Mel Gibson was named People's first-ever Sexiest Man Alive after his star-making turn in the original Mad Max trilogy.In the years since, of course, Gibson has become a controversial figure thanks to rampant anti-Semitism, racist rants, and a recording of him making a death threat against his ex-girlfriend.Mark Harmon received the second annual honor — largely thanks to his starring roles on two hit shows, St. Elsewhere and Moonlighting.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.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.Sean Connery was 59 when he scored the coveted cover, making him the oldest Sexiest Man Alive to date.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.In 1991, Patrick Swayze had become one of Hollywood's favorite leading men thanks to Dirty Dancing and Ghost. The actor died in 2009.In 1992, People explained Nick Nolte's appeal as his being a big-lug Adonis with the heart of gold.In 1993, People forwent the Sexiest Man Alive cover in favor of naming a Sexiest Couple Alive. The magazine chose newly married couple Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere, who split one year later.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 honor in 2015.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.Denzel Washington became the first man of color — and the first of only four total — to grace the Sexiest Man Alive cover.George Clooney secured his first Sexiest Man title while portraying the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on ER.Harrison Ford's 1998 cover recognized his role as a blockbuster heartthrob thanks to Star Wars and Indiana Jones.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.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.Pierce Brosnan was known as James Bond when he landed on People's coveted cover.The world couldn't stop talking about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2002.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.In 2003, Johnny Depp had charmed the world as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.He has since fallen out of favor 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.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.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.Clooney became the third man, after Pitt and Gere, to win People's honor twice.Matt Damon was given the title after his third Bourne movie rocked the box office.Hugh Jackman was named Sexiest Man Alive after his turn as Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand.Depp landed on his second cover on the heels of his role in Alice in Wonderland.Ryan Reynolds' forthcoming role in Green Lantern — and his self-deprecating humor — 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.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.Channing Tatum nabbed the cover after his star-making turns in Magic Mike, The Vow, and 21 Jump Street.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.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 theaters the year before.Despite being the first and only athlete to be honored with the annual cover, David Beckham told People, I never feel that I'm an attractive, sexy person.Former professional wrestler and current actor Dwayne Johnson became the second man of color to be named Sexiest Man Alive after his celebrated voiceover role in Moana.Blake Shelton is the second musician ever to be given People's highest honor (after his costar on The Voice).The decision to pick Shelton, however, did not go over well.Idris Elba is the third man of color to be given the honor. 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-fueled 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.John Legend is only the fourth man of color 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!Michael B. Jordan is the fourth man of color to receive People's honor.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.At 33, he described his new Sexiest Man Alive title as a cool feeling.When my grandmother was alive, it was something that she collected, and then my mom 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.