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OTRC: Channing Tatum is People's 'Sexiest Man Alive' for 2012 - 7 facts

Channing Tatum appears on the cover of People magazine in November 2012, is dubbed the 'Sexiest Man Alive' of 2012. / Channing Tatum talks to OnTheRedCarpet.com at the Hollywood premiere of 'Magic Mike' on June 24, 2012. (Time Inc. / People / OTRC)

Channing Tatum, who played a stripper in this past summer's hit film "Magic Mike" and who also used to be an exotic dancer in real life, has been named the "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2012 by People magazine.

The 32-year-old actor follows in the footsteps of the likes of Bradley Cooper, last year's honoree, Ryan Reynolds, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson, who was the "first to be given the title by the outlet in 1984.

"My first thought was, 'Y'all are messing with me,'" Tatum told People magazine, in response to the news, which was announced on Wednesday, November 14.

The Alabama-born actor said he told his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum about it "after we'd been in the bathtub washing our dogs because they'd gotten skunked."

He and Jenna married in 2009. They co-starred in the 2006 dance film "Step Up," which helped launch his movie career. He had previously appeared in films such as "She's The Man," playing a college soccer player who falls for his roommate, played by Amanda Bynes, who is masquerading as a boy, and in a 2004 episode of "CSI: Miami," which marked his first on-screen role.

After "Step Up," Tatum went on to star in the film's 2008 sequel, "Step Up 2: The Streets ," as well as in movies such as "Stop-Loss," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," "Dear John" and the big-screen adaptation of the 1980s series "21 Jump Street" before nabbing his role as a stripper in "Magic Mike." The movie, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, has made $164 million since it was released on June 29.

Check out 7 more facts about Channing Tatum:

1. He was a jock in high school - and has his mom to thank for graduating.

This is not really a big surprise here, with his physique. Tatum, who told Vanity Fair magazine in September that he played football when he was a high school student and was voted "most athletic."

He also says that his mother helped him pass his classes.

"If it wasn't for her literally doing my homework for me, I would not have even graduated high school. Guaranteed," Tatum told GQ magazine in 2009.

3. He dropped out of college.

Tatum had received a partial football scholarship from Wake Forest University but was denied acceptance because of his bad grades. He ultimately received a football scholarship at Glenville State College in West Virginia and dropped out after a year, according to GQ.

4. He's held some pretty terrible jobs before he became famous. Many involved pestering people. One involved puppies.

Tatum told GQ that after he left college, he moved to Tampa and working in construction, framing houses, and then got a job at Dillards, a department store chain.

"I was like, $10 to sit in an air-conditioned place and spray cologne on a piece of paper? Yeah, I'm gonna do that," he said.

He also worked as a mortgage broker for about three months.

"I went through the training, did it about a month and a half, and it was - I just couldn't do it," Tatum told Vanity Fair in 2009. "I was cold calling people and trying to remortgage their house, and they didn't even need it to be remortgaged, and I just felt like I wasn't doing any good. It was just numbers and I was trying to get my money, and see how much more money I could skim off, and I was like, 'This is just horrible. I can't do this.' And I walked out. I found myself wanting to drink during lunch, just to get through the rest of the day."

He says that was one of his worst jobs - that and being a club promoter.

"I handed out fliers for a nightclub on a campus, and that was my worst job," he told the Arizona Republic newspaper in June. "I hated it, because you know no one wants to take a flier from you, and you just get turned down, turned down. That was my worst job."

He also worked as a telemarketer at a credit card company, which also involved him having to cold-call people, and at a "puppy kitty nursery."

"It was incredible. I just got to play with dogs all day, and give them medication and take care of them when they're puppies, the best stage," he told Vanity Fair.

(Check out other celebrities' former jobs)

4. He began working as a stripper when he was 19 - and used a stage name.

Tatum began working as a stripper in 1999. At the time, he was living in a government housing unit in Tampa, Florida, according to a Details magazine interview with him, which was published in February.

Tatum used the stage name Chan Crawford when he worked as an exotic dancer.

"[I] had a crazy life in Florida, man," he told CNN in February. "I've lived a lot of different lives, and I'm not ashamed of 'em ... "Would I suggest 'em to people? Probably not," the 30-year-old said. "But it was just one of those things. I've had a bunch of different, incredible experiences that I might have never really escaped, and I'm pretty happy I got nine lives."

5. He was a model before he was an actor.

Tatum was discovered on the streets of Miami.

"Yeah, I won the lottery, man. I moved down to Miami, because in my intimate knowledge of being a 20-year-old, I thought that going to Miami would be a good idea so I could get away from all my partying friends in Tampa and try to make something of myself, because I thought there would be more opportunity and it would be more of a metropolislike type city," he told the Arizona Republic.

"And you know, someone just saw me on the street for modeling, and so I gave it a shot, and it took me all around the world," he said.

6. He likes to shoot guns.

Tatum talked about the hobby in his interview with Details.

"When I was a kid, we lived on the bayou in Mississippi. My dad would throw a beer can into the water and have me shoot at it. Once, when I was really little, we had this huge double-barrel shotgun, and when I tried it, it literally blew me off the dock," he told the outlet.

7. He's a hopeless romantic.

Tatum is so romantic that he even writes his wife love notes.

"I see caring for somebody as a creative outlet," Channing told People magazine in February. "I like drawing little faces and writing little stories and hiding them in places. I'm a practical joker. My favorite one is putting one under the toilet seat," Tatum continued. "She always wakes up before I do, so I enjoy the surprise of 'Haha! I got you!'"

The bar for romance and courtship, Tatum says, should be set high.

"I think it should be set higher, in a way," he told OTRC.com in February. "I think back in the day, things were more romantic, in a way. I don't know. I just think it's not that hard to be thoughtful. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant.

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