Patrick Dempsey on Family, Fame, and Being Named Sexiest Man Alive

“I peaked many years ago...But I’m still here.”
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He may have cemented his status as a Hollywood heart-throb long ago, but Patrick Dempsey has admitted he “was completely shocked” when he learned that he had been crowned this year’s Sexiest Man Alive.

“I’ve always been the bridesmaid!” the 57-year-old joked to People magazine of finally scooping up the publication’s coveted accolade after many years of making the shortlist.

Watch Below: Patrick Dempsey talks reconciling with his Wife

Despite poking fun at his new title – joking that he’s already “got the bumper stickers, T-shirts, posters” – Dempsey shared that it had come at the right time.

“I’m glad it’s happening at this point in my life,” the actor said. “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.”

That endearing nature is part of the reason why millions have fallen in love with the actor over the last three decades – his strikingly handsome looks coming in a close second.

The actor first captured hearts in his breakout role in 1987’s Can’t Buy Me Love and worked steadily for almost two decades before landing the role of neurosurgeon Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy.

Related: Every Man Named by People as Sexiest Man Alive 

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Although Dempsey has previously called his 11-year stint on the show “life-changing”, it came at a cost to his personal life with the star almost falling victim to the Hollywood hex in 2015 when he announced he was splitting from his wife Jillian.

It was then that he decided to take a step back from the spotlight and leave the popular drama series to work on his marriage. “Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of,” Dempsey would later tell People. “I didn’t feel like we had done all the work. We both wanted to do that work.”

Despite the devastation about his departure from the show among McDreamy fans, it also resulted in many admiring his dedication to his family – a dedication that still holds firm today.

“I just try to be a better person every day and be present,” Dempsey recently told People about family life with Jillian and their kids Talula, 21, and 16-year-old twins Sullivan and Darby. “And to listen to what the needs are of the family and provide from that perspective.”

patrick dempsey wife and children family
(Credit: Getty)

While life seems picture perfect for Dempsey these days, the actor has certainly weathered some storms. Besides his brief separation from Jillian, the actor also went through a nasty two-year divorce battle with his first wife Rocky Parker.

While going through the split after seven years together, Parker – who was 27 years older than the star – accused Dempsey of physically abusing her. She later admitted the accusations were false.

“It was ridiculous,” Dempsey has previously said of the marriage. “A Freudian nightmare that’s publicly known. Let’s say I was a little bit lost. I needed discipline, but I sort of outgrew that … There were a lot of negative things that I’m still undoing from it.”

patrick dempsey sexiest man alive
(Credit: Getty)

Cut to now and Dempsey is happier than ever after making a vow to prioritise his personal life. The actor is certainly more selective of his projects these days and fans likely won’t be seeing the actor in any more long-running drama series in the future.

However, Dempsey clearly still has a passion for the craft. Early next year, he’ll be back on the big screen in the Michael Mann-directed biopic, Ferrari.

“I’d been following the movie for years, so I called Michael and said, ‘I want to discuss being a part of this,’” Dempsey recalled. “That taught me if you really want something, you have to do it yourself.”

With his professional and personal lives both in good stead, plus a brand new Sexiest Man Alive title to boot, it seems Dempsey might’ve peaked. “I peaked many years ago,” he jokingly added to People. “But I’m still here.”

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