Paul Rudd to Patrick Swayze: Everyone People Magazine Has Called the 'Sexiest Man Alive'

People Magazine has named its 36th annual Sexiest Man Alive and it is Paul Rudd, the notoriously ageless 52-year-old actor, comedian and lover of that scene in Mac and Me.

Of course, the Sexiest Man Alive is based on a complex set of parameters. Who is sufficiently different from who they have had in recent years? Who is around to do a cover image? Who has a big project to promote (it is no coincidence that nearly every winner has been an American actor)?

This year, the answer was Ghostbusters: Afterlife (out November 18) and The Shrink Next Door (out November 12) star Paul Rudd, who joins a hootenanny of hunks that includes former Sexiest Men Alive like Idris Elba, Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

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Paul Rudd at an event. The actor has been named the Sexiest Man Alive of 2021 by People Magazine. Getty

The first Sexiest Man Alive, in a decision that has not aged particularly well, was Mel Gibson. He won the accolade in 1985, the year that he made Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

In total, 32 men have won the award across its 36 year history, with Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and George Clooney all winning twice. Other notable winners include Denzel Washington (the first Black winner in 1996), John F. Kennedy Jr. (the youngest winner, who was 27 when he won in 1988) and David Beckham, the only sportsman to win Sexiest Man Alive (excluding Dwayne Johnson, whose wrestling days were way over by the time he won in 2016).

At 52, Paul Rudd is the third-oldest man to win the prize after Harrison Ford (56 in 1998) and Sean Connery who was 59 in 1989—the same year he played the distinctly unsexy role of Indiana Jones' dad in The Last Crusade. In fact, Rudd is one of only five winners to win in their fifties; Nick Nolte won at 51 (in 1992) and Richard Gere won for the second time at 50 in 1999.

All the Sexiest Man Alive Winners

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Mel Gibson in "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome." The same year the third "Mad Max" movie came out, Gibson was named the Sexiest Man Alive. Getty
  • 1985: Mel Gibson
  • 1986: Mark Harmon
  • 1987: Harry Hamlin
  • 1988: John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • 1989: Sean Connery
  • 1990: Tom Cruise
  • 1991: Patrick Swayze
  • 1992: Nick Nolte
  • 1993: Richard Gere (first time winning, named "sexiest couple alive" with Cindy Crawford)
  • 1994: Keanu Reeves (no winner originally named in 1994, but Reeves was voted to fill the gap in 2015)
  • 1995: Brad Pitt (first time)
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Denzel Washington on the set of "Crimson Tide." The actor was the first Black person to be named Sexiest Man Alive. Getty
  • 1996: Denzel Washington
  • 1997: George Clooney (first time)
  • 1998: Harrison Ford
  • 1999: Richard Gere (second time)
  • 2000: Brad Pitt (second time)
  • 2001: Pierce Brosnan
  • 2002: Ben Affleck
  • 2003: Johnny Depp (first time)
  • 2004: Jude Law
  • 2005: Matthew McConaughey
  • 2006: George Clooney (second time)
  • 2007: Matt Damon
  • 2008: Hugh Jackman
  • 2009: Johnny Depp (second time)
  • 2010: Ryan Reynolds
  • 2011: Bradley Cooper
  • 2012: Channing Tatum
  • 2013: Adam Levine
  • 2014: Chris Hemsworth
  • 2015: David Beckham
  • 2016: Dwayne Johnson
  • 2017: Blake Shelton
  • 2018: Idris Elba
  • 2019: John Legend
  • 2020: Michael B. Jordan
  • 2021: Paul Rudd