- People magazine has selected 32 different men for its coveted title of Sexiest Man Alive.
- Mel Gibson was the first to receive the title in 1985.
- Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Richard Gere have each received the title twice.
- Michael B. Jordan is People’s newly crowned Sexiest Man Alive for 2020.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Since 1985, People magazine has selected 32 different men for its coveted title of Sexiest Man Alive.
From Mel Gibson to 2020’s honoree Michael B. Jordan, here they all are in chronological order.
1985: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson was named People’s first-ever Sexiest Man Alive after his star-making turn in the original “Mad Max” trilogy.
1986: Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon received the second annual honour – largely thanks to his starring roles on two hit shows, “St. Elsewhere” and “Moonlighting.”
1987: Harry Hamlin
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.
1988: John F. Kennedy Jr.
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.
1989: Sean Connery
Sean Connery was 59 when he scored the coveted cover, making him the oldest Sexiest Man Alive to date.
1990: Tom Cruise
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.”
1991: Patrick Swayze
In 1991, Patrick Swayze had become one of Hollywood’s favourite leading men thanks to “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost.” The actor died in 2009.
1992: Nick Nolte
In 1992, People explained Nick Nolte’s appeal as his being a “big-lug Adonis with the heart of gold.”
1993: Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford
In 1993, People forwent the Sexiest Man Alive cover in favour of naming a Sexiest Couple Alive. The magazine chose newly married couple Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere, who split one year later.
Keanu Reeves was retroactively named 1994’s Sexiest Man Alive.
Keanu Reeves never technically scored a cover; People never picked a Sexiest Man Alive in 1994.
But the magazine’s editorial director retroactively bestowed the “Speed” star with People’s honour in 2015.
1995: Brad Pitt
A long-haired Brad Pitt made the 1995 People cover after his much-celebrated starring roles in “Legends of the Fall” and “Interview With the Vampire.”
1996: Denzel Washington
1997: George Clooney
George Clooney secured his first Sexiest Man title while portraying the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on “ER.”
1998: Harrison Ford
1999: Richard Gere
When 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.”
2000: Brad Pitt
In 2000, 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.
2001: Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan was known as James Bond when he landed on People’s coveted cover.
2002: Ben Affleck
“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.”
2003: Johnny Depp
He has since fallen out of favour with many fans – though, considering his starring role in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise,not with Hollywood. In 2016, Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard, a claim that she continues to maintain. He denies it.
2004: Jude Law
Jude Law, another future “Harry Potter” film star, 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.
2005: Matthew McConaughey
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.”
2006: George Clooney
Clooney became the third man, after Pitt and Gere, to win People’s honour twice.
2007: Matt Damon
Matt Damon was given the title after his third “Bourne” movie rocked the box office.
2008: Hugh Jackman
2009: Johnny Depp
Depp landed on his second cover on the heels of his role in “Alice in Wonderland.”
2010: Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds’ forthcoming role in “Green Lantern” – and his self-deprecating humour – 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.
2011: Bradley Cooper
“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.
2012: Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum nabbed the cover after his star-making turns in “Magic Mike,” “The Vow,” and “21 Jump Street.”
2013: Adam Levine
Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine became the first musician and second nonactor – out of only five total – to grace People’s Sexiest Man Alive cover.
2014: Chris Hemsworth
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 theatres the year before.
2015: David Beckham
Despite being the first and only athlete to be honoured with the annual cover, David Beckham told People, “I never feel that I’m an attractive, sexy person.”
2016: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Former professional wrestler and current actor Dwayne Johnson became the second man of colour to be named Sexiest Man Alive after his celebrated voiceover role in “Moana.”
2017: Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton is the second musician ever to be given People’s highest honour (after his costar on “The Voice”).
The decision to pick Shelton, however, did not go over well.
2018: Idris Elba
Idris Elba is the third man of colour to be given the honour. He rose to fame for his role as Baltimore drug kingpin Stringer Bell on HBO’s “The Wire” in the early 2000s.
The 47-year-old actor also appeared in multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe films as the keeper of the Asgardian bridge, Heimdall. There has even been a fan-fuelled 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.”
2019: John Legend
John Legend is only the fourth man of colour 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!”
2020: Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan is the fifth man of colour to receive People’s honour.
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.
“When my grandmother was alive, it was something that she collected, and then my mum 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.”