Though most of us have never met any of these gentlemen, through the magic of Hollywood they’re all our leading men! At one time or another, each man on this list has made us cry, swoon, and laugh (what more could we ask for in a man)?
You may be wondering how People magazine selects the winners of this prestigious title. Editor-in-Cheif, Dan Wakeford, told CNN that they consider several factors. According to Wakeford, the selection process involves more than just identifying a celebrity with a handsome face. Wakeford reports, “This year, we really wanted to choose somebody who is kind, and who is good and is nice.”
So, here is a list of men who are kind, good, and nice, as well as super attractive!
Ryan Reynolds was the first Canadian to win the Sexiest Man Alive title from People magazine. When he was interviewed by the magazine about his title, he said, “The most difficult part is going to be organically working this title into a conversation with random strangers. This gives my family entry into teasing me for the rest of my life.”
Reynolds’ self depricating and delightful humor has served him well since he came on the cinematic scene in the early 1990s. Currently, he’s best known for his roles in Deadpool (2016, 2018), Buried (2010), and The Proposal (2009).
Ladies, if you’re thinking about sliding into his DMs, you might want to hold off–he’s been married to actress Blake Lively since 2010.
When Bradley Cooper won the title in 2011, he told People magazine, “I think it’s really cool that a guy who doesn’t look like a model can have this [title],” the Hangover star told PEOPLE. “I think I’m a decent-looking guy. Sometimes I can look great, and other times I look horrifying.” Yeah, okay Cooper. Whatever.
Since 2011, Cooper has captured our attention and hearts over and over again with his piercing blue eyes and charming authenticity. As an actor he’s best known for his roles in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Sniper (2014), and A Star is Born (2018). As a human being, he’s best known as being “the best.”
Jennifer Lawrence told People, “I forced him to come onto the movie [Serena]. I mean, any male role is going to make me think of Bradley because in my opinion, he’s the best, and I love working with him.”
Year: 1997, 2006
It seems fitting that George Clooney won the title of Sexiest Man Alive twice. Though we think it’s an embarrassment of riches, we really can’t argue!
When Clooney won the first time around, his costars gushed about how handsome he is and what a great guy he is to be around. His ER costar, Laura Innes told People, “The rap on George is that he’s this rake, this guy’s guy. That’s true, but he is also a dear, loyal friend who would do anything for you. It’s almost like being a family member.”
When he won in 2006 he admitted that he never really went on many dates. Now, Clooney is married to Amal Clooney, and he had been since 2014. Sorry, ladies–he’s taken!
Denzel Washington has been the standard of Hollywood male beauty since his first roles in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His talent, poise, wisdom, and charm continue to draw the attention of movie goers throughout the world, and the doting eyes of his female fans. Most recently, he’s blown us away with his roles in Fences (2016), The Book of Eli (2010), and Antwone Fisher (2002).
When he won the title of Sexiest Man Alive, Washington told People, “I don’t take myself too seriously. I don’t stop in the mirror and go, ‘Hey, Sexy Man.'”
Humility is another virtue to add to the list of things we love about Denzel Washington!
Richard Gere, probably best known for his role as Edward Lewis in 1990 romance Pretty Woman was 50 when he was honored with Sexiest Man Alive mantle in 1999. Upon hearing about his new title, several of his ex-girlfriends confirmed People magazine’s choice and told the magazine why he was, indeed, the sexiest.
Diane Von Furstenberg said, “He walked like a biker, and that attracted me. I knew I was going to get my hands on him. I seduced him.”
Post this prestigious award, Gere was married to actress Carey Lowell (2002 to 2016), and he’s currently married to publicist and activist Alejandra Silva, with whom he tied the knot with in 2018.
Alright, alright, alright! Famous Texan Matthew McConaughey made the list!
His reaction to being named the Sexiest Man Alive begin with, “Wait until you see the roles I can take after this!” he joked with People. “You’re going to see my gut hanging over, plus 22 pounds. It’ll be a whole new kind of sexy.”
After he won this prestigious title, McConaughey went on to play roles in several blockbuster films including The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Interstellar (2014), and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He has yet to gain that 22 pounds he was talking about. Maybe one day he’ll do that for an upcoming role!
“He’s the most beautiful man who ever walked the earth – an absolutely perfect oil painting,” fellow actor Naomi Watts said of 2004’s Sexiest Man Alive, Jude Law. We can’t exactly argue with her high praise.
Jude Law, best known for his roles in the films, The Holiday, Sherlock Holmes, and The Talented Mr. Ripley, has been making us swoon since the late 1980s. We look forward to future swooning when his most recent project, the movie Lee (also starring Kate Winslet), is produced and released!
This good ol’ boy, Blake Shelton, has been making women smile since he came on the scene in 2001 with his first country music hit, “Austin.” Even with his boyish charm and piercing blue eyes, his win of the Sexiest Man Alive title came as a bit of a surprise to most people. I mean, yeah, he’s beautiful! But we don’t exactly think of him as a front page socialite.
When Shelton first heard that he won, he told People he thought, “That y’all must be running out of people. Like, Wow, we’re down to somebody who is somewhat symmetrical.” All kidding aside, Shelton credits his wife, Gwen Stefani, for convincing him to embrace the crown. “She goes, ‘Listen to me, you’re going to regret this for the rest of your life if you don’t take this gift and just live in the moment.”
Great advice, Gwen!
Do you remember when Idris Elba walked into The Office in 2009? Angela and Kelly swooned over him, and Michael Scott was intimidated by his leadership. We think we would have reacted more along the lines of the ladies of the office than Michael. Idris Elba is, indeed, a good looking gentleman!
When Elba heard he was selected for the coveted honor, he responded, “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ 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.”
You deserve the boost, sir!
In an interview with People magazine, Paul Rudd said, “I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I’d be picked for this, they would say, ‘What?'” While we did, indeed, think “What?” when we read that Rudd was named Sexiest Man Alive for 2021, it totally makes sense.
We are used to seeing him as the nice guy, the funny guy, and the best friend. It never occurred to us that he’s actually super hunky and that his eyes not only make us melt, they actually seem to be peering into our souls.
Rudd went on to tell People, “I mean I’m going to lean into it hard. I’m going to own this. I’m not going to try to be like ‘Oh, I’m so modest.’ I’m getting business cards made. But all of my friends will destroy me and I expect them to. And that’s why they’re my friends.”