Sexiest Stars of 2018... So Far

Spoiler alert! Meghan Markle is the sexiest star of the year so far. There have been a dozen or so American women who have become princesses by marriage, including Wallis Simpson, Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly. The majority of them have been white. This year though, we got our first biracial, American princess in Markle. There have been a couple, African-American women who have that honor, such as Ariana Austin who married Prince Yoel of Ethiopia and Keisha Omilana who married Prince Adekunle from Nigeria. Austin and Omilana's marriages weren't as celebrated on a global scale as Markle's. It truly was a worldwide event. The spotlight was definitely on her and she shined. That and her beauty put her on top of this list. (Her husband's kinda cute too.)

Like Markle, the majority of the people on this list come via television shows. As weird as it sounds, cinema isn't the place for glamour any more. Glamour certainly was the standard during Hollywood of the 40's and 50's. Names like Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly were examples both off-screen but on-screen, but nowadays, cinema is all about being gritty and real. Actresses like Charlize Theron are more attracted to movies that don't portray them as being pretty. Her recent film called Tully is a prime example. Even her previous film Atomic Blonde is all about her being beat-up and bruised. Yes, she's beautiful in real life but her film roles lately try to eschew that. Mainstream or commercial TV, however, is still a place for glamour. Soap operas are certainly the exemplar.

The World Cup was a big story this year, but, aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, there wasn't much talk about the sexy athletes who play soccer or international football, even though there are a slew of them like André Silva from Portugal and Nacer Chadli from Belgium. However, earlier this year, the Winter Olympics in South Korea did bring to the national attention several athletes who could top anyone's hunk list. Cosmopolitan magazine even had fun with some of those Olympians in a video of them stripping while tossing out corny, pickup lines. Yet, the real beefcakes of note are the U.S. Men's Bobsled team who all fill out their body suits and who can certainly attract with selected Instagram photos of them out of their suits.

20. CHRIS MAZDZER - Speaking of Olympians, the 30-year-old from Massachusetts won the silver medal in the Men's Single Luge and is the first American male to win a medal in that event at the Winter Olympics. He then went from South Korea to Los Angeles to compete in Dancing With the Stars where he did a very sexy salsa, though he wasn't the best dancer in the world, having been eliminated after the third week.

19. ZAZIE BEETZ - Believe it or not, she's a German-American. She's 27 and is probably best known for her role in FX's Atlanta. She was in an independent film this year, set in Baltimore, called Sollers Point. She made quite the impression though as super-hero, Domino, in the blockbuster Deadpool 2.

18. TYE SHERIDAN - He had a cameo in Deadpool 2 but very brief. The 21-year-old has been pretty busy otherwise. He appeared in three other movies so far this year. He had a romantic drama called All Summers End. He had a war movie called The Yellow Birds but his standout was Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One. He's a rising talent in Hollywood and he was gorgeously captured in Flaunt magazine.

17. SAOIRSE RONAN - The 24-year-old, Irish-American was nominated for an Oscar this year. She was up for Best Actress for Lady Bird. She also appeared in another Oscar-nominated film. She was the voice of Marguerite Gachet in the animated film Loving Vincent. What's interesting is that she had two movies back-to-back in which she has a romance with Billy Howle. The first is The Seagull, based on the Anton Chekhov play, and the other is On Chesil Beach, based on the Ian McEwan novel. It's funny to see her have intense, sexual tension with the same actor in two different movies, released literally one week from each other, but it works. She's lovely and stunning in both.

16. ELLIOT KNIGHT - The 27-year-old, British actor played the titular character in Sinbad, a series on Sky1. He played the mythical character Merlin in the series Once Upon a Time. A big break was in CBS' American Gothic, which got cancelled after one season. What gets him on this list though is his role in Life Sentence, a series that was basically a rom-com on the CW. Unfortunately, the CW cancelled that series after its first season too. It doesn't change the fact that Knight was one-half of the most adorable couple on TV this year. One can see why on Netflix where it's now streaming.

15. LUCY HALE - She's the other half of the most adorable couple on TV. She played Stella Abbott in Life Sentence, a girl who narrated the story of her life as if it were a rom-com. She meets Knight's character in Paris and thus starts their romance. She had incredible chemistry with him, better than I've seen in a series or film in a while. Hale had a starring role in the horror film Truth or Dare this year. She made a name for herself and probably is best known for Pretty Little Liars.

14. CRESS WILLIAMS - He's the second black person on this list who was born in Germany. Unlike Zazie Beetz, he grew up in Los Angeles and not New York. He's almost 50 but he's starring as a super-hero, which is Robert Downey Jr. territory. Yet, Williams is in far better shape. He really fills out his uniform or costume in CW's Black Lightning. This year also marks Williams' 25th anniversary of being in the business. According to IMDB, his first credit was in Beverly Hills, 90210 back in 1993.

13. JAMEELA JAMIL - She's a British actress whose father is Indian and mother is Pakistani. She mostly worked as a fashion model until someone had the brilliant idea to put her in NBC's The Good Place in which she's fantastic, funny and beautiful.

12. VICTOR TURPIN - He's from Colombia. He's a singer. He does Latin Pop. You can check out his music on iTunes or his website. He started acting about a decade ago by doing a Colombian telenovela. He didn't catch my attention until he guest starred on Will & Grace this year. According to the tabloids, he's dating Welsh actor, Luke Evans, and he's set to appear in NBC's Shades of Blue, opposite Jennifer Lopez. Check out his Instagram as well.

11. YARA SHAHIDI - She's been a child actress until this year when she turned 18. She's best known for her role as the eldest daughter in ABC's Black-ish. Freeform made her the lead in the spin-off of that show Grown-ish, which I reviewed. Most notably, she is an activist, encouraging young people to vote in the midterm election. She was also given a letter of recommendation to attend Harvard University from First Lady Michelle Obama. Not only is Shahidi beautiful but she is very smart.

10. AJIONA ALEXUS - She too is a very young actress, only 22. Most notably, she played young Cookie Lyon in FOX's Empire, but the reason she makes this list is because like with many here, she's been very active, popping up in so many projects in just one year. She was in two films, Tyler Perry's Acrimony and opposite Gabrielle Union in Breaking In. She also had a role in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why. All those projects didn't get the best critical responses, but I would argue that she's an undeniable presence no matter what she's doing.

9. BRANT DAUGHERTY - The first time I saw this guy was on NBC's Days of Our Lives. He has two connections with two other people on this list. The first is Lucy Hale because his most successful and most popular role to date was on Pretty Little Liars. Like Chris Mazdzer, he was also on Dancing With the Stars back in 2013. This year, he played the sexy bodyguard Sawyer in Fifty Shades Freed who couldn't help but be sheer eye-candy. Last year, he participated in ABC's Battle of the Network Stars. He was part of the group labeled "TV Sex Symbols" and it's not hard to see why.

8. PENÉLOPE CRUZ - She did a small film called Loving Pablo that came out this year where she was opposite her husband, Javier Bardem. Both Cruz and Bardem are from Spain. Cruz is from Madrid. Bardem is from the Canary Islands. Cruz and Bardem are the only two Spaniards to win the Oscar for acting. Bardem won Best Supporting Actor in 2008 at the 80th Academy Awards. Cruz won Best Supporting Actress at the 81st Academy Awards for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She's been acting since she was a teenager, most notably working with Pedro Almodovar, but, this year what's really gotten her notice is her role as Donatella Versace in FX's The Assassination of Gianni Versace where she is just this fierce, controlling, blonde bombshell.

7. GUS KENWORTHY & ADAM RIPPON - Kenworthy is a freestyle skier who competed in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Unfortunately, he finished 12th place in his event, but he did win the silver medal in Men's Slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The games were held in Russia and because of anti-gay laws there, Kenworthy was in the closet. He came out to ESPN a year later, so at this year's games, he was able to kiss his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas on live TV without hesitation. Kenworthy might not have won anything this year but he certainly won the genetic lottery. He graced the cover of Out magazine with fellow Olympian, Adam Rippon who won the bronze medal in PyeongChang for figure skating, making him the first, openly gay American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Rippon didn't stop there though. He went on to win Season 26 of Dancing With the Stars, making him the first openly gay celebrity to win that competition too.

6. ANTOINETTE ROBERTSON - The 24-year-old from the Bronx was the best thing about Season 2 of Dear White People. The former model also had a crazy, sexy and heartbreaking turn in Tyler Perry's The Haves and Have Nots this year. For more stunning photos, check out her website.

5. ROME FLYNN - Speaking of The Haves and Have Nots, this 26-year-old from Chicago also has a devilish role in that Tyler Perry, soapy drama. This year, however, he won an Emmy Award for his role in the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful, which is a description perfect for him. He also appeared briefly in ABC's How to Get Away With Murder, a role that continues for him come this fall. He is a saucy mix of Cuban, Irish and black who will hopefully be igniting passions and breaking hearts for decades to come.

4. CAMILA CABELLO - I'm not usually one to include singers or pop stars on this list unless they've done some significant acting, but after first seeing her, I was so taken with this Cuban girl who was a contestant on the TV series The X Factor. She was part of the girl group, Fifth Harmony. She released her debut album this year, which made it to #1 on the Billboard charts. Her single "Havana" also made it to #1.

3. ANTONI POROWSKI - He's the breakout star from Netflix's Queer Eye, the reboot of the Bravo series about five gay men who give a makeover to a person in need. Porowski is the resident food expert. He started out as a busboy and worked his way up to personal chef. He's reportedly even in the works to open his own restaurant in New York. He's done some acting, which qualifies him for his list but even if he hadn't, there's no way someone as charming and as jaw-dropping as this guy can be excluded from this list. If nothing else, he deserves a follow on Instagram.

2. WINSTON DUKE - The 31-year-old is from Tobago of Trinidad and Tobago. He immigrated to the United States when he was 9. He attended Yale University along side Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o. He had a small role on CBS' Person of Interest in 2014 but he hadn't really done much before being cast as the now iconic M'Baku in the mega-blockbuster Black Panther. Instantly, he became a sex symbol, fueled mainly by chatter online. One article even labeled Duke as "the Internet's New Boyfriend." He appeared briefly in Avengers: Infinity War this year and his next appearance won't be until the next Avengers movie, but here's hoping his wave of support will land him leading roles in other films.

1. MEGHAN MARKLE - She's 36. She was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her father is white and is an Emmy-nominated lighting designer and cinematographer. Her mother is black and is employed as a social worker. She attended Northwestern and got a double major in theater and international studies. In 2006, she got a modeling job on the game show Deal or No Deal. She bounced around doing a lot of small things. She got a role in the hit film Horrible Bosses. Her most notable role was in USA's Suits. Her life changed when she was set up on a blind date with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, sixth in line of succession to the British throne. They started dating in June 2016. They announced their engagement in November 2017. They were married on live, international TV on May 19, 2018. The wedding was amazing. Time and Britain's Vogue magazine named the couple one of the most influential in the world. She is now a princess and will forever be called your Royal Highness.


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