This Week in PEOPLE History

10 years ago, Sandra Bullock got married; 19 years ago, Denzel Washington was the sexiest man on the planet and more from the PEOPLE archives

1996: DENZEL WASHINGTON IS THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

In the late '90s, the Oscar winner had Hollywood at his fingertips … along with the women of the world. In fact, Washington was so beloved that Julia Roberts compared working with him on The Pelican Brief to working with the Beatles: "I'd come out of the trailer, and there'd be four guys going, you know, 'Hey, Julia, babe'… Denzel comes out … and [there were] 200 women just screaming." Still, she told PEOPLE that not even she was immune to his charm. "Referring to Denzel Washington as simply sexy is like saying Ernest Hemingway was a good fisherman."
Also in This Issue: Princess Diana and Prince Charles finalize their divorce