How tall was Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton's Height

5ft 8 ½ (174 cm)

English actor best remembered for his roles in Island of Lost Souls, The Private Life of Henry VIII, Ruggles of Red Cap, Mutiny on the Bounty, Rembrandt, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hobson's Choice, Witness for the Prosecution, Spartacus and for directing The Night of the Hunter. In the Charles Laughton Story it mentioned "Charles Laughton was five feet ten and weighed over two hundred pounds"

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Average Guess (12 Votes)
5ft 8.02in (172.8cm)
Orlando said on 5/Aug/19
Biography "Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor" by Simon Callow states: "He was reasonably tall - 5 feet 10.5 inches according to his press handouts" (page 8): Click Here
James said on 22/Jan/17
He was probably made to look shorter next to Gable. He wore fake eyebrows for the film.
charlie said on 10/Jul/16
He looked 5 inches shorter than Clark Gable in Mutiny on the Bounty. I would put him at 5 ft 7 when he did that movie.
Sam said on 6/May/15
Could you add these to the top "English actor best remembered for his roles in Island of Lost Souls, The Private Life of Henry VIII, Ruggles of Red Cap, Mutiny on the Bounty, Rembrandt, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hobson's Choice, Witness for the Prosecution, Spartacus and for directing The Night of the Hunter".

He really was one of the best actors, really diverse, Hitchcock said you couldn't direct Laughton, only hope to referee him.
Sam said on 5/Aug/14
I think he can generally pass for 5'8"-5'9" range, maybe a bit more weakly in latter roles like Witness for the Prosecution but at times I'd buy up to 5'9" in early films like Ruggles of Red Cap, The Private Life of Henry VIII and Island of Lost Souls.
edguy2882 said on 5/Jul/14
Watched witness for the prosecution, and he looked like a weak 5-8. He stooped over for most of the movie though, so he probably lost some height with age.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Dec/13
They make him look bigger in The Private Life of Henry VIII to play Henry.
Arch Stsnton said on 11/Nov/13
Looks the exact same height as Rita Hayworth in Salome. She's in average heels I think.
Arch Stanton said on 22/Aug/13
Gable had 4-5 inches on him in Mutiny on the Bounty. Around 5 ft 8 I'd say.
Hamletmiss said on 20/Jan/07
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were never tall men, but Costello always reached Abbott's nose. Several sources listed Costello's height as either 5'4" or 5'5", but on screen, Abbott looked 5'10" and Costello looked 5'4" as best.
Frank2 said on 2/May/06
For those who still believe Laughton was taller, here he is with 5'4" Lou Costello and 5'8" Bud Abbott: Click Here

Frank2 said on 21/Apr/06
I already have glasses, than you very much.

Gable with Bond: Click Here

In close-up's where fudging heights is easier we see this: Click Here

But in the wide shots Gable is shorter.

Frank2 said on 20/Apr/06
I went back and just played portions of my DVD of Gone With the Wind. Bond is taller than Gable by at least two inches in almost ever shot. I find it very interesting since Gable was supposedly 6'1" and Bond 6'3" which would make perfect sense except for the fact that Gable wore boots with two inch, Cuban-style heels in the film and Bond was always at least two inches shorter than 6'4" John Wayne, and in some films even as much as three inches shorter. In The Long Gray Line, Bond wasn't much taller than Tyrone Power. There's a boxing scene in that film and in the ring both men look about the same height. And Power was supposedly just 5'10".

I do love a mystery!!
Frank2 said on 20/Apr/06
It might have been his official height, but he never looked it.
sam said on 20/Apr/06
Frank, I thought Bond's official height from his early football days was 6'3".
Tiger said on 19/Apr/06
Frank2: I absolutely love 'The Searchers'. That and 'The Quiet Man' are movies where Duke displays his great ability to act. That sometimes gets overlooked in the legacy: Duke was a great actor and those two films illustrate that. My all-time favorite movie, Wayne or anyone else, is 'The Shootist', Duke's last film. I don't know why, but I can watch it over and over and never tire of it. It is just a great story (Duke's life, if you will) and perfectly done and a great cast. Duke is definitely 'THE MAN' in that film.
Frank2 said on 19/Apr/06
I'd guess Ward Bond's height at being 6'1.5". I met Hank Worden several times (Mose Harper in The Searchers) and he was 6'2" and Bond looked no taller than him in several films when they appeared together.

That's Hank (second from left) looking taller than anyone in this shot: Click Here

"My rockin' chair! Won't tell you. Tell Marty.": Click Here

The Searchers is my favorite western and my favorite John Wayne film.
Frank2 said on 19/Apr/06
Maybe Tone is 6'2"! Or 6'3"! Hell! Let's make all these actors 6'6"!

If I were a betting man, and I've only bet hard cash on sure things, I bet that Gable was 6' even, Tone was 5'10" and Laughton was 5'8". I've met too many people who knew and worked with Gable in the fifties who claimed that by then he was about 5'11". And Gable was only in his fifties. When he died in 1960 he was 59. I doubt he had lost two inches going into his fifties. I do know he was a big guy since at the MGM auction I tried on his coat and it swallowed me up. Of course now it just might fit me better had I bought it. The last time I weighed myself I was well-over 180 lbs. As for Tone, by the time he made In Harm's Way he had lost some height and looked quite small next to John Wayne. He did a Run For Your Life with Ben Gazzara and was slightly shorter than 5'10.5" Gazzara. Tone died in 1968 at the age of 63 from lung cancer. He looked like he was in his eighties. Smoked too much of those damned cancer sticks.
Tiger said on 19/Apr/06
Frank2: what is the consensus on Ward Bond? He does seem a bit shorter than Duke most of the time. The one photo you have below puts him closer to Duke, but I am not sure about Bond's 6-3 listing. Wow, based on the 2 photos with Laughton and Tone, could Tone be at least 5-11, maybe close to 6 feet. Frank2, Laughton is about 5-8. What do you think? If Gable IS 6-1, then Tone is definitely in that 5-11 1/2 or 6 foot range, based on that photo. Interesting!Are we underestimating Tone? Hopefully, you keep posting these great photos!
Frank2 said on 19/Apr/06
5'10' Franchot Tone and Charles Laughton: Click Here

Tone and Laughton: Click Here

Tone with 6'1"(official height) Clark Gable: Click Here
I've always been somewhat skeptical that Gable was that tall.

Gable with Ward Bond and 5'10.5" (official height) Leslie Howard: Click Here
Gable wore boots with two inch heels in Gone With the Wind and was still a couple of inches shorter than Ward Bond. Ward's official height is 6'3", but I doubt he was that tall since he was always several inches shorter than 6'4" John Wayne.

As we can see here from The Searchers: Click Here

And here from Tall in the Saddle: Click Here

Here Bond looks closer in height to Wayne: Click Here

Bond with Wayne: Click Here

I'd venture to say that ward Bond was msot likely 6'1.5" and Gable was 6' even.

Here's Charles Laughton exiting an LA streetcar: Click Here
I'm old enough to say I rode on them. We had a terrific rapid transit system in Los Angeles, but in the very early 1950's the auto makers conspiring with oil companies and tire manufacturers bribed city and county officials to dismantle it, replacing it with clogged freeways. That's progress for you.
Frank2 said on 18/Apr/06
Sometime I should list all the bogus heights listed on the IMDb and send it to them for correction. It would be several pages worth. The only thing keeping me from doing it is I should be paid for my expertise. Why help them and not be reimbursed for it?

The IMDb listed Sinatra at 5'11" for over two years! One of the silliest claims printed there is that Lionel Barrymore was 6'. Watch any of his early films back when he could walk and it's clear he was a short man. So was his brother Jack. The funny thing is that their sister Ethel was fairly tall! One photo I have shows them all the same height.

The IMDb lists William Prince as being 6'2". Nonsense! I worked with him and he was about 5'10". Maybe he was 5'11" when he was younger, but the fact that he was considerably shorter than Will Geer in Lust for Gold tells me he was never more than of medium height.
Tiger said on 18/Apr/06
Sinatra's vital stats for 1964 listed him at 5-11. We all know that was bogus! The IMDB did list Frank at 5-11 at one time, but they have since corrected it!The Disney height difference is really bad. That is one that IMDB has no excuse for. That one is way off and I believe, Frank2, that he is 5-10, from the photos you submitted!
Frank2 said on 18/Apr/06
Tone was 5'10". Sorry. As for Sullivan, I thought I explained why I listed him at 5'8". At least I don't have Walt Disney at 5'10" on one thread and 5'6.5" on another. And going back about two years ago, the IMDb listed Frank Sinatra at 5'11"! I saw it repeatedly. Anyone else catch it?
Tiger said on 17/Apr/06
Frank2: you are getting inconsistent again. You have Ed Sullivan at 5-7 and 5-8, respectively, and now you have Franchot Tone at 5-10. Over on Robert Montgomery's page, you have Tone at 5-11. Which is it? This is getting as bad as the IMDB :)
Frank2 said on 17/Apr/06
Franchot Tone who's on the left in the first photo was about 5'10". He was about three inches shorter than Clark Gable in Mutiny on the Bounty. In the second shot, Robert Newton who was 5'11" is much taller than Laughton. Laughton is obviously five inches shorter than 6'1" Raymond Massey in the third photo. It's clear to me that Laughton was 5'8". He was also about 300 lbs.
Frank2 said on 17/Apr/06
As you can see, Laughton doesn't come up to Greg Peck's eye level: Click Here

A more revealing shot: Click Here

And here: Click Here

And to show you how screwed up the IMDb is, they list Laughton being in this photo with Karloff: Click Here
That's Michael Pate, not Laughton. Maybe they never watch any of the films they do their supposed research on.

[Editor Rob: I knew Laughton would get the 'no no no's', not heard those screams for a while ;-)

here's another few images of Laughton with Deanna. No idea her adult height, at 14 described 5ft 4...any idea on the other bloke in that pic?

Robert Newton

Raymond Massey

maybe he wasn't quite the claimed height...]
Frank2 said on 17/Apr/06
Laughton with Gable: Click Here
In Mutiny, Laughton was about four to five inches shorter than Clark Gable. Notice them in the wide shots, not the close-up's.

In the film The Big Clock, Laughton is five inches shoter than both 6'1" Ray Milland and 6'1" George Macready.

[Editor Rob: yes, he can look like a 5ft 8 guy, I haven't seen early films of his for a while, hence my questioning if its possible he shrank and at one time was 5ft 9]
Frank2 said on 17/Apr/06
No, no, no, no, NO!! Laughton was about 5'8".

[Editor Rob: its not possible the guy shrunk by his 50's?]

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