Patrick Dempsey is People Mag’s 2023 Sexiest Man Alive: ‘This is a joke, right?’

Patrick Dempsey is People Magazine’s 2023 Sexiest Man Alive. It feels like this already happened, years ago? It’s weird that Dempsey never got SMA when he was on Grey’s Anatomy, but here we are. If you’d like to know how the SMA sausage gets made, there’s a reason why Dempsey is getting SMA this year – because he’s got a role in Michael Mann’s Ferrari, which has a SAG-AFTRA waiver for promotion. Thus, Dempsey is free to promote the film in print media and TV appearances, which is likely why he agreed to the SMA interview. At a personal level, I’ve never been into Patrick Dempsey – he’s nice-looking, sure, but there’s always been something “off” about him, to me at least. His People interview was fine though:

Getting the SMA title at the age of 57: “I’m glad it’s happening at this point in my life. It’s nice to have the recognition, and certainly my ego takes a little bump, but it gives me the platform to use it for something positive.”

This is nice: Closest to his heart is the Dempsey Center, which he founded in honor of his late mom to support cancer patients and their loved ones. Other passions include being a family man to wife Jillian, 57, a makeup artist and founder of her own clean beauty line, and their kids Talula, 21, and 16-year-old twins Sullivan and Darby, as well as honing his penchant for race-car driving.

What went through his mind when he first heard the news: “I was completely shocked, and then I started laughing, like, this is a joke, right? I’ve always been the bridesmaid! I’d completely forgotten about it and never even contemplated being in this position. So my ego is good.” As for how his kids will respond, Dempsey insists they’re “just going to make fun of me and pick on me and figure out every reason why I shouldn’t be. Which is good, they keep me young.”

He’s playing Italian driver Piero Taruffi in Ferrari: “I’d been following the movie for years, so I called Michael and said, ‘I want to discuss being a part of this,.’ That taught me if you really want something, you have to do it yourself.”

[From People]

Maybe he’s really pleased with this title, but mostly he seems more ambivalent or like “oh that’s nice, okay, what’s next.” The SMA title is a weird thing at this point – most of the recipients have to be dragged by some studio into accepting it as part of a film promotion. I also didn’t realize Patrick is 57! He looks so much younger than his 57-year-old contemporary Prince William.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, People’s IG.

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93 Responses to “Patrick Dempsey is People Mag’s 2023 Sexiest Man Alive: ‘This is a joke, right?’”

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  1. MrsCope says:

    Yeah, it’s all part of the PR machine for sure. He looks great, though and I’ll consider it long overdue for his Grey’s years as well as now. It’s nice when we all win, his project gets the PR bump and we get to look at a handsome man. That Blake Shelton year, though…..

    • Victoria says:

      Prince William is only 41 …

      • Aurora says:

        It’s a joke. William asked some kid how old he looked, the kid said he looked 57.

      • Kkat says:

        His evil soul is like 92, it seeps out into his 57 year old looks

        But lets compare Patrick with William, William literally looks older than PD
        There are a lot of guys way older than will who look 10-20 years younger than william

  2. Tulipworthy says:

    He is a fine looking man.

  3. Becks1 says:

    He really is an attractive man, I can’t believe he hasn’t gotten it before. But the timing makes sense PR wise with the movie.

    • Nubia says:

      Was there once a sexiest woman alive and it was discontinued? I swear Julia Roberts and actresses from that era used to get something from People Mag too.

      • smcollins says:

        The women used to be crowned “Most Beautiful”. I think they still do that, not sure though. As far as PD he’s the epitome of “aged like a fine wine.” I still can’t believe he’s the same guy from Can’t Buy Me Love (one of my all-time favorite movies from my teens)!

      • Concern Fae says:

        I think they now do a Most Beautiful issue, with lots of beautiful women, honoring both Hollywood style beauties and women doing good works. At least they did when I was last paying any attention to who was on the cover of People magazine.

  4. StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

    Patrick is dreamy I guess. But Harry would’ve been a great choice amidst the rolling out of his brother the sezy eggplant prince THE RAGE

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Anything to promote his new movie, I guess.

  6. sevenblue says:

    “He looks so much younger than his 57-year-old contemporary Prince William.”
    lol. When I saw this joke, I knew the writer must be @Kaiser.

    • Smart&Messy says:

      Prince William wants you to know that he will still make the ladies hot under the collar for his 65 yo athletic stud body next year.

      PS. Man can be very fit and sexy at 60+, but Peg won’t be one of them. Not even next year.

    • SarahCS says:

      Agreed, you can always count on Kaiser for the excellent royal jokes.

    • Chantal says:

      @SevenBlue Ditto and I’m still 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  7. AprilUnderwater says:

    Hahaha the Pegs comparison slayed me!

  8. Bettyrose says:

    He’s aged nicely but I haven’t paid attention to him in decades. I liked him as a teen in the 80s because he was a big ole nerd, which was my thing.

  9. Southern Fried says:

    Dempsey is a snore for me. I go for a tall more muscular man with a big personality that can sing and dance and smart as hell.

  10. SarahCS says:

    He’s one of the many reasons I love Enchanted.

    I haven’t actually seen him in much else but we saw a trailer for Ferrari at the cinema on Saturday and I’ve suggested to my bf that we go between Christmas and NYE when it comes out here (given that I just discovered I’m hosting his folks as well as my mother who always comes for Christmas the fact that our preferred cinema serves wine is a very happy coincidence).

  11. Short story here.Relatives of mine met him at some kind of race thing,like they had pit passes or whatever that’s called-idk I’m not into nascar/racing or whatever:but they raved about how genuine,down to earth and kind and unassuming he was.Said you would never know he was a celebrity based on his personality.This was during his Greys fame.
    He is very handsome imo ,but yeah weird timing for him to be SMA.

  12. Sarah says:

    His contemporary Prince William – LOL!

  13. L84Tea says:

    I don’t know if he’s the sexiest man alive, but yowza, he is one sexy man. I’m completely fascinated with his Bejamin Buttons sex appeal range too, because when he was young in his Can’t Buy Me Love and Loverboy era, I didn’t get it. I never found him attractive or saw the appeal. But good Lord, someone must have put him in an oak barrel. Once he filled out a bit and got few grays in that thick hair…wow.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      ‘someone must have put him in an oak barrel”….love this line. Yea, he aged into a very fine whiskey, bourbon or wine. Loved him Can’t Buy Me Love. Didn’t really watch Grey’s. Made of Honor is a fave. He is a hot sexy man. The Sexiest Man Alive. No. I’m glad it wasn’t Jeremy Allen White.

      Love that Jason Kelce made the list. I don’t care that it was over his brother who I find more attractive. Jason Kelce is sexy because he loves his wife, his children, his mother, his brother, his team and all the things. Best thing, Travis will give him shit, yet, he would be like you go bro, you stood up for me and the least I could do, is to support that you are more sexy than me. Now I want to see an obstacle course challenge between brothers: Kelce brothers vs. Harry & Nacho.

  14. Smalltowngirl says:

    I sad this and went “is it 2008?” Him not winning back then was a huge conversation and it is so weird to me that he won now. But he has aged very, very well.

  15. helonearth says:

    My first thought when this popped up was “I wonder how much they paid for that?” because whilst he is still a handsome man, there are many others who are sexier.

  16. Loretta says:

    Here in Italy Patrick is much loved and people are crazy with joy for him being the sexiest man alive

  17. Ocho says:

    This reflects the current times — the choices were limited by the SAG-AFTRA strike — and that People mag’s audience is ageing.

  18. Brassy Rebel says:

    OMG! “He looks so much younger than his 57 year old contemporary Prince William.” Good thing I’m not drinking coffee.

    Actually, I think this is a good choice, especially for us olds, although I’m almost 20 years older. But a girl can dream! I have always thought he’s a hottie. 🔥🔥🔥

  19. Inge says:

    I agree with this.

    I’ve loved him ever since Can’t Buy Me Love

  20. Newt says:

    I so wish they would have named Good King Harry as SMA! SaltIsland would have literally BLOWN UP!

  21. Dani says:

    Pedro Pascal was RIGHT. THERE. 😭

    For real though, the SMA has never really interested me – handsome/sexy is waaaaaaay too subjective depending on who you speak with for any real consensus to be made.

    And, ngl, I forgot Dempsey existed. LOL

    • Bettyrose says:

      It can’t always be Pedro. Let the mere mortals have a chance. Pedro walks the streets in middle aged dad clothes and unkempt hair and everyone he passes melts into puddles of desire. In action scenes in sexy clothes his appeal is almost too white hot for human eyes.

      • Dani says:

        I love that he’s not “classically” handsome like CEvans or, god forbid, Brad Pitt. It’s also Pedro’s sincerity and honesty about who he is and what drives him that’s such a big part of his appeal for most of us. Then you get the forearms and the jawline and UGH. LOL

        Oscar Isaac would have also gotten my vote because DAMN. That man is a delight to the eyes.

      • Pulplove says:

        @Bettyrose & @Dani, I agree with everything you both are saying here, very well put!

      • bettyrose says:

        Yup, Oscar Isaac is high on that list. I saw a picture Oscar’s wife (who is a European filmmaker) posted of herself and Pedro with the caption “sister wives” which is the most hilarious and wholesome thing ever. I love that Pedro & Oscar support each other so much.

  22. MaryContrary says:

    I think this shows who People’s demographic is: older ladies. Yes, he’s a nice looking guy but really, Sexiest Man Alive?

  23. Katie Beanstalk says:

    The only problem with all this is he’s happily married.

  24. Stay34 says:

    I thought domestic abuser Brad Pitt was peoples magazine sexiest man because considering how much water carrying they do for him I thought he was their number one man

  25. TIFFANY says:

    I bet that People Mag didn’t think the SAG strike would go on this long.

    My money was on Jeremy Allen White, who is on a hot streak right now.

    Or Colman Domingo, who should be campaigning hard right now.

    • BQM says:

      Oooh Colman! I wonder if they’ve ever picked an openly gay man? Just going by what I remember, nope.

  26. MadamNoir says:

    Do the people in this magazine know that other men besides white men that can be named the sexiest alive. There are Black, Asian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern men. Enough of the same white men on the cover.

    • L84Tea says:

      I currently have a crush on Simu Liu. I recently watched the movie “One True Loves” and he was super sexy and adorable.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      This. I do like looking at Xiao Zhan. Talented and beautiful.

    • Blithe says:

      Tony Leung. He’s the main reason that I watched Shang Chi to the very end.
      Pedro Pascal would also be an awesome pick.
      Can I assume that Lenny Kravitz has already won the cover at least once?

      I don’t usually get People, so I’m guessing / hoping that my personal top picks have already won at some point.

      Edited to add: Major Johnny Thompson

    • BQM says:

      They’ve had a few AA men in recent years but I don’t know if they’ve had any Latino or more than one and no Asian men.

  27. Ace says:

    I had forgotten Ferrari got a wavier so I was surprised because I expected People to go with a non actor this year. It amuses me to think that maybe People asked Adam Driver first since he’s the lead of the movie and got whiplash with how fast he said no.

    • TIFFANY says:

      I would have thought a musician would have been a smart choice.

      I even suggested that kid from BTS. The one whose songs and Calvin Klein ad’s are everywhere. People wouldn’t have kept a issue on the shelves if they did.

      • Ace says:

        I expected a musician too, but there’s no way that People would go for somebody in BTS. That’s way too out there for them no matter how many people would have bought the issue.

  28. Remy says:

    The first thought that came to me when I heard it was PD was “I wonder what he’s promoting.”

    • Ameerah M says:

      Most Sexiest Men Alive are picked based on what they are promoting so this is pretty standard. I still don’t think that he would have been chosen had there not been a strike going on. People didn’t have much of a pool to choose from.

  29. QuiteContrary says:

    He’s a silver fox.

    The bigger news in my circle of friends, though, is that Eagles center Jason Kelce made the list (Taylor’s future brother-in-law, maybe).

    Jason is an adorable teddy bear of a man, so this made me happy. Plus, I’m looking forward to Travis making fun of him on their podcast.

  30. Eating Popcorn says:

    Nope, and Nope – my understanding is that he is not a nice person who was ugly to all on the set of Grey’s Anatomy and is known ‘around the town’ as being a real AH.

  31. Green Desert says:

    Of course he’s handsome, but I feel like this choice tells you all you need to know about People’s audience.

  32. Ameerah M says:

    With the strike the pickin’s were SLIM. And it shows. I don’t dislike Dempsey (although I agree Kaiser – something about him does feel “off”), but this is about 15 years too late. He should have gotten it at the height of his McDreamy run. He does look great for 57 though!

  33. AC says:

    I actually like Patrick Dempsey 🙂. I remembered him from my 1980s childhood years when he was in the movie Can’t Buy Me Love. For me, didn’t think he was a teen idol but as he grew older he has become more good looking. He definitely aged well.

  34. Krista says:

    Ewwwww. Confirming this “title” is bought.
    He abused his first wife, cheated on the second. He was fired from Grey’s Anatomy. How sexy.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’m puzzled as to what ‘something off’ means. He’s always seemed very good looking but not very sexy to me, with no ‘off’ or ‘on’.

  36. Dave W says:

    FWIW he’s from Lewiston, Maine and that’s where the cancer center named for his mother is located. I think like a lot of people he can be both an a@&$ and a decent person. Anyone I know who has met him in Maine has said positive things about him.

    From what I remember about the first wife she was 25-30 years older, they met when he was 17 or 18. She recanted the abuse allegations, saying her attorneys had advised it to get a better settlement or something along those lines. The reports were out there and he was already on Grey’s so not sure there was any incentive other than to clarify?

  37. J.Ferber says:

    Patrick looks younger and better than the also 57 year old William. And Patrick definitely looks more like a prince than William. It is what it is.

  38. leslie says:

    That last line 🤣🤣