How tall was Alec Guinness

Alec Guinness Height

5ft 9 ¼ (175.9 cm)

British actor best remembered for roles in Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago, The Ladykillers, The Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts and Coronets and Little Dorrit.


Photo By Allan Warren [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
[Journalist] "Aren't we about the same size"
Alec: "No, I'm about 5-9 1/2. I looked small [in Dylan] because I wore sneakers without heels, and I slumped a little. I worked myself down."
Central New Jersey Home News, 1964

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Add a Comment58 comments

Average Guess (23 Votes)
5ft 8.95in (175.1cm)
MrFish said on 9/Jan/19
Rob, how tall do you think Guinness looked in A New Hope?
Editor Rob
Over 5ft 8, but maybe not 5ft 9
ObiwonBros(TM) said on 30/Jun/18
You mean 5'7" not 5'10"
Roman said on 26/Jun/18
Guinness was 5'7
Vijayan said on 26/May/18
Rob was Alec listed 5'7 here at some point? Read through all comments just now recently. His height was quite hard to pin down as he could look between 5'8 and 5'10
Editor Rob
I don't remember him being listed that height, since he was taller than mark hamill.
haxxx said on 9/May/18
Click Here

How much taller is Harrison Ford than Guinness here? Picture taken in 1981.
haxxx said on 24/Apr/18
Just watched A New Hope the other day and he looked like 175-176 cm next to 170-171 Mark Hamill. Mark's boots were obvious that only gave him an inch but Guinness' boots were almost hidden which makes me think they put him in lifts. Guinness was put in lifts in almost every movie he appeared in. In 76 when they filmed ANH I would go with 174-175 cm for Guinness as he sometimes didn't appear more than 2 inches taller than Lucas, other times at least a 3 good inches. making him anything from 173 - 176 but I think he was more like 175 exactly then. He appeared shorter behind the scenes so he was most likely a lift wearer and no more than 175 cm. A very strong 5'9 in his very prime I believe though.
Danrook7979 said on 23/Apr/18
Guiness was never more than 5'8 in his prime. I understand people see him as a strong 5'9 guy or 5'10 in his movies, but he wore massive lifts and heights can be altered in movies. My older brother met Guiness in 86 and took a picture With him, and my older Brother was then 5'10, and he had a good 3 inches on Guiness. At least that was what he said and it looked like that on the picture. Still though, a great actor. Always been a fan of him.
Sandy Cowell said on 31/Mar/18
At 5ft9.25, and I've read Alec was even more, he was far too tall really to play Charles I in the film 'Cromwell'! But set against the size of the other actors, which included Richard Harris as Cromwell and the menacing Charles Grey, (both well in access of 6ft), Alec doesn't look too tall and I've noticed that the heights of those playing close to the King tend to be taller! Well, so far they have! Anyhow, Alec gives a heart-rending performance, and I truly feel sorry for him when he says good bye to his children to go to his execution.

I will go along with 5ft9 for this great actor.
Gonzalo said on 19/Feb/18
He looked around 1`75. Great actor
James said on 26/Nov/17
Heights are routinely altered in movies.
Mister lennon said on 23/Nov/17
How on hell he could be 5'7 if he was 2 inches taller than 5'7 mark hamill in star wars??? And he was in his 60s.
Let me guess, galactic lifts.
James said on 21/Nov/17
Guinness was 5'7".
Sonnecker said on 25/May/17
177 cm in my opinion, basing on his films of '50s and '60s.
Francesco said on 17/Jul/16
Secondo me, il suo picco altezza senza scarpe era 1,76 cm
Spencer said on 15/Dec/15
177 cm
Arch Stanton said on 28/Feb/15
Rob can you squeeze in The Man in the White Suit and Our Man in Havana?
Arch Stanton said on 28/Feb/15
He never looked a legit 5 ft 10 MJW, always looked in 5'9" range at most to me and sometimes could look a strong 5'8.
MJW said on 26/Apr/14
I remember when watching 'The Scapegoat'. Alec played 2 roles; a Frenchman of nobility (Jacques) & an English professor (John). On John's passport, it said that he was 5'10". Perhaps with age, Alec may have lost some of his height. (Which is fairly common amongst the elderly.)
Arch Stanton said on 26/Apr/14
Rob can you also add Dr. Zhivago, The Ladykillers, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Man in the White Suit, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Little Dorrit?

He's one of those few people who changed a lot in appearance at different stages in their careers. I mean compare him in the late 40s, to Bridge on the River Kwai and then Stars War. Three very different looks and quite difficult actually to realize it's the same person aside from the exaggerated public school voice. He actually looks 5 ft 8 in Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Arch Stanton said on 8/Mar/14
Yeah I think 169 for Hamill would be a good shout.
Lorne said on 7/Mar/14
Remember that Hamill wore "heels" in Star Wars... And no, I don't think he's 5'7 either, but more 5'6.5. For Guiness, I like this slight downgrade, but wouldn't go less than 175cm.
jtm said on 7/Mar/14
i think he was closer to 5'8.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Mar/14
Yup he did look about this next to Sharif in LOA. This looked spot on in The Ladykillers too next to Sellers. 176 is a great listing IMO.
Lebensdorf said on 15/Feb/14
He looked 5'9 in Our Man in Havana, compared to the 6 foot Noel Coward. But Coward looked a bit shorter than Ralph Richardson, who is also listed at 6 feet, so maybe Coward was 5'11.
Sam said on 13/Nov/13
I think 176-177 cm is what Guinness really was barefoot, he could look a cm or two over or under that range through his career.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Sep/13
He's got about 2.5 inches actually on Mark Hamill in Star Wars, but I'm not sure Hamill is quite 5'7".
Arch Stanton said on 14/Aug/13
Rob see 44 minutes here. Click Here Julie Christie must be wearing pretty big heels, she only looks a few inches shorter than him.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Aug/13
If Omar Sharif was 5'11" then this is spot on, he looks 1.5-2 inches taller than Guinness in Dr. Zhivago. I suppose Sharif does look above average and with his slim build looked tallish. Sharif can look 5'10" at times though. Guinness however, never looked it.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Aug/13
He did seem a bit taller at the beginning of Dr. Zhivago but he had high hair in that film
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
Thanks. It's time I watched Lawrence of Arabia again, can't remember how he fared in that.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
Maybe 176 would be a safer shout for now?
[Editor Rob: it's a good possibility]
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
I'd say the 5'10" measurement was in shoes and he was more 5'9" barefoot. Agreed, not easy to judge in that film and he could look both an inch shorter and an inch taller than Dirk in it. I'm still not convinced he was even 5'9" but I'll try to dig up a few more. I just feel 177 is too high barefoot anyway as he's have been near 5'11" in shoes and never looked close to that in my opinion.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
Can you downgrade him to 175-6 then? I really can't see near 5'10" in anything I've seen him in.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
OMG check out 39 minutes on the link!! How can he be 177?
[Editor Rob: I think they can look similar height, taking account the 'swaying' that happens in that film...sometimes alec does look taller, look at 57 minutes...tough movie to compare, I'd guess around 5ft 9ish from the scenes and Dirk's 5ft 8.5 I think is from army, so as good as you can get.]
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
Mmm then at 31-33 minutes not so sure. He can look even shorter than Bogarde at times. Can you try to catch this film Rob and let me know what you think?
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
See 17:00, 21:00, and 24:44 Click Here The best comparison is at 24:44 I think you can see that he does look 177cm if Dirk Bogarde is 174.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
I'll watch Damn the Defiant! Dirk Bogarde co-starred and you have him at 5'8.5", will be a good way to settle it...
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
He looked like he'd be 174-75 cm in River Kwai. Somewhere close to 5 ft 9, near 5'10" is too high in my opinion. I really think there's more chance than 174 than 177cm. I'd try to watch a few of his films this week and leave some feedback. I'm convinced you have him too high.
Arch Stanton said on 29/Jul/13
Rob didn't you or Frank2 or somebody say they once saw Alec and he was like 5'7 or 5'8" or something? 5'10 is most definitely a joke. He actually looked 5'8" range to me in a lot of the scenes in The Bridge on the River Kwai and I wouldn't be surprised if he was actually nearer 174-5 barefoot even at peak.
[Editor Rob:he may have been 5ft 9, although 5ft 8? He could look it sometimes, but also could look 5ft 9 a fair bit I thought...]
Arch Stanton said on 28/Jul/13
No way was he 5 ft 10. I'm watching Bridge of the River Kwai right now and I'd guess 5'9".
the height man said on 1/May/13
little bit taller than 5'8 to 5'9 mark hamill
Arch Stanton said on 27/Apr/13
Can't remember seeing Ladykillers but if he was the same height as Peter Sellers I doubt he was as high as 5'9.5" peak. Peter Sellers I doubt ever stood taller than 5 ft 8. I believe Frank 2 100% that Guinness looked near 5 ft 7, I'm sure he'd have said the same thing about Peter Sellers at that time. I'll try to find some older films with Guinness in. I'll watch Lawrence of Arabia on the weekend, I can't remember much of it expect the walking in the desert and the camp scenes with Omar Sharif, been 8-10 years since I saw it last.
guyfrommars said on 10/Sep/11
In The Ladykillers, he looked the same height as Peter Sellers (listed as 5'8.5" on this site), and both wore thick-heeled footwear. Although Guinness was slouching a bit, and Sellers' big hair made him look somewhat taller. In The Lavender Hill Mob, he looked around the same height as 5'9" Sid James. And James had footwear advantage (wearing boots with heels, clearly visible in one shot). I guess Guinnes was close to 5'9.5" in his younger days, but definately not under 5'9".
Sam said on 14/Jul/11
He doesn't look 5'7" usually, at least not until old age, though 5'9" might have been his absolute peak. Might you downgrade him a tad, Rob? You don't seem convinced of 5'9.5" in your comments above.
Bon_ said on 16/Apr/11
5'4 absolute max
Vibram said on 9/Apr/08
He probably did wear lifts in Star Wars , his robe hides it. Being a Master, it's just capitalism that he'd be deemed wiser if taller.
hb45 said on 12/Jan/07
In Star wars, Alec Guiness seemed to be 1m75, compared to Mark Hamill (1m72) and Harrison Ford (1m85). Did he wear lifts to reach that height? That's the question! But it's possible he did since he wore boots in Star Wars, very convenient for lifts!!! One thing is for sure, the Force was with him and it could help too...
Anonymous said on 1/Sep/06
Whatever height the late Mr. Guinness stood, there is a scene in "Lawrence of Arabia" in which he and tallish Peter O'Toole are about eye to eye.
Glenn said on 30/Apr/06
Sorry Frank.I was wrong about you.
Frank2 said on 30/Apr/06
Thanks Glenn. And believe me, no way am I singling you out to dispute what you're saying. I'm arguing with everybody with the same vigor.
Glenn said on 30/Apr/06
I agree on this one Frank.never met him.but its easy to tell in films he is no bigger than 5-8.
Frank2 said on 29/Apr/06
Prowes was about 6'6" when he did Star Wars. In Star Wars Guinness wore lifts.

Here's a shot of an older David with a fan: Click Here

David with Leonard Nimoy: Click Here
Leonard is about 6' tall these days. David looks about four inches taller so he's lost a couple of inches over the years.
Bleemo said on 29/Apr/06
Hmm it all depends on the timing I think, see in Star wars he look 2 inches taller then Mark Hamill maybe a little more;
Click Here

Big David Prose who was said to be 2 metres tall and Guiness looking maybe 7-8 inches shorter?
Click Here

Not sure of Guinness, people always said he was a nice man, but I read a lot of interviews where he bagged Star Wars despite making heaps of money out of it.
Frank2 said on 28/Apr/06
Whatever height he might have looked to you, Alec was no more than 5'7". It's easy to fake people's sizes on film. It's done all the time.

Claiming he was 5'10" was just another showbiz myth.
Picture said on 28/Apr/06
I don't know much about his later work (in fact I have never seen star wars!)
In his older movie's he could look from 5 ft 9 to 5 ft 11. Maybe he did waer lifts, but I think that 5 ft 7 goes to far.
Picture said on 27/Apr/06
Never looked that short in his movie's, not even at his end (on the 5 ft 7)

[Editor Rob: look at the pic of him in 1980 though...shorter than Morecambe and not much taller than ernie wise...Morecambe was 5ft 8 range]
Editor Rob said on 22/Apr/06
Ah bugger, sorry I lost your links when I coped that post to this page somehow...a few of them I think are the following:

Mills branagh:
Click Here

Guinnes Omar
Click Here

Prince Charles and Mills
Click Here

Guinness Mills
Click Here

John Mills and Hayley (5ft 3.5 here)
Click Here
Editor Rob said on 22/Apr/06
Copied from O'Toole page

Frank2 said:

Guinness with 5'10" Omar Shariff: Click Here

Shariff with 5'11" Viggo Mortensen: Click Here

Maybe David Lean used tall Japanese actors in The Bridge on the River Kwai: Click Here

5'8" Stanley Holloway with 5'7" Alec Guinness: Click Here

Holloway next to 6' Rex Harrison: Click Here
And Rex was 6'. He was shorter than 6'1" Martin Landau in Cleopatra and wore huge lifts in The Agony and the Ecstacy so he wouldn't look so short next to 6'3" Charlton Heston.

Guinness with 5'6" John Mills: Click Here
The photo is tilted to make Guinness appear taller. And in the film, Guinness wore huge lifts so that in some scenes he towers over Mills.

Mills with 6' British stuntman Patrick "Paddy" Boyd: Click Here

Mills with 5'9.5" Kenneth Branagh: Click Here

Mills with 6'2" Prince Phillip: Click Here

In the British version of The Big Sleep starring Bob Mitchum, Mills came up to Mitchum's nose! I suppose Mitchum wore lifts!

What I do know is that Guinness was only 5'7" and wore lifts in almost every film he appeared in. Even with his lifts he was still hardly any taller than Grace Kelly in The Swan.

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight, shoe or bra size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

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