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5 Reasons We’re Glad Patrick Dempsey, 57, is ‘People’ Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive

McDreamy has been sexy for decades; now in his 50s, he’s never been hotter (or cooler)

spinner image Patrick Dempsey on the red carpet for the premiere of the film "Ferrari" during the 80th Venice Film Festival.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

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.

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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.”

spinner image Patrick Dempsey and Jillian Dempsey attend Disney's "Disenchanted" Premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.
Patrick and Jillian Dempsey attend Disney's "Disenchanted" Premiere at El Capitan Theatre on Nov. 16, 2022 in Los Angeles.
Emma McIntyre/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

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.”

spinner image Patrick Dempsey prepares himself in the box for the qualifying of the WEC six-hour-race at Nuerburgring
Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images

He’s a race-car driver

After 11 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, his character was killed off via car crash (prompting more than 100,000 viewers to petition for his return from the dead), but he’s actually a pro behind the wheel, with a passion for car racing. He competed in 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona and other big-time pro-am racing events. He’ll play Italian race-car driver Piero Taruffi — with platinum blond hair! — in Ferrari, a biopic out next month about auto magnate Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver).

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spinner image Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd in "Grey's Anatomy."
Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd in "Grey's Anatomy."
Bob D'Amico/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

He's dreamy but accessible

His is a guy next-door kind of handsome (depending on your neighborhood). He’s not eye-scorchingly beautiful like Brad Pitt or movie-star gorgeous like George Clooney (each of whom has been Sexiest Man twice). When he found out he’d be on the Sexiest cover, he told Kimmel that he spent the month before the photo shoot trying to get in sexy shape, eliminating “bread products” from his diet and working out.

spinner image Patrick Dempsey at a dedication ceremony at the Central Maine Medical Center at Lewiston
Patrick Dempsey at a dedication ceremony at the Central Maine Medical Center at Lewiston where the Patrick Dempsey Center for Hope and Healing resides.
Doug Jones/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

He helps cancer patients and caregivers

He founded Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in 2008 in honor of his late mother, Amanda, who had ovarian cancer. The center, with locations in South Portland and Lewiston, Maine, offers patients free education and support with a mission “to make life better for people impacted by cancer.” Dempsey, who grew up in Maine, told Maine magazine “Without question it’s the most rewarding thing I do.”

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