Last week, Patrick Dempsey was finally named People Magazine’s 2023 “Sexiest Man Alive.” The decision was pleasantly surprising as Dempsey was up against some pretty tough contenders such as Pedro Pascal, Timothée Chalamet and Jason Kelce, among others. With Dempsey’s looks and charm, it is no surprise he was often chosen as second place for the title in past years, and now, in 2023, it is finally his turn.
The announcement that Dempsey had been awarded the title was made to the public during “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Nov. 7, when Dempsey was a surprise guest on the show. When Dempsey was named 2023’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” he said he was shocked that it was finally his turn to be recognized.
“I started laughing, like, this is a joke, right? I’ve always been the bridesmaid!” said Dempsey to People Magazine.
Dempsey succeeded the 2022 winner Chris Evans, and it’s not surprising that he is deserving of the title. After almost 40 years in the acting industry, Dempsey is finally receiving the recognition he deserves.
There is no doubt that Dempsey is best known for his role as Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy.” Most call it his breakout role, but his acting career began 20 years before the television show hit screens.
Dempsey’s first-ever acting gig was in 1985 in a horror/sci-fi film called “The Stuff,” and his role was “Underground Stuff Buyer #2.” The role was so small that it isn’t even listed among the movies he’s been in. Young Dempsey can be seen in the very last scene at approximately 1:24:25 in the movie.
He began landing bigger roles during the mid-to-late 1980s. He played Corbet in “Heaven Help Us” (1985), Ronald in “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987) and Michael in “Some Girls” (1988). He was often cast as the nerdy, quirky love interest in his early films.
One movie Dempsey had a supporting role in was “With Honors” (1994). In the film, he played Everette Calloway, a young college student and radio DJ. He was cast alongside the main characters Brendan Fraiser as Montgomery “Monty” Kessler and Joe Pesci as Simon B. Wilder. Dempsey’s performance in this movie is one of his more captivating ones, as audiences get to see a type of character that he has never played before.
Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Dempsey was no stranger to the big screen. He was cast in multiple projects, but it wasn’t until 2005 when he got the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy” that he saw his fame skyrocket.
“Grey’s Anatomy” was – and still is – quite the phenomenon, as its popularity continues to grow almost two decades after its original release. Dempsey only starred as Shepherd for 11 seasons, but he’s made multiple cameo appearances in the later seasons.
In the show, he was nicknamed “McDreamy” by his on-screen girlfriend Meredith Grey, who is played by Ellen Pompeo. The nickname was well-deserved as the heartthrob with the great hair, charming smile and ferry boat scrub cap made his way into audiences’ hearts.
Throughout his 10-year run on “Grey’s Anatomy,” he dabbled in the world of Disney, starring in “Enchanted” (2007) and “Brother Bear 2” (2006). He reprised his role as Robert in “Disenchanted” (2022). In the “Enchanted” series, watchers saw a new side of Dempsey as he got to sing and dance a little bit, something that audiences don’t see from him often.
Recently, Dempsey has not slowed down. Just this year, he is coming out with two new movies: “Ferrari” and “Thanksgiving.” “Thanksgiving” is set to release next week, and “Ferrari” will be released on Christmas.
Though Dempsey is well-versed in acting, he also has a lot of experience in philanthropy. Dempsey founded the Dempsey Center in Maine in 2008. The “Dempsey Center” is a non-profit that has the goal of improving the lives of people impacted by cancer. Dempsey wanted to begin the organization after watching his mother battle ovarian cancer.
The Dempsey Center said, “Patrick created a space where those impacted by cancer could find relief, comfort, resources and support—all at no cost.”
Dempsey has had such a prolific career in general, and it has not gone unnoticed by the media. He has been in the industry long enough to be recognized as a star in the eyes of fans. With Dempsey’s kind heart and phenomenal acting skills, his status as “Sexiest Man Alive” is not just earned, it is deserved.