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View Full Version : Famous people who seem taller or shorter than they really are


NDP
02-04-2007, 12:28 AM
(This is probably the most trivial topic for a thread I've ever come up with.)

Determining the height actors, actresses, athletes, and other public figures from how they look on TV or in the movies can be a tricky game. Camera angles, shoe heels, how someone carries himself or herself, the type of roles a person plays, and (especially in the case of basketball players) the relative height of the other people around someone can give a deceptive picture of someone's height. For example, while recently browsing the IMDB, I came across the entry for Julie Christie (http://imdb.com/name/nm0001046/bio) and discovered she was only 5'2" (which surprised me since I always thought she was around 5'7"). Another time, I found I completely misjudged the height of Katie Holmes by assuming she was about 5'3" when in fact she's 5'9". So what famous person have you found was shorter or taller than he or she seemed?

Argent Towers
02-04-2007, 01:07 AM
I keep getting conflicting reports on Arnold Schwarzenegger's height. All the official stuff seems to say he's 6'2. However, my dad (who is about 5'10") claims that he stood next to Arnold in an elevator and was taller than him. Everything I've read indicates that he wears huge lifts.

GuanoLad
02-04-2007, 01:28 AM
The first time I saw The Hudsucker Proxy there is a scene where Tim Robbins is talking to Paul Newman, and there's a single shot where it pulls wide, showing how tall Tim Robbins is, an how short Paul Newman is, making the balance of power look completely off-kilter.

I'd always thought of them both as being averagely tall, as most male actors are. It surprised me to see I was wrong in my assumption.

jnglmassiv
02-04-2007, 02:21 AM
Conan O'Brien's 6 feet + 4 inches isn't obvious until he stands next to a guest. It's sort of suprising he first time you notice just how tall he is.

Hugh Mongoose
02-04-2007, 03:15 AM
Tom Cruise's height (5'7") never registered until one of my friends mentioned it. Now I can't see him in a movie without thinking about how they must have carefully framed shots to make him look more imposing, and carefully chosen his co-stars so he doesn't look diminuitive.

On a similar note, when I first visited the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, I was struck by how small all the life-size mannequins were. Many of my idols (which of course in my mind were larger-than-life) seemed disappointingly average.

Siam Sam
02-04-2007, 03:39 AM
Bogie was shorter than most people realize.

Walloon
02-04-2007, 04:12 AM
Tom Cruise's height (5'7")How accurate is your source for that height? Most sources say 5 feet 9 inches.

TheLoadedDog
02-04-2007, 04:54 AM
I saw a recent interview with Barbara Feldon (**swoon**), and she said that although she enjoyed making Get Smart, one thing she really hated was that she was told to slouch a little whenever she was in the same shot as Don Adams, so he would appear taller than he is.

And yes, Tom Cruise is a short little berk. I saw him in the street with Nicole Kidman. They looked odd together.

Siam Sam
02-04-2007, 05:10 AM
How accurate is your source for that height? Most sources say 5 feet 9 inches.
imdb.com says 5'7":

http://imdb.com/name/nm0000129/bio

zagloba
02-04-2007, 06:04 AM
Conan O'Brien's 6 feet + 4 inches isn't obvious until he stands next to a guest. It's sort of suprising he first time you notice just how tall he is.When seated, his head always seems to be several inches higher than that of his guest, even when is guest is rather tall.

K364
02-04-2007, 08:42 AM
Bogie was shorter than most people realize.
He was barely 5'8" and Ingrid Bergman was at least 5'10", so Casablanca was all about shoe lifts and camera angles and maybe the occasional step-stool.

ASAKMOTSD
02-04-2007, 09:07 AM
Rhea Perlman (http://imdb.com/name/nm0674231/bio) always seems a lot shorter than she apparently is. It must be that all the rest of the actors on Cheers were just a lot taller.

Zeldar
02-04-2007, 09:10 AM
Fascinating topic! For a few weeks about 30 years ago I did some volunteer work at the public library in Nashville reading magazine articles aloud onto tapes that blind people could call up on some special radios that were available to them.

Among the articles I read, one called "The Height Report" was on this very topic. It went into all sorts of psycho-babble about why we associate Height with Right and why the good guy is always imagined (until seen to be otherwise) to be tall and the bad guy short (or at most average height). Along the same lines as white hats and black hats.

Seen through this prism it stressed how we are somewhat startled when we find some public figure that we perceive as upright and noble turns out to be short of stature, and why those we see as evil or at least up to no good turn out to be tall.

They even had a couple of lists of those who are taller than we perceive and those who are shorter than we perceive.

Along these same lines, I know I've seen at least one website where you can compare you own height to that of public figures. Sort of a guessing game type thing. The results are usually a bit of a surprise.

I'll try to locate the link if some of you don't beat me to it.

But Walloon has already raised an important issue: the source for the cited heights. I've read (I don't recall the source ;) ) that Hollywood usually jacks up the reported height of shortish actors and trims an inch or two off tallish actresses, in their press releases. A case in point was James Dean, whose height was variously reported as 5' 10" (give or take a few inches) but whose biographies had him as considerably shorter.

Zeldar
02-04-2007, 09:15 AM
This is not the one I was looking for, but here (http://absolutecelebrities.com/celebheight.html) is one place to look at and contradict with better data.

astorian
02-04-2007, 09:43 AM
It's become a cliche to hear, "I met such-and-such celebrity, and wow, he was really shorter than I expected."

Among the few people I've heard the opposite about are:

1) Bill Clinton. No, he's not a giant, but he seems to be around 6'2," and many people who've met him expected him to be smaller.

2) Michael Crichton. He's famous, but doesn't appear on TV often. When people meet him, they find he's tall enough to be an NBA center (okay, make that power forward).

Zeldar
02-04-2007, 09:47 AM
Okay. Don't ask me how I ever found this site or why I would have run across it in the first place. Unless it's not unique and is just a copy of stuff from some other site. I give that decent odds.

Anyway. Check This Out (http://ringophone.com/tallornot.asp?tab=4&type=freebies&refid=TallorNot2)

Jonathan Chance
02-04-2007, 09:54 AM
On a similar note, when I first visited the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, I was struck by how small all the life-size mannequins were. Many of my idols (which of course in my mind were larger-than-life) seemed disappointingly average.

I was going to mention this. Freddie Mercury's outfits (there were two, I seem to recall) were downright tiny on the mannequins. I think I was taller at fourteen. The Queen Online website says he was 5'9" but I have my doubts.

Quiddity Glomfuster
02-04-2007, 10:42 AM
Seems my view of Hollywood is skewed upward about three inches. I figured all the shorter women were about 5'4" and judged their costars accordingly. Apparently, most of them are 5'0" to 5'1" so the women and men I thought towered over them are only 5'7".

I'm most surprised about Jerry Lewis, William Shatner, Jack Nicholson, and Simon Cowell - I thought they were all six-footers. I'm surprised that David Spade is as tall as 5'9" and that Sean Hayes isn't a little guy.

Siam Sam
02-04-2007, 10:54 AM
It's become a cliche to hear, "I met such-and-such celebrity, and wow, he was really shorter than I expected."

Among the few people I've heard the opposite about are:

1) Bill Clinton. No, he's not a giant, but he seems to be around 6'2," and many people who've met him expected him to be smaller.

I believe Clinton is 6'3", same as me.

Siam Sam
02-04-2007, 10:55 AM
Seems my view of Hollywood is skewed upward about three inches. I figured all the shorter women were about 5'4" and judged their costars accordingly. Apparently, most of them are 5'0" to 5'1" so the women and men I thought towered over them are only 5'7".

I'm most surprised about Jerry Lewis, William Shatner, Jack Nicholson, and Simon Cowell - I thought they were all six-footers. I'm surprised that David Spade is as tall as 5'9" and that Sean Hayes isn't a little guy.
I thought Jack Nicholson always came across as a small guy.

Burrido
02-04-2007, 11:01 AM
My coworker worked in a Game Store in Santa Barbara. Julia Louis Dreyfus came in and she was literally no taller than 5ft even. He had to help her find a pokeman game and got pretty close to her.

Siam Sam
02-04-2007, 11:15 AM
My coworker worked in a Game Store in Santa Barbara. Julia Louis Dreyfus came in and she was literally no taller than 5ft even. He had to help her find a pokeman game and got pretty close to her.
No, not literally. imdb.com lists her as 5' 2 1/2" tall:

http://imdb.com/name/nm0000506/bio

Sir Prize
02-04-2007, 11:29 AM
I saw some TV show where # Idina Menzel was walking next to her costar from Wicked. She was wearing a backless gown showing a very defined back. I thought "What an Amazon!" I figured that she was at least 6'. I was disappointed to find out that she is only 5'4". Kristin Chenoweth is a Munchkin.

Mahaloth
02-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Liam Neeson is 6'4?

I had no idea!

Burrido
02-04-2007, 12:29 PM
I keep getting conflicting reports on Arnold Schwarzenegger's height. All the official stuff seems to say he's 6'2. However, my dad (who is about 5'10") claims that he stood next to Arnold in an elevator and was taller than him. Everything I've read indicates that he wears huge lifts.

Which seems to be the rumor on this interesting website as well. This link has pictures of stars against normal people of certain heights.

http://celebheights.com/s/Arnold-Schwarzenegger-177.html

LifeOnWry
02-04-2007, 12:36 PM
Salma Hayek is reported to be 5'1"-5'2"... but how many of you have seen Dogma? Either she's really a good deal shorter than 5'2" or her co-stars are far taller than I would have thought. There's a couple of group shots toward the end of the movie where it can be seen that Salma is wearing big, clunky platform shoes, and even so, she barely comes up to Alan Rickman's shoulder.

FuriousGeorge
02-04-2007, 12:44 PM
How about Ronnie James Dio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_James_Dio) shouldn't rock g-ds (or in this case demi-g-d) be taller than 5' 4"?

Monstera deliciosa
02-04-2007, 12:51 PM
Okay. Don't ask me how I ever found this site or why I would have run across it in the first place. Unless it's not unique and is just a copy of stuff from some other site. I give that decent odds.

Anyway. Check This Out (http://ringophone.com/tallornot.asp?tab=4&type=freebies&refid=TallorNot2)

I just went to this site, and I seriously doubt their numbers. I used to work as a museum guard in NYC and saw at least a few celebrities whose height surprised me.

I am 5'6", and always wore flat shoes while working, so it was easy to compare my height with others . This site says Jamie Lee Curtis is 5'9." Having seen her in person at the museum, I'd estimate her height at 5'4." It gives William Shatner at 5'7." He also visited the museum while I was working. He's at least 5'10," if not taller. I doubt that he was wearing lifts.

Queen Bruin
02-04-2007, 12:56 PM
How about Ronnie James Dio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_James_Dio) shouldn't rock g-ds (or in this case demi-g-d) be taller than 5' 4"?
Slash is maybe 5'4" in cowboy boots and a top hat, so RJD has a bit of an edge.

I always figured Adam Sandler to be around 6 feet (dunno why), but he is apparently a good deal shorter than that.

Hugh Mongoose
02-04-2007, 02:23 PM
Slash is maybe 5'4" in cowboy boots and a top hat, so RJD has a bit of an edge.

So wait... Cowboy boots, let's say 1.5" heels. Top hat, ~6" tall. Making Slash... 4'8.5"?

Caprese
02-04-2007, 02:26 PM
I've read that Jack White of the White Stripes/Raconteurs is a tall guy, over six feet, which does not especially come across to me in photographs.
I saw him play live, but was far away and really couldn't tell.

pool
02-04-2007, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Quiddity Glomfuster
I'm surprised that David Spade is as tall as 5'9" and that Sean Hayes isn't a little guy.

David Spade isn't that tall. If you watch any movie with him and Chris Farley, Farley is always an inch taller. IMDB backs me up, putting Farley at 5'8'' and Spade at 5'7''

Caprese
02-04-2007, 02:34 PM
I've read that Jack White of the White Stripes/Raconteurs is a tall guy, over six feet, which does not especially come across to me in photographs.
I saw him play live, but was far away and really couldn't tell.
Tried to edit but I guess it was too late.
Anyway, after looking at the photos taken with fans on the CelebHeight site that Burrido posted, it definitely appears that Jack White is a tall guy.

Biggirl
02-04-2007, 02:43 PM
Tim Conway is over six feet tall? No way!


As per the "how tall are you" site linked above.

Surbey
02-04-2007, 03:13 PM
I can't believe Joaquin Pheonix is only 5'8". He seems SOO much taller than that.

Wendell Wagner
02-04-2007, 04:29 PM
Zeldar writes:

> Among the articles I read, one called "The Height Report" was on this very
> topic. It went into all sorts of psycho-babble about why we associate Height
> with Right and why the good guy is always imagined (until seen to be
> otherwise) to be tall and the bad guy short (or at most average height). Along
> the same lines as white hats and black hats.

This is an article in _Reader's Digest_ in March 1980 by Ralph Keyes. It's presumably material from his book _The Height of Your Life_ which came out that year. I suspected it was him because he mentioned me in this book, an earlier book, and an article in _Playboy_.

Landshark
02-04-2007, 05:38 PM
It's become a cliche to hear, "I met such-and-such celebrity, and wow, he was really shorter than I expected."

Among the few people I've heard the opposite about are:

1) Bill Clinton. No, he's not a giant, but he seems to be around 6'2," and many people who've met him expected him to be smaller.

2) Michael Crichton. He's famous, but doesn't appear on TV often. When people meet him, they find he's tall enough to be an NBA center (okay, make that power forward).The mention of Michael Crichton triggered a memory for me. I recall going to a sneak preview of the movie The Andromeda Strain (http://imdb.com/title/tt0066769/) (based on his novel). As I was standing in line to get in, he came out with several other people (I recognized him from a previously seen photo) and he was at least a head taller than everyone who came out with him.

Argent Towers
02-04-2007, 05:49 PM
Among the articles I read, one called "The Height Report" was on this very topic. It went into all sorts of psycho-babble about why we associate Height with Right and why the good guy is always imagined (until seen to be otherwise) to be tall and the bad guy short (or at most average height). Along the same lines as white hats and black hats.

Seen through this prism it stressed how we are somewhat startled when we find some public figure that we perceive as upright and noble turns out to be short of stature, and why those we see as evil or at least up to no good turn out to be tall.


I see it differently. It's not that the bad guy is short and the good guy tall. It's just that whoever is powerful, good or bad, is seen as being tall. I mean, the villains in pop culture are usually tall too. Tall = intimidating, especially when combined with dark features.

ladybug
02-04-2007, 06:14 PM
Back in my J-school days I covered a speech that O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark gave at my University. We were all a bit surprised when she entered the room for the pre-speech press conference. I knew she was short, but I didn't expect her to be barely 5 feet tall. She seemed taller on TV.

GraceTX
02-04-2007, 06:31 PM
While trying to find Angus Young of AC/DC's height (5'2", apparently), I discovered that Jon Stewart is only 5'7". I would have pictured him as being only a inch or two shy of 6', so I guess he qualifies from my POV.

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