People Magazine may have originated the idea of awarding a celebrity the title of the Sexiest Person Alive, but for whatever reason they limited their scope strictly to the male gender. Fools. Thankfully in 2004, Esquire Magazine finally stepped in and satisfied the people they’d ignored for nineteen years. Keeping the tradition alive every year since its debut, their editorial team gets together, looks at women from all mediums, and narrows the field down until a single female celebrity is left to be given the crown.
Their editors may have had a tough job ahead of them but the work we have in front of us today is no easy task either. Taking the eleven women who’ve held the title and ranking them from top to bottom, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. When we set out to put this list together we sent our minds back to the year each woman was given their award (where necessary). Without any further ado, let’s get to the list.
11 Mila Kunis
Made famous after she was cast on That 70's Show at the young age of fourteen, Mila showed the first sign of the tenacity that would help make her a star when she fibbed, claiming that she was eighteen. Staying on that show for eight years she began to spread her wings, first by providing a voice for the cartoon Family Guy, and then by making the leap to the big screen. Best known now, for appearing in the films: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Black Swan, Friends with Benefits, Ted and Oz the Great and Powerful, she has become one of the most in-demand young actresses alive. Due to her acting abilities, infectious personality, and bewitching looks, Mila has earned more and more fans over the years, including Esquire who named her the Sexiest Woman Alive in 2012. A beautiful young woman with a rocking little bod, despite the fact that she’s taking the last place on this list, she more than deserves to reach the top of typical lists of babes.
10 Emilia Clarke
The most recent star on this list, Emilia rose to prominence when she played a major role in the series debut of Game of Thrones, including a moment where she appeared in the buff. A woman who leads her life as a beautiful brunette, her locks were blonde on the show and her turn as Daenerys Targaryen, a woman thrust into a world she didn’t initially understand, the role made her highly relatable. As we watched Daenerys grow as a character and a woman, we began to see an inner strength in the woman who played her which has led many to believe she is poised to become a massive star. We would love to see her continue to kick butt and take names. Although her only prominent movie role came as Sarah Conner in Terminator Genisys, a movie with its fair share of detractors, the world has far from given up on her film potential. Chosen to top the list in 2015, making her the most recent person chosen at the time of this writing, she looks great no matter the color of her hair or how much clothes she is wearing.
9 Minka Kelly
Arguably the least famous woman chosen by Esquire, Minka first left TV viewers mouths agape when she played Lyla Garrity in the first four seasons of Friday Night Lights. After leaving that popular show, she had a part in the first two seasons of Parenthood and was cast as one of the leads of an attempted remake of Charlie’s Angels which only aired seven episodes. She has also appeared in a handful of films including The Roommate, as the protagonist as well as The Butler, where she played Jackie Kennedy and a small but pivotal part in (500) Days of Summer. Although she has plenty of time for her career to be reignited, Minka seems to have been largely forgotten by many since 2010 when she topped the Sexiest Woman List. That, by no way, means our memories of how exquisite her looks are have diminished, as she is the type of beauty that would have made the world fall at her feet in any generation.
8 Kate Beckinsale
Like most people these days, when the name Kate comes up our mind can’t help but go to a happy place, envisioning the English star in her Underworld skin-tight garb. Excuse us a minute…. nice. Anyway, the world at large first became aware of this actress in 2001 when she was cast as the female lead in the abhorrent film Pearl Harbor and won hearts as the love interest in Serendipity. However, unbeknownst to many, she’d already proven she had serious acting skills with performances in The Last Days of Disco and Brokedown Palace. Now best known for her role in the aforementioned Underworld series she, unfortunately, has acted in some real stinkers, like Van Helsing and the much reviled Total Recall remake. Earning her exalted place on this list when she topped Esquire’s list in 2009, she is blessed with an inviting body and persona that drives the world wild.
7 Penélope Cruz
There is just something so sexy about her Spanish accent, isn’t there? A former model who has become internationally famous due to border crossing Spanish language films like Open Your Eyes (which had an English language remake that she also starred in called Vanilla Sky), The Girl of Your Dreams, and Jamón Jamón, Hollywood’s siren song soon called. Taking on major parts in English language films like Blow, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Penélope has managed to be in high demand wherever she goes. Chosen by Esquire in 2014, a full twenty-three years after she won her first acting role, she only seems to be getting more alluring with age which makes us shudder in delight to think what a few more years might do to her.
6 Charlize Theron
A South African actress who gained serious steam with supporting but unforgettable roles in 2 Days in the Valley, The Devil’s Advocate and The Cider House Rules, she then began to receive headline roles. An accomplished dramatic actress, Charlize won an Oscar for Monster, a movie where she played a killer, but also lent a great deal of gravitas to movies like The Road and The Burning Plain. Recently proving that she could be one of this generation's most kick-a** action stars as well, with her turn in Mad Max:Fury Road, Charlize has become one of the best actors alive. Oh, and she’s hot as all hell, too. Picked by Esquire in 2007, she brings to mind images of some of the most attractive film starlets of yesteryear; she is a slender blonde that looks amazing in a dress, tee shirt or just about anything really.
5 Angelina Jolie
It makes sense, if we were Esquire and we wanted the woman who is the first one we single out as The Sexiest Woman Alive to be taken seriously, we’d choose someone who can’t help but be sexy, too. An actress whose turn in Gia, a TV film where she played a drug-addled model whose life comes to a tragic end, she made casting directors take notice. Moving on to steal Girl, Interrupted out from underneath the film’s star’s feet, she was nominated for her first Oscar before she took the lead role in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider which made her an action star. Working in both genres ever since dramas like Changeling and Beyond Borders, while she also played big parts in action flicks like Wanted, Salt, and of course Mr. & Mrs. Smith. As we previously mentioned, Angelina won Esquire’s award in the series' first year, 2004, when the sultry star was undeniably one of the world’s best known and most alluring actresses.
4 Halle Berry
Another former model that made the leap to acting superstardom in the nineties, Halle first got a lot of people talking about her with roles in The Last Boy Scout and Boomerang. Reaching a whole new level when she starred in Bulworth and started working in the X-Men franchise of films when Halle first showed some real skin in Swordfish people lined up to see that clip at least. Reportedly awarded a five-hundred-thousand-dollar bonus for baring her flesh, we can attest that the view was worth every penny. Moving on to win an Oscar for her role in Monster’s Ball, arguably the most guttural and sexy role she has taken to date, her fearless feat impressed many. Chosen by Esquire to top their list in 2008, a period in which her acting career had actually begun to temporarily nosedive, her bountiful chest, dazzling eyes and soft-seeming skin will always still be remarkable.
3 Jessica Biel
First rising to fame with a role in 7th Heaven, a sticky sweet show that Jessica quickly seemed to feel stifled by, when she took part in a topless photoshoot, an act some took as rebellion, we loved it. Graduating to roles in films like The Rules of Attraction, Blade: Trinity, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Total Recall, she has made every film she appears in infinitely sexier. In fact, when you take a look at her filmography, a list that contains lowlights like Stealth, The Illusionist and Next, to name just a few, it seems pretty obvious that she’s received extra chances due to her looks. The second woman who won the award, in 2005, for our money her glorious booty, which was beautifully shot wearing panties in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, is the best of any you’ll see here.
It seems really strange but in the twelve years to date that Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive award has existed there was only one time where the lady that was chosen was not an actress. The thing that makes perfect sense to us though, is that the woman who bucked the trend, Rihanna, seems to ooze sex from every pore. A talented singer who’s released hit songs like “SOS”, “Take a Bow”, “The Monster”, “Umbrella”, and far too many others to list here, her songs are some of the catchiest ones released in years. Chosen in 2011, this Barbadian songstress’ obvious confidence in her body, willingness to share it with the world, and ability to seduce with little more than a look made her fall just short of topping this list, too.
1 Scarlett Johansson
The only person who Esquire has named the Sexiest Woman Alive twice, as of the time of this writing, we’re going to go ahead and add our voices to the legion of people who celebrated that choice. First coming to fame in a more adult role, when Scarlett played one of the lead roles in Ghost World, her character may have been somewhat frumpy but nobody was fooled. If we list memorable movies she’s appeared in, like Lost in Translation, The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Her, Under the Skin and Lucy, for instance, we still won’t have even brought up her most famous work. Cast as Black Widow/Natasha Romanova in Iron Man 2, she arguably has since become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s MVP. The character that perfectly puts the plots of the various films in perspective for the audience, her physicality, and dramatic chops have made fantastic films feel grounded in the best way possible. Topping the list in 2006 and 2013, her short, five foot two frame, is voluptuous and when we saw it in the buff after the release of Under the Skin, we knew we had seen a work of art.