The Shortest Men of Hollywood
Men aren’t immune to stereotypes, especially when “tall, dark and handsome” is considered an ideal. That’s one reason why it’s impressive that these famous actors have managed to carve out careers in a line of work where appearance is so important.
Perhaps you were aware that these guys are on the shorter side — but did you realize they’re as short as they actually are? Find out who the smaller-statured leading men in Hollywood are and how they measure up.
Dustin Hoffman is, by appearances, an unlikely leading man. Not only is he not the “traditionally handsome” Cary Grant type, but part of that knock is that D-Hoff measures 5 feet 6 inches tall. However, Hoffman has always owned his height, taking roles that suit him and becoming a massive star as a result.
The list of smash hits starring Dustin Hoffman is not short, and older readers (and younger movie buffs) will recognize classics like Rain Man, The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and Tootsie. Newer fans will know him from Meet the Fockers, among others.
Jeong — an actual physician who later became a comedian — broke onto the scene in The Hangover, and he’s continued to rely on his comedic chops (as opposed to his height) to remain relevant ever since.
The multitalented Jeong measures in at 5 feet 5 inches tall, making him far shorter than the typical leading man. But that hasn’t stopped Jeong from carving out a respectable career — recently as a judge on The Masked Singer.
Ben Stiller has not only made it big in Hollywood but has also found brief success in the world of professional modeling (not just as Derek Zoolander — ever heard of him?). And he’s only 5 feet 7 inches tall. As the son of Seinfeld actor Jerry Stiller, Ben likely never had delusions of tall genetic grandeur, but being a leading man at his height is impressive.
And make no mistake — Stiller is a bonafide leading man, even if he’s not the stereotypical hunk. Beyond Zoolander, the likes of Meet the Parents, Tropic Thunder, Along Came Polly, and Night at the Museum cement Stiller as a box office draw.
Al Pacino has played some larger-than-life characters throughout his storied career, Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy being chief among them. But you may be surprised to learn that none of those characters were taller than 5 feet 7 inches — Pacino’s height.
That’s right. Tony Montana may have been big on moving weight, but he wasn’t big in the height department. Pacino, commanding the screen in movies like Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Donnie Brasco, Any Given Sunday and so many others, is a testament to shorter guys’ ability to succeed in Hollywood.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox was nothing short (pun intended) of a superstar in his young days in Hollywood, with the Back to the Future series exposing him as a witty, charming leading man with boyish good looks that proved to last. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, Fox continued to act.
Fox’s height never held him back — he stands at a reported 5 feet 4 inches tall. Lately, his progressing Parkinson’s has led him to do more voiceover work in movies like Stuart Little and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Dave Franco, even with some recent success, might forever be known as James Franco’s little brother. It turns out that “little,” in this case, could refer not just to Dave’s status as the younger Franco, but also to his height.
Dave measures in at 5 feet 7 inches tall, which is below the average American male’s height of 5 feet 10 inches. In Hollywood, where height can be a determining factor in the roles actors get (especially leading roles), Franco has still found a way to carve out a career. Movies like Neighbors, Now You See Me and 21 Jump Street have proven that.
Fans of the Mafia genre have to know Joe Pesci, both by name and by appearance. He seems to always play a character who’s slightly off his rocker, whether it’s Nicky Santoro in Casino, Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas or Vinny Gambini in My Cousin Vinny.
These characters were inseparable from the perception that each of them had a bit of a Napoleon complex, which was made more believable by Pesci’s real-life height of 5 feet 3 inches. If anything, Pesci’s small stature added to the gusto that each of his movie-stealing characters possessed.
It’s a common perception that being on the shorter side is far less of a ding to your job options if you happen to be funny. This has proven true for Jack Black, who has commanded several leading roles in critically and financially successful movies — despite Black standing only 5 feet 6 inches tall.
He broke onto the scene with a series of cameos in movies like Orange County and Mars Attacks! but now is more of a leading man, stealing the show in School of Rock, Shallow Hal, Nacho Libre, Tropic Thunder and Goosebumps.
Martin Scorsese is among the greatest film directors of all time, and many believe he may just be the best — with all respect to Stanley Kubrick. And while directors’ heights aren’t as scrutinized as actors’, you should know that Marty has made a few on-screen cameos in his flicks.
Whether it’s Hugo, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Mean Streets or another one of his films, keep an eye out for the 5-foot 3-inch Scorsese to make a subtle appearance as a bit character.
Marc Anthony should give the shorter male population the world over hope of hooking their dream dates, as he was once married to Jennifer Lopez and a former Miss Universe. At 5 feet 5 inches tall, Anthony has also managed to pull some prominent roles on the silver screen.
Though he’s known primarily as a Latin-music singer, he has appeared in several movies, including Hackers. He even had a role alongside Denzel Washington in the edge-of-your-seat thriller Man on Fire, in which Anthony played the father of the kidnapped Dakota Fanning.
James McAvoy has become an increasingly recognizable Hollywood leading man by taking on roles that attract large audiences. He has played a young Charles Xavier in several of the X-Men films and has recently become synonymous with Kevin Wendell Crumb in the movies Split and Glass.
Yet McAvoy, who stands at 5 feet 7 inches tall, has also taken on more critically praised roles in films like The Last King of Scotland while dabbling in the action genre with Wanted, which he starred in alongside Angelina Jolie. The guy really does it all.
The actor best known for playing Harry Potter was always a bit more believable as a teenager, even once he had grown out of his teens in real life. That’s in part because he’s only 5 feet 5 inches tall.
Radcliffe has admitted to personal struggles with fame and alcohol, but he has continued to put out impressive performances in largely niche movies such as Swiss Army Man, receiving consistent critical praise as he proves that he’s much more as an actor than Harry Potter — not that Harry Potter is anything to turn our noses up at.
Tom Cruise is the poster boy for those who believe you don’t have to be over 6 feet tall to be a bonafide movie megastar. In fact, considering that Cruise is only 5 feet 7 inches tall, you apparently don’t even need to be the height of the average American male to become an international superstar.
Cruise is not without his share of controversy, but there’s no denying that, even as he nears age 60, he’s still a box office draw. He continues to pump out Mission Impossible films, along with blockbuster flicks like Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow and American Made.
Kevin Hart is one of those movie stars who isn’t succeeding in spite of his short stature but arguably succeeding because of it. He stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall, and he’s made self-deprecation about his height a staple of his routines from the outset of his comedy career.
Whether he’s mocking himself in stand-up comedy sets or taking roles alongside relative giants like The Rock, Hart knows how to make his lack of height an asset in a way that few actors before him have done.
Seth Green has become more of a behind-the-scenes presence in the entertainment industry as the years have gone by, but he remains one of the more recognizable “short guys” in show business. Green primarily produces animated comedy shows today, but his list of on-screen appearances remains impressive.
He played a prominent role as Dr. Evil’s son, Scott Evil, in the Austin Powers movies, appeared in the hit TV show Entourage and appeared prominently in films like The Italian Job, Party Monster, Sex Drive and Can’t Hardly Wait. And to think Green is only 5 feet 4 inches tall.
Zac Efron is known as a major heartthrob in Hollywood, but he’s lacking one quality commonly found in the heartthrob population: height. He’s not exactly super-short at 5 feet 8 inches tall, but he’s also not quite as tall as the typical leading man.
Despite people’s misconceptions about what height a leading man is “supposed to” measure in at, Efron has carved himself a nice career by appearing in films like Baywatch, Neighbors, Dirty Grandpa and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
Jonah Hill was once known for being a bit chubby (a fact he’s made clear doesn’t sit well with him), but fans may not realize that he’s also not very tall. There’s no meanness involved here, but it’s clear that Jonah Hill isn’t cut from the cloth of the classic leading men, height-wise — and that’s totally fine.
Hill has gotten by on his great sense of humor and surprisingly versatile acting abilities. At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Hill has played a Wall Street trader, a baseball executive and a horny high schooler. How’s that for acting chops?
Aziz Ansari found his breakthrough in comedy, where being short can be an asset when you play it the right way like Kevin Hart does. But Ansari has begun to appear more in TV shows and movies that aren’t traditional comedies, and he’s served as the leading man in some of them — a 5-foot 6-inch leading man, in fact.
His roles in Parks and Recreation and the show he created, directed and starred in, Master of None, involved the right amount of comedy. And height was not a major issue in any of that comedy. Ansari knows he’s not the traditional hunk type, and he makes his stature work.
Josh Hutcherson is known for his role as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games movie series, but he has appeared as the leading man in several other movies. He measures in at 5 feet 7 inches tall.
He has a varied resume that includes comedies like RV, The Disaster Artist and Kicking and Screaming. He’s been in fun flicks like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and in dramas like Escobar and Burn. He’s even done action movies, including The Hunger Games and its subsequent iterations. Nothing is stopping this guy.
There are lots of comedic actors on this list, and it’s no coincidence. It always helps to be funny if you’re under the traditional height for a leading man. David Spade is no exception, as it was his ability to make audiences laugh on Saturday Night Live that earned him his Hollywood break.
And Spade, at 5 feet 5 inches, is still relying on his humor to push out movies. His comedy-movie resume remains impressive, with Tommy Boy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Joe Dirt and the Grown Ups movies standing out for so many reasons.
Most movie fans know Elijah Wood as Frodo, a main character in the Lord of the Rings films, but Wood has put on a number of noteworthy performances. He’s gotten those roles despite being synonymous with a character as iconic as Frodo and standing only 5 feet 6 inches tall.
One of his most memorable performances came relatively early on in his career in Green Street Hooligans, in which he portrays an impressionable bad boy who gets sucked into the world of soccer hooliganism.
Emile Hirsch seemed destined for a bright career in Hollywood, starring in a few major films early on in his career and displaying a versatile range of comedic and dramatic performances that seemed primed to launch him into long-term stardom.
Five-foot 6-inch Hirsch’s acting stock has cooled off considerably since he won audience and critical acclaim for leading roles in films like Into the Wild, Alpha Dog and even The Girl Next Door. It started to seem as though he couldn’t handle leading roles any longer — he ran into some personal troubles — but he made a comeback in 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Martin Freeman is a British actor who has become increasingly well-known among American audiences for roles in movies like Black Panther and the popular television series Fargo. He has shown a versatile range and a knack for injecting dark comedy into several of his roles.
Freeman is often cast as somewhat nerdy, mildly timid characters, and his 5-foot 6-inch frame at times lends itself to such portrayals. Still, Freeman has very much found his footing as an actor, playing roles in popular films such as Love Actually and The Hobbit, in which he played Bilbo Baggins.
Danny DeVito is in a class with the likes of Joe Pesci — his height is inseparable from his identity as an actor, and it has its own particular charm. DeVito’s ability to own his 4-foot 10-inch stature is one thing that’s made him so successful; he’s been eager to poke fun at himself in movies like Twins, in which he played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unlikely brother.
Aside from Twins, DeVito has padded his resume and bank account with timeless roles in movies such as Matilda, Batman Returns, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Space Jam, Get Shorty and Hoffa.
Frankie Muniz was introduced to most audiences as Malcolm, the titular character in Malcolm in the Middle — a timeless comedy series that also shone a light on Bryan Cranston. Muniz went on to star in a slew of movies aimed at teens and young adults, Agent Cody Banks being probably the most well-known.
And while Muniz has since ventured into race car driving as a passion career, he remains one of the shorter actors to have found success in Hollywood. He measures in at around 5 feet 5 inches tall.
“KEVIN!” If you don’t know what movie that comes from, then you’ve missed out on arguably the best Christmas movies of all-time in Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Both starred Macaulay Culkin as the clever protagonist, Kevin McAllister.
Culkin hasn’t grown a whole lot since his days playing Kevin, as he measures in at 5 feet 7 inches even as he continues a more relaxed acting career as an adult. Some of Culkin’s later films include Party Monster, Saved! and Changeland.
Emilio Estevez is the son of Martin Sheen and the brother of Charlie Sheen, and he’s also kind of short. Well, by Hollywood standards anyway. The man Saturday Night Live rebranded as “Emilioooooo!” is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
Considering that there’s something of a height bias in most industries (and life in general), Emilio has done quite well for himself, starring in the cult classic The Breakfast Club and the Mighty Ducks series, which remains close to many a Disney kid’s heart to this day.
Peter Dinklage gained near-household name recognition playing Tyrion Lannister on the smash-hit series Game of Thrones. In Dinklage’s case, his 4-foot 4-inch height was a serious advantage in gaining this role of a lifetime.
Dinklage did well with the roles he played before landing his spot on Game of Thrones, too. The Station Agent is perhaps his most critically acclaimed film to date, but he also appeared in Elf, The Chronicles of Narnia and Death at a Funeral before Game of Thrones.
Jet Li is one of the most decorated martial artist actors of our time, following in the footsteps of other idols like Bruce Lee. His films are almost always high-flying affairs, even though he’s stationed close to the ground at a height of 5 feet 6 inches.
His stature arguably makes him even better suited to do the crazy stunts that his movies almost always require. Those movies include the action-packed Kiss of the Dragon, Cradle 2 The Grave, Fearless, Lethal Weapon 4, Romeo Must Die and The Expendables.
Mark Wahlberg is far from the shortest leading man in Hollywood, but considering his stardom and typical role as the macho man, some fans may be surprised to learn that Wahlberg’s reported height is 5 feet 8 inches. That’s below the national average for American men and below the average for leading men in Hollywood.
Really, it’s a testament to his good looks, big muscles and don’t-mess-with-me attitude that so few fans notice that Wahlberg is rather small in the height department. Roles in films like Transformers: Age of Extinction and Patriots Day reinforce Wahlberg’s abundant machismo.