Fans have long known Patrick Dempsey, 57, as McDreamy: the, yeah, totally gorgeous actor who played neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Now his dreaminess is being noticed in the most high-profile, pop-culture-y way: as People magazine’s sexiest man alive, announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Dempsey’s the second-oldest man to receive the honor from the mag, which has been honoring Hollywood hunks every year since 1985 (Mel Gibson, then 29).
The oldest so far? 1989’s winner, Sean Connery, at 59. Now third-oldest: Harrison Ford, who was 56 when he graced People’s Sexiest Man Alive cover in 1998.
Yes, it’s a silly concept – how can you choose the sexiest man alive? The sexiest man in the whole world? Really? – but it’s fun, and there are so many reasons to love Dempsey, including:
He can laugh at himself
Who doesn’t like a little self-deprecation from an incredibly handsome man? The Enchanted actor said that when he heard he was to be crowned Sexiest Man after years of being a contender, “I was completely shocked, and then I started laughing, like, this is a joke, right?” he told People. “I’ve always been the bridesmaid!” Cute, right? He’s anticipating plenty of razzing from his three kids (twins Darby and Sullivan, 16, and Talula, 21), for his new title, telling the magazine that they’ll “pick on me and figure out every reason why I shouldn’t be.”
He's a good sport
Another mark in the plus column? Dempsey is a huge cheerleader for his wife, celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey, and her eponymous brand of skin, hair and makeup products. Not only does she groom him for big events – “Paddy,” as she calls him, is a regular in her Instagram feed, where he unabashedly models her pomade, under-eye mask and moisturizer, showing men that self-care is cool. Jillian lovingly dubs him her “longest-standing client.”