The average height for men in the United States is 5-feet-9-inches tall. But many of Hollywood’s leading men are shorter than that.
Humphrey Bogart was known to wear lifts in his shoes, but he was actually 5-foot-8. Alan Ladd was considered so short that in filming “Shane” the villain had to stand in a hole so as to not loom over the hero. And Charlie Chaplin, a giant on the silver screen, but only 5-foot-4 in his stocking feet.
Looking at more recent movie stars, here is our Top 10 list of the shortest big actors in Hollywood.
10) Martin Freeman – 5-feet-6½-inches. No wonder he was cast as the Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins.
9) Elijah Wood – 5-feet-6-inches. Same here, Elijah was a Hobbit named Frodo in “Lord of the Rings.”
8) Dustin Hoffman – 5-feet-6-inches. He describes himself as a “short, funny-looking Jewish guy.”
7) Richard Dreyfuss – 5-feet-5-inches. He made the Great White Shark in “Jaws” look bigger.
6) Daniel Radcliffe – 5-feet-5-inches. Harry Potter magically remained a teenage wizard thanks to the actor’s diminutive size.
5) Woody Allen – 5-feet-5-inches. The woodman made his undersized nebbish character into a successful schtick.
4) Kevin Hart – 5-feet-4½-inches. Every fraction of an inch counts. The short comedian says, “I’m 5-foot-4½. A lot of people think it’s just 5-4. It’s not. Five-foot-four-and-a-half!”
3) Joe Pesci – 5-feet-4-inches – As he said in “Goodfellas,” “I’m funny how? I mean funny like I’m a clown?” … but nobody dares laugh about his bantam-size height.
2) Danny DeVito – 4-feet-10-inches. The squat actor suffers from Fairbank’s disease, a genetic disorder that impacts bone growth. He says he has always tried to compensate for his short height with a big personality.
1) Peter Dinklage – 4-feet-4-inches. Technically a dwarf (achondroplasia), he filled the TV screen in “Game of Thrones.”
Other short Hollywood stars? At 5-feet-7-inches, Tom Cruise hardly measures up to the Jack Reacher character he sometimes plays, a 6-feet-5-inch tough guy. By comparison, Al Pacino and James McAvoy are also 5-feet-7-inches tall but look bigger on screen.
Or as that short documentary about 5-feet-5-inch Mel Brooks was titled, “I Thought I Was Taller.”