Charlie Chaplin's Height
5ft 4 (162.6 cm)
Sir Charles Chaplin was a British silent movie actor and comedian best remembered for films such as The Gold Rush, City Lights, The Kid, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Monsieur Verdoux and The Immigrant. In a 1997 book it mentioned how people were always surprised how short he was, the author describing him 5ft 4.
By Strauss-Peyton Studio (National Portrait Gallery), via Wikimedia Commons
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Add a Comment72 comments
Average Guess (28 Votes)
5ft 4.16in (163cm)
Paul Wood said on 2/May/20
I'm not quite sure why people were surprised he was short, his career was built on the small man persona, 'the little clown' and so on.
said on 6/Aug/19
Chaplin was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weight about 130 in his prime years…
Priyans DEBBARMA said on 6/May/19
Keri D said on 11/Apr/18
Chaplin was always self conscious about his height, small hands/ feet and large head. He did have an underdeveloped thorax(undernourished as a child)
said on 12/Dec/17
Rob,is a fraction over 5'4 excluded?I must say he sometimes looks less than 1"smaller than Keaton,also in the fight scene of The Kid with Reisner who was allegedly 5'11 I felt he could have been like 5'4.5".possibly a slight upgrade?
Editor Rob: I certainly couldn't discount 5ft 4.5
even said on 8/Jul/17
he wasnt over 5'4" i asure you
Powerhouse said on 21/Mar/17
Tiny guy, towered in his films. I'd say 5'4 is completely correct.
said on 18/Feb/17
What was the average height from Charlie Chaplin's time? It's been a long time since I watched one of movies, I doubt many people my age have seen them.
Editor Rob: might have been between 5ft 6-7 range.
mister_lennon said on 15/Jan/17
He didnt look that short. He was about 166-167 peak
mande2013 said on 14/Jan/17
I'm still not convinced. I think you just want to make modern-day short dudes feel even shorter than they already are. It's well understood that undernourishment has often been the primary cause of stunted growth in most Western countries in centuries past, much more so than disease, even if that was also a factor. In the late 19th century, yes, the average male height in Britain was quite a bit shorter than it is today. There was also a massive gap between rich and poor in the UK back then. And it's safe to say malnourishment probably was not a serious issue among the upper classes. And if you look at pictures from back then, it's clear "factory owners" were often taller than many of the "peasants". Anyhow, it's been documented the average height in colonial America was around 5'8 or so, and it's unlikely the risk of contracting disease there and then was any lower than it was in England circa 1900.
mande2013 said on 13/Jan/17
@vg: Maybe, but there was no to truly prove at this point whether or not 5'4 was Chaplin's natural genetic potential.
said on 10/Jan/17Click Here
Judging by these pages from Click Here
- the average male height today proves 178.2 cm (5' 10.16"). Now, let's say Mr. Chaplin used to be 5' 4" (162.6 cm) post attaining full stature in 1910. If we accept that the average height in the UK used to be about 170.9 cm (5' 7.3") at the time, inferring from 'Our World In Data' statistics, that would mean if Mr. Chaplin were alive today and his height related a synonymous way to the average as it did in 1910, he would stand around 170 cm (5' 7") tall.
Sandy Cowell said on 4/Nov/16
It was mentioned on yesterday's 'the Chase' that Charlie Chaplin was short. I'd never given it much thought before! I didn't realise he was that short though! I don't think he looked as small as 5ft4 - I would previously have guessed 5ft5.5 - 5ft6.
said on 27/Oct/16
Rob, any pics beside Charlie?
Editor Rob: I'm still looking for an IBM 5100 that is working...once I have it, I'll be able to get the photo.
CarlJr said on 23/Sep/16
@mande2013: I know this is a late response, but today's upper class lives FAR more comfortably, cleaner and less likely to contact various diseases than the upper class of the early 20th century and before. It's definitely reasonable to believe that 2-3 inch increase in average height applies to everyone, not just the middle class. Even much of today's poor live a lot better than the poor of yesterday.
mande2013 said on 8/Feb/16
Except in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, society was more heavily stratified, and there wasn't much of a middle class with access to adequate nutrition. Chaplin came from a poor family, and at that time yes, average height among the working classes was likely significantly less than 5'9, but people who came from privilege back then were probably similar in height to what the average is today, so you're comparing apples to oranges when you say a 5'4 guy back then was like a 5'6 guy today. In the eyes of the upper class, a "5'4 guy" back then was probably equivalent to a "5'4 guy" today, regardless of the numerical average of the general population. Nowadays, the middles classes in most Western countries can adequately nourish themselves to grow to a full height.
the shredder said on 22/Dec/15
wow if he claimed 5'7 that is insane. with that said I think he was taller than 5'4. 5'5.5 possible.
Sam said on 22/Oct/15
At 5'4" he would be the equivalent of a 5'6"-5'7" guy in America or Britain today, hence how Arch saw him look in some of his films.
jayu said on 8/Aug/15
Hi love you charlie sir u prove that height doesn't effect in ur successful career
said on 30/May/15
He described himself in his book:
my height was around 170 and ...
rob is it possible?
[Editor Rob: he never looked that tall, the average height in his day was smaller than today.]
suraj maxx said on 28/Apr/15
it's very nice to sound that only 5.4 height person is doing incredible acting all over the world.......im also 5.3ft
Ray said on 16/Mar/15
@177cmGuy: I personally think 164cm is plausible too, from what I've seen of Chaplin, I don't think he's 5'4" flat.
177cmGuy said on 24/Feb/15
164cm could be possible. I think after Chaplin it became mainstream culture that short actors were most likeley be associated with comic roles. But regardless of his height if celebheights existed back in the 1920 to 1930s Chaplin would have one of the more viewed pages.
Arch Stanton said on 26/Nov/14
In fact in one corridor scene with a short actress he can look 5'6-7 LOL!!
Arch Stanton said on 26/Nov/14
Tallest I've seen him look is in one of his very earliest ones Mabel's Strange Predicament. He can look 5'5" range in it at times!
Arch Stanton said on 24/Nov/14
The Immigrant and Limelight probably worth adding.
said on 24/Nov/14
Rob can you add a photo and replace Countess from Hong Kong with The Immigrant or something, he wasn't in the film although directed it and it was a pretty crap! How tall is that guy at 16:24!! He makes Chaplin look tall!! Click Here
ArnoldS said on 9/Oct/14
@Tim: Then by your logic, the biography that mentioned Douglas Fairbanks was right in saying that he was "Nearly five feet eight inches tall and weighed 150 pounds". But eh, you know you can't argue with the others on this site (even if they are wrong, because we're talking about Chaplin and Fairbanks, who likely have never been seen in person by any other poster here since they died long before this site was created, so it's all just speculation and using what's available).
jacky said on 14/Sep/14
I think Chaplin 5.6
said on 14/Aug/14
Am I the only one who thinks Charlie Chaplin was more like 5'5"-5'6" peak? Pictures like this one with 5'9" listed Einstein (who was only about 52 when taken during the 1931 premiere of City Lights) lead me to believe this: Click Here
Plus, with 5'6" listed Buster Keaton, he looks taller or roughly the same height at least (taking perspective and possible strange footwear in consideration): Click Here
axelrood said on 12/Jul/14
great name Arch Stanton.
Arch Stanton said on 8/Jul/14
All-time favourite in terms of most enjoy watching would probably either be the Back to the Future trilogy, Sunset Boulevard or The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
Arch Stanton said on 8/Jul/14
Sam says on 21/Mar/14
That's interesting, I've never heard someone list The Kid as their all-time best. For a long time, Taxi Driver and Seven Samurai have vied for my all-time favorite position.
One of them, definitely. The perfect mix of comedy and drama with a special Chaplin flavour during the dream. It's an amazing film, incredibly touching, his best IMO. City Lights comes close of course. Another of my favourite silents is also An Andalusian Dog by Luis Bunuel, genius! I thought Ikiru was a better film than Seven Samurai!
Greg Lehmann said on 6/Jul/14
One of the greatest comics of all time! I have 5 Chaplin movies in my video collection,two of which (The Kid and Tillie's Punctured Romance) are on a "box dinner" package with other great comics. I just wish today's movie viewers would take time to watch a Charlie Chaplin movie to see great comedy at its best!
Sam said on 21/Mar/14
That's interesting, I've never heard someone list The Kid as their all-time best. For a long time, Taxi Driver and Seven Samurai have vied for my all-time favorite position. I would rank Chaplin's tops as The Gold Rush, Monsieur Verdoux and City Lights in that order. I think The Kid's just about as good as Modern Times and The Circus his most underrated feature-length. I like them both but I do feel that Chaplin was a less innovative filmmaker than Buster Keaton. I would rank The General and Sherlock Jr. just ahead of The Gold Rush, but they're all really great.
As to height, it's funny Chaplin's always credited with being 5'4"-5'5", whereas Buster Keaton gets either 5'5" or 5'6" but I can't find any shots that suggest they were much different in height. I think it's possible Chaplin might have peaked close to 5'5" and Keaton at 5'5" and change.
Arch Stanton said on 29/Dec/13
Thanks for adding those. I consider The Kid to be the best film ever made!
said on 28/Dec/13
Rob can you change this to British-born silent movie actor and comedian best remembered for films like The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Monsieur Verdoux and A Countess from Hong Kong.
[Editor Rob: yeah I'll add some of those films. ]
Arch Stanton said on 28/Dec/13
Seems taller in Monsieur Verdoux from 1947, looks 5'5"-5'6"
Arch Stanton said on 21/Dec/13
If anything looks 5'3 in Modern Times.
yeye said on 12/Oct/13
Regarding the passport height - I'm 5'5 and im listed as 5'7 on mine, it's not unreasonable to presume they just put him against a tape measure with shoes on.
Arch Stanton said on 15/Aug/13
I've seen a good number of his films and it is not surprising at all that he's as short as 5'4", he looked it. I assumed he was taller when I hadn't seen many of them and probably guessed him at around 5 ft 6 but you can see he is this short.
Arch Stanton said on 15/Aug/13
5'4", bit shorter than his daughter Geraldine Chaplin.
Aran said on 25/May/13
Chaplin never fought in the war. Why would that be relevant?
Katie said on 25/Jul/12
I'd just to mention that 5'6" was the shortest they'd officially accept during WWI, but this was overlooked occasionally.
Joe said on 21/Oct/11
How tall can men be tall only to join the U.S. marines? I am only 4`9 feet tall.
said on 1/Oct/11
I have no idea if Charles Chaplin was trying to join the U.S. Armed Forces, but it's certainly not true that the U.S. Military will disqualify someone if he or she is 5'4". The minimum height requirement for a man is 60" and a woman 58" as of 2011. So, anyone who wants to join the US military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) , and who is afraid of being too short, relax! It's not too late to join up! I would suggest you think about joining the U.S. Marine Corps!
For more information, please visit Click Here
Watcher said on 8/Sep/11
Looks 5'4" in the films. 5'4" and a half must be very peak for him. Anyway he wasn't SO short in that time. Just like a 5'7" male or so in european countries in these days.
said on 10/Aug/11
Rob , how much do you think was Chaplin's weight ?
[Editor Rob: 125ish maybe, I've not really looked at him for ages, or his films.]
Nikki said on 16/Apr/11
Who cares about height? I'm only 4'11 but feisty as hell and a pure terror in the courtroom. :) Chaplin was and still is a trailblazer.
Bob R. said on 15/Apr/11
Charlie Chaplin was about 5ft while he was filming. He grew 1 centimeter every year.
6\'2 dude said on 15/Apr/11
for those who think shorter people r better than taller people r wrong.....instead, this just goes to show that even short people can be respected, famous, formidable n etc....its all about the attitude, or u can say thinking
guyfrommars said on 23/Jan/11
I guess Keaton shrunk a bit due to his bad posture in his older days, so I can believe he was 5ft5 in Limelight, the same height as Chaplin. In the same film, Claire Bloom (listed officially as 5ft5) is roughtly the same height as him. She's having ballet slippers, while Chaplin is wearing dress shoes, so he could be 5ft4.5 or 5ft4 by then - he was 63 when that movie was made.
Anonymous said on 26/Mar/09
I must say, I think the oversized clothing make him appear even smaller. Silent movie actor Buster Keaton was 5'5, sweet and petite =D Love them x
leonari said on 11/Feb/09
historian: Cut the crap. He looked short cause he was short. My father is the same height. You always look short at that height. No matter what!
historian said on 10/Feb/09
actually back then (1900), people from the USofA were even taller than nowadays(the shorties were in Europe), so that's why he looked so short in every movie.
Max daCosta said on 26/Nov/08
My dad met Charlie Chaplin in the 1960s, my dad's 5'7" and he says he remembers clearly that Chaplin was about two inches shorter than him - so I'd say 5'5" to 5'4" is definately correct.
Anonymous said on 12/Sep/08
He looked so short in
Russ said on 15/Jul/08
From looking at his diminutive frame, I'd say he was about 5'1.
thekiddd said on 6/May/08
The Funny thing is he started wearing lifts in films such as "Limelight" when he got older but didn't when he was younger!
Chaplin was 5'6 said on 14/Mar/08
You gotta watch a hole chaplin movie to get it! The guy was 5'6 bang on I'd say! And he's always like running around, pulling pranks on everybody but when he's stand up fully straight next to 'big guy' he def look 5'6. Like I sais you gotta watch the hole movie.
Chaplin was 5'6 said on 14/Mar/08
Hey all of you I'm in college studying movies and today we just watched a full Chaplin movie! I could honestly say that I think he was 5'6! He just doesn't look all that short. He looks about an inch taller than his wife who also plays in the movie (barefoot all the movie) and she's definitly 5'5.
johan said on 6/Jan/08
in "The Kid" he is referred as "a little man with flat shoes and a little mushtasch" or something like that , 5-6 back then wasn't too small, I think he was 5-3 to 5-5 , that's small enough to make fun of , period.
John said on 12/Nov/07
I am a professional Chaplin impersonator (5'3"). I have heard and read everything, from him being 5'4" all the way to 5'6.5". When you see a personal or studio promotion, stating his "taller" height, believe me, that's an exaggeration. (We all do it!) From everything I know about him, I would guess he was just under 5'5".
Sarah said on 20/Oct/07
He tried to enlist for the military and they said he was too small.
People were naturally shorter back then, and yet the women in the film are all taller than he. He must be TINY.
Produce said on 3/Jun/07
In the film I saw last week, he looked VERY short, even for those days. From seeing him in this film, i would guess about 5ft 1.
AA said on 25/Mar/07
I never said I believed it. I just said it was there. To me, Chaplin looks 5'5" tops.
leonari said on 21/Feb/07
shredder: you are one of the smarter guys on this site... even considering 5'6.5 is ridiculous. I even say charlie was btw. 160 cm and 164...
what do you say to this 5'6.5'' claims in this document?
the shredder said on 21/Feb/07
Rob , what do you think think of the 5'6.5 on his personal data ??? I think thats too high !
glenn said on 18/Feb/07
had no clue.
leonari said on 18/Feb/07
AA: oh my god. have you ever seen a chaplin movie? if you truly believe the info on this documentary you can join the club of delusionals here on this site...Chaplin almost 5'7...man! in his prime this wasn t short! fool! today it is back then it was ok and everybody respected charlie but everybody refered and knew he is a tiny guy! get a grasp on reality dude!
the shredder said on 18/Feb/07
5'6.5 seems too high ! He was around his listed height of 5'5 !
AA said on 17/Feb/07
I'm watching a documentary about his life, and there's a picture of the document from Hollywood Academy offering him an Oscar for his contribution to the cinema. The document shows his personal data and the "Height" stats 5'6.5" (169 cm).