How tall was Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly's Height

5ft 7 ½ (171.5 cm)

American actor best remembered for roles in films Singing in the Rain, An American in Paris, On the Town, Cover Girl, Inherit the Wind, The Three Musketeers, Anchors Aweigh and The Young Girls of Rochefort. In Betsy Blair's book 'Memory of all that' she had described him as '5ft 9'.

Gene kelly

You May Be Interested

Height of Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
5ft 9 (175 cm)
Height of Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth
5ft 6 (168 cm)
Height of Bob Hope
Bob Hope
5ft 10 (178 cm)
Height of Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
5ft 4 ½ (164 cm)

Add a Comment59 comments

Average Guess (23 Votes)
5ft 6.48in (168.9cm)
Lars Heathcliff said on 4/Mar/19
My guess is 5'6". My grandfather, who stood at 5'6", claimed to have met him and said they were eye to eye.
greg lehmann said on 23/Oct/18
I guess 5'7" was Gene's correct height. But who was my favorite Gene Kelly dance partner? Jerry The Mouse of Tom And Jerry fame! When Gene and Jerry did that magical Anchors Aweigh dance sequence,5' sweetie Jane Powell called it "the greatest performance of a live action actor and a cartoon star in the same movie." It is! Then Tom And Jerry did a sensational underwater dance scene in 1953 in Dangerous When Wet with 5'9" Esther Williams,who Dick Clark nailed in 1958 when Esther was What's My Line? mystery guest. And Gene was much more innovative than what other directors were in his heyday. His 1949 musical On The Town was not just set in New York,but he filmed that musical,his first time directing one of his productions,DIRECTLY in New York City! (I don't think any director could do that today!) That movie also started many directors shooting movies directly at the setting of the movie. Another example would be Panic In The Streets. Director Elia Kazan shot that powerful 1950 crime drama in New Orleans! Kazan also shot On The Waterfront directly on the docks of New York City! But was Gene the greatest actor director EVER? Again,just like with saying if 5'3" Mary Martin was a better {eter Pan than 5' Cathy Rigby,or if Warner Oland or Sidney Toler was the better Charlie Chan or if Earl Anthony or Walter Ray Williams is the greatest professional bowler ever or even if Bob Barker or Bill Cullen was the better Price Is Right host,this will make a lively debate subject. While I give the best actor director nod to Clint Eastwood,Kelly would rank among the best actors who also directed their best movies!
Danimal said on 13/Jun/17
Arch Stanton said on 4/Mar/15
Rob, can you add a photo from Singing in the Rain era and also add The Three Muskateers, Anchors Aweigh and Summer Stock?

You're very demanding of Rob, always telling him to add more films.
James said on 15/May/17
Gene Kelly was 5'6".
Arch Stanton said on 1/Jan/17
Rob can you tweak to 5'7.25? I really think that would be spot on.
Editor Rob
will need to look at some more of him.
Giorgi said on 14/Dec/16
Boy I didn't realize he was this short. It's not actually that short, but just wasn't expecting.
Arch Stanton said on 28/Jul/15
For me 5'7.25 would be the best listing.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/15
Oh they were very close in height, close enough to make it difficult to tell but Sinatra really did seem to edge him assuming footwear was even. The thing is though Rob, there's a barefoot scene with Sinatra and Mitchum in Not as a Stranger and it looked almost 6 inches!! Bad news for Kelly. I think you'd be closer with a tad less but in fairness he could look almost 5'8 in some films.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/15
A young Sinatra looks like Joey Essex LOL.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/15
Also 26 minutes range.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/15
There's a good comparison at 22-23 minutes
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/15
Of course I'm not sure 0.25 is really detectable to the naked eye but watch it anyway and see what you think!
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/15
Rob can you add a photo? Any chance of a very slight downgrade to 5'7.25? There's wearing exactly the same clothes in Anchors Aweigh as Frank Sinatra and lots of very close shots between them and they look very similar in height but in most scenes Sinatra really does look a wee bit taller. You can watch it here. Click 360, it might take about half an hour to load though but it loads whil you're doing other things Click Here It's worth checking out, I reckon Sinatra would have had him by a bit.
Editor Rob
it is quite close for them, sinatra may have had slightly edge, can be hard to tell at times.
Arch Stanton said on 4/Mar/15
Rob, can you add a photo from Singing in the Rain era and also add The Three Muskateers, Anchors Aweigh and Summer Stock?
Arch Stanton said on 23/Aug/14
Rob can you add Cover Girl, I associate him most with Singing in the Rain and that! Marjorie Morningstar always a memorable role but I don't think that film was big enough to mention.
Sam said on 22/Apr/14
Rob, could you add An American in Paris, On the Town, Inherit the Wind and The Young Girls of Rochefort?
bloodbuzz said on 10/Apr/14
Click Here
looks at least 4" shorter than Sugar Ray Robinson, who's listed at 5'11. Boxers are never listed over either, usually they're shorter than what's billed, but 5'11 for Sugar Ray I agree with.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Jan/14
Hmm in some scenes Kelly in turn looks like he has the edge. Difficult to tell who is taller! Clearly they're very close, probably best to leave him at 171, but Sinatra to me does generally seem a bit taller.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Jan/14
What'd ya reckon? They look very close don't they but if you g image them I think Sinatra has the edge. In later years Sinatra looks noticeably taller, but that could be lifts doing the talking, I think he was known to often wear lifts later on. Click Here His footwear looked normal in all the films I've seen him in though.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Jan/14
Rob I think he's a wee bit shorter than Frank Sinatra in On The Town but they are close. Click Here In the film Sinatra looks a bit taller than that in comparison, they can't both be 5'7.5". Click Here looks noticeably taller there. 5'7.5" for Sinatra has looked accurate in everything I've seen him in seeing him with Brando etc. Perhaps 5'7 or 5'7.25" for Kelly?
Arch Stanton said on 30/Aug/13
At 88:50 he again looks shorter than 5'7" Donald and I think throughout most of the film Donald seems to edge him out. Even way, I think it rules out anything over 171, 5'7" flat more likely than 5'8" much less 5'9"! He can sometimes look 5'8" though.
Arch Stanton said on 30/Aug/13
See what I mean pause at 20:27 and he looks fractionally shorter than Donald. How can he go from looking an inch taller? Either way it makes the 5'9" claim look hilarious..
Arch Stanton said on 30/Aug/13
Rob pause at 14:24 Click Here Donald O'Connor was listed at 5'7", Kelly looks about an inch taller don't you think? Possible of course that O'Connor was 5'6.5". Kelly could have been 172cm?
Arch Stanton said on 30/Aug/13
What about Jean Hagen? Kelly looks about an inch taller than her in heels, I'd guess 5'4" ish.
Arch Stanton said on 30/Aug/13
Rob can you add some of his others films like An American in Paris and Marjorie Morningstar? It's Singin' rather than Singing. Singin in the Rain is confusing me, he can both look taller than shorter than Donald O' Connor who was listed at 5'7" I think.
Arch Stanton said on 28/Aug/13
Rob, any idea how tall Nina Foch was? She looks near 2 inches taller in American in Paris not sure what her heels were like though. Click Here LOL he looks so much like Seagal did as a young man!
Editor Rob
in her heyday she was described 5ft 7
Arch Stanton said on 28/Aug/13
At times I keep expecting him to suddenly turn to the camera and in a Seagal squint and trademark whisper say "You and I, we're puppets in the same sick play. We serve the same master and he's an ungrateful lunatic. There's nothing we can do about it." LOL
Arch Stanton said on 28/Aug/13
Looks around this in An American in Paris and yes, he's very much like a short younger Seagal.
thegoof said on 30/Jul/13
5'6" the most. Met him many years ago and he was shorter than me-5'7".
greg lehmann said on 21/Jul/13
About my size. (I'm 5'7".)
Arch Stanton said on 21/Apr/13
Didn't think he looked this low in Marjorie Morningstar, looked 5'9" ish to me. Around the eyes he kind of reminds me a bit of a young Steven Seagal.
Matt said on 15/Nov/12
How tall do you think Donald O'Connor was? I think he should be on here. 5'5-5'6 seems like it. Always seemed shorter than Gene Kelly.
Robby D said on 29/Aug/12
From What I understood, both Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra were 5'7" and if you watch them together in the film "Anchors Aweigh" you will see that they are both exactly the same size.
Matt said on 16/Nov/11
I don't think the extra .5 is determinable. 5'7" flat is my opinion. Makes us shorter male dancers have hope.
mr. tibbs said on 24/Feb/11
I was surprised he wasn't shorter. He seems to have been much shorter than any other male on the set.
Anonymous said on 25/Jan/11
Layla. He doesn't exactly tower over Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain. He only looks about 4 inches taller, and she is only about 5 feet! I'd say he's around 5'5 region. He always looks so short anyway.
Jim K said on 7/May/09
Fred Astaire was taller when they danced together in "The Babbitt and the Bromide."
glenn said on 10/Jan/09
sinatra was around 5-8.sammy was alot smaller.i met both seperately.
KidPancake said on 9/Jan/09
Terry Robinson: did you see Anchors weigh in yesterday on TCM?
leonari said on 9/Jan/09
Gene next to 5'11 Sugar Ray Robinson. Obviously 5'7" guy. I see a 4 inch difference btw. the two:
Click Here
leonari said on 9/Jan/09
He obvioulsy looks small here: I would say 5'7" on the dot. Well proportioned for his height.
Click Here
Terry Robinson said on 9/Jan/09
I think it is obvious that both Gene, and Frank wore lifts, for their legs looked so unnatural when in Anchors Aweigh, even Sammy Davis wore lifts when he danced on stage, and so did Sonny Bono, compared with the girls that Gene and Frank were with, they both did not looked to be tall, my guess is 5'6 for both of them, maybe Gene was a little taller 5'7.
Lauren said on 5/Nov/08
Watch "me and my gal"...judy garland was only 4'11 and gene isn't too much taller than her...
Frank2 said on 29/Sep/08
I happen to know for a fact that Gene was 5'7" on the button. Sinatra was about the same height, but Frank wore lifts while Gene refused. Maybe it's hard, if not impossible to dance wearing lifts and do it as well as Kelly did. Fred Astaire was on the short side and he also refused to wear lifts, probably for the same reason.
Helen said on 9/Sep/08
He never would have become a leading man if he were no taller than Mickey Rooney.
Think about it.
ralf said on 28/Jul/08
I think youre understimating him a lot, I really believe he was 175 or 174 cms. Donald O' Connor was the one who was really 171 cms.
Russ said on 15/Jul/08
I'd say he was about 5'4, like my grandad.
Robin said on 19/Jun/08
I saw Gene dancing with Julie Andrews. She's tall-5'8" and was wearing heels. He looked pretty close to her height.
Sam Troy said on 6/Apr/08
5'7" seems more plausable because he was a little bit smaller than Frank Sinatra who I guess was 5'8".
liberachi23 said on 27/Feb/08
I absolutely love this guy! He had such natural grace when he was tap dancing. You really don't see talent like that any more. Its a shame. Definately 5'7 give or take afew centimeters. Gene kelly really worked hard at his profession. Has any one seen the one Ed sullivan Show where he picked up Ed Effortlessly? That was amazing.
sf said on 21/Feb/08
I'm with those who say around 5'7".
leonari said on 21/Feb/08
Meite: I don't want to offend you but 5'3" is sooo off.
Meite said on 21/Feb/08
I met Gene Kelly in person in Zurich, Switzerland in 1957 when he introduced his dance movie. He gave all the ladies a red rose at the reception. I can state as a fact that he is not more than 5'3". It was a shock to realize how tiny he was.
Lorenzo of the Night said on 9/Dec/07
I'm watching "On the Town" as I write this...Kelly is dancing with Vera_Ellen, who was only 5'4". She is in flats, he's wearing a standard heel, and is barely taller. His reported height of 5'9" is greatly exaggerated. Watch him with Debbie Reynolds in "Singin' In the Rain". She is only (maybe) 5' tall. He doesn't exctly tower over her. I'd say he's no more than 5'6", tops 5'7".
Anonymous said on 7/Oct/07
I met gene kelly and he is at least 5ft tall...I'm 5ft 1 inches.
Rut said on 28/Aug/07
Yeah, one of the great entertainers of all time. I think it would be extreme difficult for someone like him to wear lifts in his profession.....
Anthony said on 8/Aug/07
Frank appeared to be a little over Sinatra in 1973's "Ol' Blues Eyes Is Back" special. Neither of them were in lifts. Tremendous talent BTW.
Rut said on 2/Jul/07
Big star, big legs, can add a lot to the illussion he was somehow taller..
T. C. Rut
Debbie said on 15/Sep/06
Of course he was 5'9". I had seen him in person many times and if he had been only 2 inches taller than me (5'7"), I sure would have noticed. Plus, if you watch Les Girls, he's at least the same height as Kay Kendall and she was 5'9".

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 or shoe size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

Celebrity Fan Photos and Agency Pictures of stars are © to their respective owners.