Harold Lloyd's Height
5ft 7 ½ (171.5 cm)
American actor best remembered as a popular comedic star in early cinema, with films like Safety Last!, Why Worry?, Girl Shy, For Heaven's Sake, Grandma's Boy, The Kid Brother, The Freshman and The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.
I remember [Harold] standing up beside me. I didn't know why. Afterwards, I realized he was sizing me up to see how tall I was, because he wasn't a very tall men himself. I'm only 5' 2"
- Barbara Kent in a Michael Gankerich interview
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Add a Comment22 comments
Average Guess (1 Votes)
5ft 7.5in (171.5cm)
greg lehmann said on 2/Nov/18
The most underrated of all the great silent movie comics. He looked 5'7" to me.
jonas henriks said on 20/Jan/18
this guy looked 5 feet with Aasen, but it has to be high heels on Aasen. Because it was not just camera,this guy looked 4"6 if Aasen was just 7"2, I believe Aasen was a solid 7"4 guy when he was young, and this guy has to be atleast 5"8 because of all the records saying he was 5"10. And then heels and camera made Aasen look 2-2.5 feet taller but in reality was 1"8 taller. AAsen was def not over 8 feet
mande2013 said on 24/Jul/15
I don't know which articles to believe, because some will say the average has increased by four inches while others will only say an inch. Also, most statistics are made up, although I say that last thing half kidding of course. In short, many of these articles on height increase over the past century tend to contradict each other. Like I said before, one piece I came across said the average 20 year old American male in 1912 was 5'8.25, so only 2-3 cms than the current day average. Now it's true average height in The Netherlands has seen a drastic increase in a short amount of time, but others have said Napoleon, who was 5'6, was average height for his time while average height today in France is 5'8.5, and that's according to a Business Insider article. I'll trust that before the chart on Wikipedia.
Now another thing, you can say all you want that modern-day short dudes can't claim Charlie Chaplin or whoever as a 'brotha', because height has drastically increased, but let's also take into consideration the flourishing of the middle class over that same span of time. Chaplin grew up in dire straits. I'm sure upperclassmen as well as members of the haute bourgeoisie were roughly similar to contemporary average male height, so in the eyes of the rich and powerful Chaplin was probably still a "5'4 guy" even back then. Now of course, you do have people born into privilege who just happen to have short genes, but that doesn't change anything. For what it's worth, 174 cms is still well within a standard deviation of 176 cms, so what difference does it make?
Arch Stanton said on 22/Jul/15
Guys like Lloyd, Gene Kelly and Sinatra were bang on average height I think for their generation.
Phil said on 21/Jul/15
@mande2013: There were numerous reports and articles released some time ago stating how European men grew 4 inches in 100 years. Again, considering how much our standard of living has increased since, it's not that surprising. I see my latest comment hasn't shown up yet, but in the earliest cdc report made in the early 1960s, 5'5" was above the 10th percentile (for men), today that's not the case. You say that a 5'7 guy born in 1930 is the same as a 5'7 guy born in 1980, while that may not be far from the truth (the latter's average was about an inch taller), men who were 5'7" peak in 1930 (meaning mostly men born before 1910) were not as short as they would be today.
Phil said on 20/Jul/15
Of course my link didn't work, just type in 'College height histogram 1914 and 1997' and you'll see where I'm getting at.
mande2013 said on 20/Jul/15
@Phil: Perhaps, but I just don't think average height has changed by as much as 2-3 inches in a century, at least not in the US or much of Western Europe. A 5'7 peak guy born in 1930 is the same as a 5'7 guy born in 1980 in terms of regression from the mean. In France circa 1800, the average height may have been 2.5 inches lower than what it is today. Today, average male height in France is 5'8.5. Napoleon was 5'6, and that was the average height in his time, so a 5'2 Balzac was probably like a 5'5 guy today.
said on 18/Jul/15
@mande2013: There were less 6'3"/6'4" men, but there were certainly more shorter men as well. Harold Lloyd, for example, appears spot-on average in many of his clips I've seen, even tall sometimes (same goes for 5'7" listed WC Fields). A 5'7.5" guy today (without the same tricks used to make actors around this height like Tom Cruise look taller) will more often than not look below average, even short. Before I read into how much the average height has changed in the past several decades, I was inclined to believe Lloyd's 5'10" listing on imdb, which needless to say changed afterwards. Another thing I'd like to leave you with is this histogram showing how heights were distributed in this college sample: Click Here
Granted, the sample size isn't big (although the calculated average heights in 1997 aren't that far off from the actual averages), but it's big enough to show that the lack of guys below 5'4" in 1997 compared to 1914 isn't a complete coincidence. Considering the overall standard of living late 19th/early 20th century, it really isn't that hard to believe that the distribution of heights simply shifted 2-3 inches since the 1910s/20s (meaning men 6'3/6'4 were less abundant compared to men who were say 5'3"/5'4", for example).
For the record, the only way before 1960 to get any large scale studies on how height has changed (at least in America) is through military records, which is where Tim below got his source, I've seen it before (type in 'History of Standard of Living in the United States-height' and you'll see). Seeing how much the average height has increased over the decades (not just in America, but in Europe as well), there really is more to it than just the lesser amounts of 6'3/6'4 guys back then.
mande2013 said on 14/Jul/15
If we're going to compare the height of someone 90-100 years ago to its modern equivalent, shouldn't we consider other factors beyond exclusively regression from the mean. Just to outline, average male height in the US today is 5'9.5. In 1912 it was 5'8.25 according to one piece I read, but it might not necessarily be so easy as to just add an inch to a man's height if he were alive back then to come up with the contemporary equivalent. For instance, the bell curve may have been different. Heights may have been distributed slightly differently. 5'5 and 5'6 may have been just as common or not so common back then as they are today, but perhaps there were fewer men who were 6'3/6'4, which would probably bring the numerical average down, even if a "5'5 guy" in the 1920's was still a "5'5 guy" just as he would be today. Just some food for thought.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Feb/15
Haha, and what about the one at 11:15? One thing about a lot of these comedy silent shorts you get a big range of heights. A lot of them had the circus factors.
said on 12/Feb/15
Rob, this is WAY too low, check him out at 6:20 here Click Here
The resemblance to Peter Crouch is uncanny!! :-) Did you mean 6'7.5 rather than 5'7.5? Seriously though check him out at 7:11, how tall is that guy next to him? He'd surely be 6'4.5-6'5? He has a full head on him. He makes Harold look shorter than 5'7" range. His name was Roy Brooks, not sure if a listing could be found for him, he looks very tall.
[Editor Rob: that's the mirrors Sly has all over his mansion.]
bran said on 15/Oct/14
THE giant is John Aasen... silent film actor , from America.. listed in guinness book of records as 7"1
Arch Stanton said on 14/Oct/14
Baer was 6'6.5 I think. In Quo Vadis he made Deborah Kerr look little Sue's height!!
Sam said on 13/Oct/14
Yeah, he looked too big to be Baer...God, he's one the most massive giants I've seen, like a less fat Andre the Giant but even taller. Anyway, yeah, good call on Lloyd, he does look roughly as listed.
said on 12/Oct/14
@yenz: I actually heard something like that too, except it said 5'6" instead. Regardless, here is a link that guided my logic a bit: Click Here
Whatever average height (which in my link is listed by birth year, as in the average man BORN in 1930 is 69.2 inches) we were during the 1850s, decreased towards the late 1800s due to immigration and harsh living conditions. So Harold Lloyd himself was technically above average considering the year he was born in (the average baby born in 1890-1900 was 66.6-66.9 inches), and these numbers (at least the ones prior to 1960) were military recorded, meaning it mainly speaks for the 20-49 year old age group. I just thought it's worth mentioning.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Oct/14
Yeah he looked easily 7'2, could look even taller but he did seem to often wear big boots which made him look even bigger.
Arch Stanton said on 11/Oct/14
Yeah Sinatra was average for his generation but I tend to think of him as short even for then as a lot as he was often alongside tall guys.
yenz said on 11/Oct/14
@Tim I think it took longer than that, for the average height to go up.
I was reading an article about Abraham Lincoln, and they said "Abraham was 6'4" during a time when the average U.S. man was 5'7", ".
So the average man could've been 5'7" in the 1850s.
said on 11/Oct/14
You know Rob, with silent film listings Viper might actually be right by downgrading everybody by 2-2.5 inches hehe, you'd have thought? ;-)
[Editor Rob: with no internet you could get away with a lot back in those days.]
Tim said on 11/Oct/14
Well, Lloyd's 5'7.5" is the 1920s/30s equivalent of a 5'10" guy today., and since most people forget that average height changed since then, the more modern viewers watching probably assumed that he 'looked' 5'10"" without factoring anything else in.
Arch Stanton said on 11/Oct/14
Rob can you add For Heaven's Sake too? That should do it.
said on 11/Oct/14
Spot on Rob, thankyou! Nice selection of films too. Did you find a quote at all? I've seen 5 ft 10 listed for him which is ridiculous. Always looked between 5 ft 7 and 8 to me. 171-72cm would be about right.
[Editor Rob: there was a few 5ft 10 mentions but there was a quote about an actress who was supposed to be taller than lloyd at nearly 5ft 8 herself!!!]