A Complete List of People’s Sexiest Man Alive List By Year

Paul Rudd is creating quite a buzz. The Ant-Man star isn’t known for causing drama, and this time it’s not really his fault. He was recently named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The title is awarded yearly to someone in the entertainment industry. Rudd is far from the only actor to make the list. Here’s a look at all the men People has named Sexiest Man Alive over the years, according to Insider

Paul Rudd poses on the red carpet.
Paul Rudd | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The Sexiest Man Alive was first awarded in 1985

In 1985, People named their very first Sexiest Man Alive. The title went to Mel Gibson, who was in his prime at the time. He was fresh off the Mad Max trilogy, in which he starred. The post-apocalyptic movie obviously required Gibson to have serious muscle definition. At the time, Gibson was an easy choice for the award. He was traditionally handsome by the tastes of the time, and he was a rising star. 

A list of all People’s Sexiest Men

After Gibson, People continued their tradition of naming a Sexiest Man every year. Here are all the winners, in chronological order: 

  1. Mel Gibson- 1985
  2. Mark Harmon- 1986
  3. Harry Hamlin- 1987
  4. John F. Kennedy, Jr- 1988
  5. Sean Connery- 1989
  6. Tom Cruise- 1990
  7. Patrick Swayze- 1991
  8. Nick Nolte- 1992
  9. Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford- 1993. This is the first year People broke from tradition. Instead of naming a Sexiest Man, they declared Gere and Crawford the Sexiest Couple. 
  10. Keanu Reeves- 1994. Technically, Reves was never named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The magazine took a break in 1994, and didn’t name anyone. Reeves was named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1994 retroactively in 2015. The rising star had starred in Speed in 1994, so it makes sense that would have been his year. 
  11. Brad Pitt- 1995
  12. Denzel Washington- 1996. Washington was the first Black man to be named Sexiest Man Alive.
  13. George Clooney- 1997
  14. Harrison Ford- 1998
  15. Richard Gere- 1999. Gere was already on People’s cover as part of the Sexiest Couple, and in 1999 he got his own, solo cover. 
  16. Brad Pitt– 2000. Pitt was the first man to get Sexiest Man Alive twice, once in 1995, then again in 2000. 
  17. Pierce Brosnan- 2001
  18. Ben Affleck- 2002
  19. Johnny Depp- 2003
  20. Jude Law- 2004
  21. Matthew McConaughey- 2005
  22. George Clooney– 2006. He was the second man to get Sexiest Man Alive twice. Gere doesn’t technically count since his first award was for Sexiest Couple. 
  23. Matt Damon- 2007
  24. Hugh Jackman- 2008
  25. Johnny Depp- 2009. People was accustomed to recycling Sexiest Men by 2009, when they gave Depp his second Sexiest Man Alive award. 
  26. Ryan Reynolds– 2010
  27. Bradley Cooper- 2011
  28. Channing Tatum- 2012
  29. Adam Levine- 2013
  30. Chris Hemsworth- 2014
  31. David Beckham- 2015
  32. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson- 2016. A full 21 years after People began the Sexiest Man Alive tradition, and Johnson became only the second man of color to get a cover. 
  33. Blake Shelton- 2017
  34. Idris Elba- 2018
  35. John Legend- 2019
  36. Michael B. Jordan- 2020
  37. Paul Rudd- 2021

Paul Rudd is this year’s winner

Rudd announced his accolade on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I’d be picked for this, they would say, ‘What?’ ” Rudd told People in his cover story. “This is not false humility. There are so many people that should get this before me.”

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

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