roberts again in “Runaway Bride.” His charity work and meeting with the Dalai Lama were other highlights that year. A major supporter of AIDS awareness and global peace initiatives, Gere also created the Gere Foundation India Trust in 1999 to establish humanitarian programs in India.
Harrison Ford, 1998
It was many years after Harrison Ford made us swoon as Han Solo and Indiana Jones when he finally earned his Sexiest Man Alive accolade in 1998, which was the same year he starred in the action-adventure comedy “Six Days, Seven Nights.” The film earned him a People’s Choice Award. At age 56, Ford became the second-oldest Sexiest Man Alive winner.
George Clooney, 1997
Clooney likely won his first of two sexiest awards thanks to his steamy doctor role on “ER” from 1994 to 1999, plus a little thing we like to call the Batman effect (not to mention his sense of humor). The actor won the title the same year he starred as the caped crusader in “Batman & Robin.” Paging Dr. Clooney!
Denzel Washington, 1996
Denzel Washington was the first Black man to be named Sexiest Man Alive in 1996. That year, he starred in the war film “Courage Under Fire” and the comedy-drama “The Preacher’s Wife,” but he really wowed us all with his powerful roles in his previous films like “Malcolm X” and “Philadelphia.”
Brad Pitt, 1995
Pitt won his first of two sexiest awards in 1995 while he was dating Gwyneth Paltrow. (That all-star-couple element seems to be a ticket into the sexy club.) That year, he also starred in the sci-fi film “Twelve Monkeys” and psychological thriller “Se7en,” but he was clearly in the running for the title after his sexy roles the previous year in the Western drama “Legends of the Fall” and the horror film “Interview With the Vampire.”
Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford, 1993
In 1993, People mixed things up by doing Sexiest Couple instead of Sexiest Man. Gere and his supermodel wife at the time, Cindy Crawford, won the title the same year he starred in “Mr. Jones” and “Sommersby” and she was the host of MTV’s “House of Style.” Unfortunately, by the end of the year, Gere and Crawford split.
Nick Nolte, 1992
Nick Nolte won Sexiest Man Alive in 1992, which was the same year he starred in the drama film “Lorenzo’s Oil.” He had one of his most successful films the year prior by starring in the romantic drama “The Prince of Tides” with Barbra Streisand. The movie earned him his first Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award.
Patrick Swayze, 1991
Action-star roles seem to be a recurring theme among winners, like Patrick Swayze’s role alongside Keanu Reeves in “Point Break.” The film dropped the same year Swayze was named Sexiest Man Alive. But what probably sealed his fate was playing a steamy spirit in 1990’s “Ghost,” which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Well, it was either that or his infamous Chippendales “Saturday Night Live” sketch with Chris Farley!
Tom Cruise, 1990
For Tom Cruise, earning the Sexiest Man Alive title was about being a part of an all-star couple and starring in award-winning movies. In 1990, he starred in the sports-action drama “Days of Thunder,” where his onscreen love interest happened to be his new wife at the time, Nicole Kidman (whom he married that same year). He also earned several accolades that year – including a Golden Globe, People’s Choice Award, and Academy Award nomination – for his role as a real-life paralyzed Vietnam War veteran in 1989’s “Born on the Fourth of July.”
Sean Connery, 1989
When Sean Connery won in 1989, he became the first winner to have played James Bond on the big screen, a role that would lend itself to the sexiest title. Although it had been years since Connery donned his signature spy suit, he proved that even at 59, he still had it – becoming the oldest person to ever win (and the first one hailing from Scotland).
John F. Kennedy Jr., 1988
If you’re an athletic, single Kennedy with a career in law, you probably have a shot at the sexiest title. When “John-John” was named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1988, he was all of the above, and the political royalty was the first nonactor to ever win.
Harry Hamlin, 1987
Playing a hot TV doctor is one way to win; another way is to play a hot TV lawyer. Harry Hamlin may have starred in the movie “Laguna Heat” in 1987, but where his chiseled good looks really came in handy was on “L.A. Law,” where he played Michael Kuzak for the first five seasons of the TV show.
Mark Harmon, 1986
Long before Mark Harmon was Leroy Jethro Gibbs on “NCIS,” he was the hot doc of medical drama “St. Elsewhere.” His womanizing plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Caldwell, left the show after nearly three seasons when he was one of the first major TV characters to contract HIV through unprotected sex. Harmon continued to have a good year in 1986, starring in two TV movies, “Prince of Bel Air” and “The Deliberate Stranger,” as well as the film “Let’s Get Harry.”