Hugh Jackman: The Sexiest Man Alive

11/19/2008 at 07:00 AM EST

Hugh Jackman: The Sexiest Man Alive
He's a triple threat: a star who can sing, dance and wield a weapon.

At 6 ft. 2 in., all scruff and biceps, Hugh Jackman looms large in the epic Australia, which he says kept him "dirty 95 percent of the time" and left people stammering, "Oh ... my ... God," according to costar Nicole Kidman, who adds, "Women's jaws drop when Hugh walks into a room."

Jackman's wife of 12 years, Deborra-Lee Furness, calls his perfect form "the Body of Doom – but I like what's inside": a romantic who sings ballads at home and makes pancakes for Oscar, 8, and Ava, 3. A hard body with a soft center – 2008's Sexiest Man Alive sat down with PEOPLE's Elizabeth Leonard and Julie Jordan to reveal most of his secrets.

You turned 40 Oct. 12 and now you're the Sexiest Man Alive. What was your wife's response?
God bless her, she said, "I could've told them that years ago!" And then she said, "Obviously, Brad wasn't available this year." And I said, "That was a joke, right?"



Hugh Jackman: The Sexiest Man Alive| Hugh Jackman

"Hugh is tough and romantic at the same time," says costar Kidman. "Australian men are a different breed. They're rugged and they sweat."

Stewart Shining

Your marriage is a success story.
In my early 20s, I didn't have a regular girlfriend. I was single and really happy about it. And then when I was 26, I met Deb on [the Australian TV show] Correlli. She was my leading lady. It was just undeniable. I started planning to propose to her at about three months. We are happy. Deb and my kids have been the best things that have ever happened to me, without a doubt.

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