How tall is James Dean

James Dean's Height

5ft 7in (170.2 cm)

American actor best remembered for roles in films Rebel without a Cause, Giant and East of Eden. He has been described from as short as 5ft 5 to as tall as 5ft 10. His official site says 5ft 8, his high school 'basketball' listing was supposed to be 5ft 7.5, and his draft registration card listing was 5ft 8.

How tall is James Dean
Publicity still, via Wikimedia Commons

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Add a Comment 238 comments

Average Guess (28 Votes)
5ft 6.79in (169.6cm)
Shredder said on 29/Aug/17
I think 5'6.75 is a better shout , it adds up to 5'7.5 in basketball shoes and 5'8 in army boots.
Slim 182 cm said on 25/Jul/17

Final guess.
RisingForce said on 2/Jul/17
I believe Dean was probably 5'7.5" in shoes. A real 5'7.5" man like Frank Sinatra wasn't much shorter than Brando, while Dean was more visibly shorter: Click Here Brando really only looked 174 cm to me without bigger footwear so I can buy his apparent height of 5'8.75", but nothing more. And more convincing yet is Dean with Paul Newman, who I doubt was ever more than 176 cm: Click Here Newman slouches a lot in the video, but it's obvious he's quite a bit taller than Dean.

Interestingly, if I'm right and Dean was only 5'6.5" barefoot then he was the equivalent of a roughly 5'8" man today. Maybe not in Hollywood as leading men were still usually taller with that only just starting to change during Dean's brief career as Brando, Newman, Clift etc. were rising stars, but it does put things in perspective.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 21/Jun/17
Rob how likely is 5ft7½?
Editor Rob: compared to a guy like brando, I really struggle to see that as possible. I can believe 5ft 8 in shoes for him.
Slim 181 cm said on 16/Jun/17
Or 171. We need to stop underestimating celebs by 1.25 cm.
Slim 181 cm said on 15/Jun/17
RichardSpain, unknown?... let's grab some digging tools.. Just kidding! I think James could of measured 170 cm.
RichardSpain said on 27/Apr/17
With his hair and footwear maybe 170cm , Rob. But in my opinion he was more small or short. His height is unknown.
mister_lennon said on 28/Feb/17
mister_lennon said on 28/Feb/17
RisingForce said on 26/Feb/17
I have to guess 5'6.5". He really looks short with Brando, who was certainly no taller than 5'9" and I believe just under it at 5'8.75". Dean was slouching and Brando COULD have worn lifts, but even so, it's a big difference. I think he probably claimed to be 5'8" or was listed at that so a 1.5" exaggeration isn't unheard of, especially for a leading man. Although I don't know basketball sneakers for Dean's era would have added an inch.
Putz said on 6/Feb/17
Dean was three foot five, while Brando was a tiny five foot two. They never appeared with John Wayne, who was a wopping eight foot two, but had a very small Johnson.
James said on 13/Dec/16
Brando was probably wearing built up shoes in the pictures with Dean.
Nick Teixeira said on 25/Nov/16
If you see his films, he is pretty short, even when he's nor slouching. I think this is pretty accurate. 5'7", no more and no less.
Scott said on 11/Nov/16
He definitely wasn't 5'10'' because Jim Bakus had some inches on him in 'Rebel Without A Cause.'More like 5'6'' to 5'7'' tops.
Horseman said on 16/Oct/16
5'6 - 5'7 zone
Arch Stanton said on 15/Oct/16
169 IMO. Dean and G would have been identical ;-)
Al Pacino said on 19/Sep/16
167-170 range
Shredder said on 6/Sep/16
Brando seems to have around 3 " on him , I say James was 5'6.75 and Brando 5'9.5.
Shredder said on 31/Aug/16
LOL , it was a fake DL.
gx79 said on 27/Aug/16
@ Verona Rios were did you see his drivers licens
Verona Rios said on 26/Jul/16
His driver's license says 5'6, so I think it's a great official argument to downgrade him.
Robby D. said on 5/Jun/16
Watched "Tab Hunter Confidential" last night on Netflix and it showed James Dean and Paul Newman standing facing each other reading a script. Paul Newman seemed to be at least three inches taller. I think James Dean may have been 5' 6 1/2".
Rc 5'10 said on 2/Jun/16
He's 5'8 Rob
Pitch_Fork said on 14/Mar/16
Powerhouse said on 10/Feb/16
The draft card listing was probably a boot/shoe measurement, one thing is for sure he wasn't 5'8, never looked that tall by himself or when next to others. Looks like a 5'6 -5'7 guy. Brando was 2.5 inches taller then Dean, and just comparing him with others as well, its clear he was not a 5'8 guy, and was probably a flat 5'7 tops.
mande2013 said on 8/Feb/16
How can heights listed in military records be off? Aren't the armed forces exceptionally accurate about body measurements and such? said on 13/Jan/16
5'5? too low. my bet is on 5'6,but no more
Andrew said on 11/Jan/16
Larry King said that Paul Newman was only 5'7 when he did a tribute show to him just after his death. Not the kind of thing you'd lie about on a tribute show. But Newman is clearly taller than Dean in their screen test together. The two were even lovers for a time. If you look at this pic of Dean barefoot, assuming the ballet bar is at around 36 inches height which would be a normal height for one, I can't see Dean being 5'7. More like the 5'5 that's been attributed by some who knew him or 5'6 tops.
Click Here
Andrew said on 11/Jan/16
Larry King said that Paul Newman was only 5'7 when he did a tribute show to him just after his death. Not the kind of thing you'd lie about on a tribute show. But Newman is clearly taller than Dean in their screen test together. The two were even lovers for a time. If you look at this pic of Dean barefoot, assuming the ballet bar is at around 36 inches height which would be a normal height for one, I can't see Dean being 5'7. More like the 5'5 that's been attributed by some who knew him or 5'6 tops.
Click Here
Dome173 said on 16/Oct/15
Rob, could you explain why did you list him as 170 cm? That's a large downgrade... I would say he was between 171.5 and 173 cm... 173.5 in the morning I would say... Anyway, a really great page. I like it very much!
[Editor Rob: to me Dean looked in the 5ft 7 range rather than the near 5ft 8 range.]
mande2013 said on 11/Sep/15
@Powerhouse There's some debate as to whether or not the military had more of a tendency to discriminate against shorter man during the Civil War era. This is even satirized in Buster Keaton's film The General. Nowadays, 5'4/5'5 guys can serve pretty freely in the military.
mande2013 said on 7/Sep/15
I would say 5'7 flat is the tallest a male can possibly while still seeming like a 'short dude'. I can usually spot a 5'7 flatter 'like that', and they still look like borderline short dudes. For some odd reason, I notice a huge different in appearance between them and the 5'7.5-5,7.75 males who tend to look a lot closer to their 5'8/5'9 counterparts. There does seem to be a stark contrast between the 5'7 flatters and the 5'7 and changers, much larger than between the 5'8 flatters and the 5'8 and changers.
Powerhouse said on 6/Sep/15
@George F... In the 1950s the average man was between 5'8 and 5'9. James Dean was listed at 5'8 back then and was told he was too short to be an actor to which he replied how can you measure acting in inches. Also the average American soldier during the Civil War was 5'8.25 143lbs and that was the 1860s. So people weren't as short as you think. My Great Grandfather was 5'7-5'8 and looking at pictures of him in the 50s with his friends he is usually the shortest man in every picture, never appearing average. But regardless your statement is incorrect because 50 years ago was 1960 and at 5'10 you would not be considered very tall back then.
George F said on 5/Sep/15
Danimal: John has put it beautifully very nice listing about heights today and what is considered above average but it also depends in which country we are talking about. I have read in the Alps average height is 6ft 1. I also agree with Danimal that these are current day heights. 50 years ago if you were 5ft 10 you considered very tall because most people were 168-170 cm.
Danimal said on 3/Sep/15
John said on 8/Jan/15
Under 5 5 very short
5 5 - 5 6 short
5 7 - 5 8 below average
5 9 - 5 10 Average
5 11 - Above average
6 0 - 6 4 Tall
6 5 and above very tall

You're basing those heights on CURRENT DAY standards. You do realize that he was a star 60 YEARS AGO, right? Average height for a man was NOT 5'9"-5'10" in the early/mid 50's.
mande2013 said on 18/Aug/15

When you're a heartthrob in the mold of someone like Dean, you don't need to be 6 foot. Being an ultra good looking pretty boy is enough as long as you're not like 5'3 or something. Dean was short and nobody cares. The reason people make an issue out of Cruise's height, which is within a standard deviation of Dean's, is because he's typecast as an Anglo-Saxon leading man like Kevin Costner or Michael Douglas or whoever who gets the girls by being a 'man', not by being sexy. The 5'7 stature doesn't fit the persona of Tom Cruise that PR sells to us. Sure, Cruise is 'good looking', but he's not that kind of 'good looking'. Someone like Dean or even Estevez, who was quite big in the eighties, gets away with it more easily because they get by on sex appeal and heartthrob status alone. It's like with Olga Kurylenko. Sure, she's 'man' height, but who gives a f**k. She's the most beautiful woman on the planet.
Ron said on 2/Aug/15
So what would you say his weight was in rebel without a cause and giant? 150 lbs maybe? Or les
[Editor Rob: ron, I doubt he was anymore than that mark]
Gx79 said on 23/Jul/15
He could have worn converse that would make him 5'7.5 that mean barfoted make him 5'7
Or it could of been without but a half dozen other matter
Gx79 said on 16/Jul/15
Rob let be honest h was measured at 5'7.5 in high school he could of grown a half and now 5'8!
[Editor Rob: I don't know if that was barefoot or not. The fact the hospital sometimes take height in shoes, leads me to think at times a person is really giving a footwear height.]
Gx79 said on 16/Jul/15
Rob let be honest h was measured at 5'7.5 in high school he could of grown a half and now 5'8!
Arch Stanton said on 27/Jun/15
I think Dean was better looking than Tatum but Tatum can certainly resemble him, certainly enough to play him, check out Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 27/Jun/15
If they did a James Dean bopic any time soon I reckon Channing Tatum could pull it off, quite similar actually if Tatum grew his hair into a big quiff.
Zardots said on 9/Jun/15
He was the same height as Nick Adams who is listed as between 5'6" and 5'6" but it is safe to assume that the numbers were cooked to make each man taller to enhance his desirability. Typical PR, just like the bio information claiming Dean to be blonde when we can plainly see he had brown hair and was a brunette. said on 25/May/15
just watched east of eden again and i really think he is just a strong 5'6. maybe a downgrade?
Steve said on 16/May/15
You know what Jimmy would say, " How can you measure talent in inches", if I read that right.
tp11 said on 16/May/15
is big james dean's face? i think face's size is important if he is short.he could be seen as a tall guy by proportion such as face,body,leg and so on...and that is key of his success.
Mc51295 said on 6/Apr/15
I guess that proves that you don't have to be a really tall guy to be one of the most famous sex symbols of all time.
Avatar said on 8/Feb/15
5'6" to 5'7", not taller
Steve said on 6/Feb/15
He could have been 5''6" because Paul Newman was a lot taller than him in a test they did. Newman looked several inches taller. said on 3/Feb/15
could he be 5'6?
John said on 8/Jan/15
Under 5 5 very short
5 5 - 5 6 short
5 7 - 5 8 below average
5 9 - 5 10 Average
5 11 - Above average
6 0 - 6 4 Tall
6 5 and above very tall
Andrew M said on 30/Nov/14
I'd expect his draft-registration card to be correct, Rob. The military tend to be pretty precise about these things. My late, favourite uncle served in WW2 and said the British military were strict about you "making the weight", even feeding you and sending you off to bed early!
Still, it's reassuring that such a "big" star is barely over my height! said on 13/Oct/14
5'9 is ridiculous.. he was visibly a lot shorter than brando. 5'7 max
rree said on 10/Oct/14
you should chang his height to 5foot9
fdffg said on 7/Oct/14
on your weight website you have him listed as 5foot10 he looks 5 foot9
[Editor Rob: it's not an actual height listing, just a reference to what his height/weight was being described during his career.]
Pera von Essen said on 6/Oct/14
I think it is hard to tell how tall he was. Does anybody know that? Maybe he was 5 foot 9?
John said on 2/Oct/14
1.71m. 145 lbs. 32" Waist. US 9 Shoe Euro 42
GDR said on 10/Sep/14
He looks 5. Foot 9
Marlon1 said on 13/Aug/14
I would say 5'8
John said on 12/Aug/14
Size US 9 shoe
jj said on 29/Jul/14
Rob,do you think who is tall ,tom cruise and james dean?
[Editor Rob: Tom might edge him] said on 29/Apr/14
he wasnt under or over 5'7 thats for sure, he looked exactly that
H. said on 27/Apr/14
Seems 5'6 to me from the pictures with Pier,and his body proportions
Heylo said on 21/Apr/14
Berta, i don't think that site is to trust. Brad Pitt is listed at 6 feet..
Brad A. said on 19/Apr/14
Just saw Giant. James looked about 5'6 or 5'6.5 said on 31/Jan/14
the 5'7 is based on what?
little sue said on 21/Jan/14
You can put anything you want on a driving license as you fill the forms in at home and send them off in the post!
Beliavskiy said on 20/Jan/14
His driver's license says 5'8, kinda looks like a 6 but it's an 8.
berta said on 28/Dec/13
look again brother Click Here i dont think we can trust the driver license but if it says 5´6 then he is probably not that mutch taller maybe close to 5´7
Robby D said on 25/Dec/13
I just looked his driving license up online and it says his height was 5'8" and his weight 160lbs.
berta said on 19/Dec/13
driver license says 5`6
Arch Stanton said on 27/Nov/13
Looks more 5'6" range in East of Eden. Short even for his generation.
HRG said on 28/Sep/13
Rob, do you think that he could be 5 ft 8 tall?
Powerhouse said on 1/Sep/13
looks at least 2 1/2 inches shorter than Brando, I think Dean was about 5'6 but he cant be over 5'6.5
Elvis said on 26/Aug/13
I'm 5ft 7in and it's a weird height to be because it isn't that short but it's in the short range.
If I was 5ft 9in it wouldn't be an issue because that's average but 5ft 7in or 5ft 8in is just on the cusp of being a decent height but just not close enough.
Arch Stanton said on 6/Aug/13
Rob have you seen Rebel without a Cause? He had at least 2 inches on Sal Mineo but looked proportionally 5'7" tops. Mineo looked around 5'5" in the film I thought and he was only about 16 at the time. I see a 5'8" listing for him on the database but he looked nowhere near that in the film. Possible that he grew a few inches afterwards you think?

Brando was 174cm in my opinion.
[Editor Rob: probably was 5ft 5 range]
al said on 5/Aug/13
We know that Brando is between 5'8 and 5'9,so 5'6.25 is fair for Dean i think.
Sam said on 22/Jul/13
He could look close to 3 inches shorter than Marlon Brando, and it is known that Brando wasn't a tall guy.
Click Here
Che said on 14/Mar/13
5'7.5". He did like to wear large heeled engineer boots though
Elvis said on 28/Nov/12
5ft 7in isn't really that short for a man. It's average or only just below average in most countries.
leonari said on 15/Nov/12
Bud: Most ridiculous post ever! He was 5'7" or damn close to it!
Bud said on 15/Nov/12
James Dean was 5'5" - Natalie Wood and Pier Angeli were 5' [that's why they were associated with Dean; he never towered over them]
Bud said on 15/Nov/12
James Dean was 5'5" - Natalie Wood and Pier Angeli were 5' [that's why they were associated with Dean; he never towered over them]
jo jo said on 10/Oct/12
James: 5' 6''

You can look up his license. It's not his actual license, but the info seems correct.
leonari said on 8/Aug/12
I totally agree Shredder. I think Rob downgraded him twice. Now it could be accurate...But even 5'6.5 is an option for Dean
the shredder said on 7/Aug/12
5'7 at the max ... this 5'8 army listing must have been in boots
Dean said on 6/Aug/12
In an interview, Julie Harris said he was 5'6".....
popolo said on 1/Aug/12
Click Here
Mot said on 16/Jan/12
I think Jimmy was taller than 5'7, look at that, in this photo he looks almost 5'9 next to 5'9.5 Paul Newman: Click Here

He also looks average height in Rebel Without a Cause, definetely a couple of inches taller than Sal Mineo. Jimmy appears short only in The Giant next to the huge Rock Hudson, who was something like 6'5.

So I think 5'8 is a good estimate for Dean, while I think his weight was about 140-150 lbs.
the shredder said on 28/Oct/11
Rob , go to 8:37 ... Next to a height chart ... Could under 5'7 be more likely ?

Click Here
[Editor Rob: I think the camera is near the top of his head in that clip, it depends on shoes/posture, it's a hard one to call on such a short clip like that]
the shredder said on 20/Oct/11
Rob , I saw a cut out of him that was 6'3 ... Why do they make cut outs of stars taller then there heights ?
[Editor Rob: I don't know, I've seen ones smaller aswell, but generally I think the ones I seen are pretty close.]
the shredder said on 3/Oct/11
Rob , James at 5'8 or 5'7.5 measured and Brando at 5'8.75 measured does not add up , how you think there's 2 " or 3 " between them ?
[Editor Rob: I think Dean at 5ft 8 was a push, maybe it was 'in basketball shoes']
Anon said on 12/Aug/11
James was 5'6 and 3/4 inches.
Steve said on 12/Aug/11
I believe the 5'7.5" basketball listing. The draft card listing of 5'8" I think was the military just rounding off.
the shredder said on 25/Jul/11
Rob , This is not a joke , but He can look as short as 5'5 ... Not saying he was that low though ... Maybe he was 5'6 ?
Editor Rob said on 20/Jul/11
When looking to find a natalie wood quote I saw her mention that James was 'very short'. She herself claimed 5ft 2.5 as her own height.
Lol said on 12/Jun/11
Now that´s great to hear, James :D
James Dean said on 7/Jun/11
Maybe I am 5'8'', but I am definitely around 5'7'' in Madame Tussauds.

mark said on 26/May/11
James dean was 5ft 8""
as it shows in madame tussauds
Elvis said on 22/May/11
I'm in the same measurements as James Dean 5'7" to 5'8" region and 10 to 10 stone 5lbs. I have a 32" waist and I think he was probably the same, he most probably had size 7 or 8 feet.
I don't think young men this size is short just below the 5'9" average, great talent.
the shredder said on 12/May/11
Nicholson IMO was 5'9 peak ... Now like 5'7.75 ... Dean looks 5'5 to 5'7 with posture lol I know it sounds nuts !
Scott said on 10/May/11
Dean was 5'6" doesn't make him any less of a legend.
jtm said on 24/Apr/11
thank you rob for changing it and i don't think nicholson was ever 5'9.5 more like 5'8.5 at his prime and 5'7.5 nowadays.
leonari said on 23/Apr/11
Rob: You changed his height??! He was at 5'7.5" right? You did the right thing. As usual!
James Dean is the perfect example of a well proportioned, skinny flat 5'7" guy. Asking most people they never suspected him to be under average.
Rob said on 22/Apr/11
5'7 sounds about right. Great actor. Rob, if you've seen Rebel, what do you estimate Sal Mineo's height was? He looked a good 2 inches shorter than Dean. Although he was only 16 then. I don't think he's listed here.

[Editor Rob: not seen it for ages so don't know about Sal]
Shaun said on 25/Mar/11
Mm, flatten down the quiff and I suspect he was 5'6.5". What astounds me about him is how he managed to make such an impact and died only aged 24!!!
the shredder said on 14/Mar/11
Rob , his weight is listed as 135 ... do you think that is too low ?

[Editor Rob: that's about the weight of Jenny, he did look a slim guy so maybe he was that weight.]
guyfrommars said on 13/Mar/11
Looked tiny (more than a head shorter) than 6'5" Rock Hudson in Giant. They both wore cowboy boots, but Dean had bigger heels on them.
the shredder said on 12/Mar/11
Rob , here is Brando taller then Nicholson ...

Click Here

I don't see 5'9.5 for Nicholson vs. 5'8.75 for Brando !
the shredder said on 11/Mar/11
Rob , something eles I must say ... could Brando be taller then that 5'8.75 measurement at 17 ? He had about 1 inch on Nicholson !

[Editor Rob: that is the debate, whether he did grow further.]
the shredder said on 11/Mar/11
Rob , something is off in the Brando pic ... How is that less then 2 inches ?

[Editor Rob: Dean looks a guy who has a laid back posture at times, I think all the 5ft 7.5/8 mentions in high school etc could be in sneakers. ]
tell-em said on 8/Mar/11
brando probly had his trustee boots on...he wore boots and lifts.
moi said on 7/Mar/11
You can't go by arrest records - someone we know (NOT a friend, we had a restraining order against this convicted felon boyfriend of a relative) anyway...among is MANY arrests during the same two month period (yes, he was an idiot) were heights listed from 5' 3" up to 5' 10". When he chest butted me, we were almost eye to eye and I am a 5' 6" woman. He was looking up at me which puts him about 5'5". Not sure why the discrepancies.
Sam said on 7/Mar/11
But the lowest estimate I've heard for Brando is 5'8.75".
the shredder said on 7/Mar/11
Rob , you think about downgrade ? He looks not even 5'6 or 5'7 sometimes !

[Editor Rob: I don't buy 5ft 6 but 5ft 7 and 5ft 8 in shoes I think might be nearer.]
Q said on 6/Mar/11
Click Here
Brando (5'8) looks much taller. i'd say 5'6/5'6.5 for Dean.
Jeff said on 4/Mar/11
A traffic ticket that James Dean received on Sept 30th 1955 has him listed at 5 feet 10 inches. Google James Dean traffic ticket to see for yourselves.
guyfrommars said on 28/Feb/11
Anonymus: There were a lot of short actors in the golden age of Hollywood, as well as a lot of tall guys. It's the same as today. And just as today, they tried to make the short guys appear taller by a variety of means, from lifts and elevator shoes to camera angles and short female co-stars. Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Alan Ladd, Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy - just to name a few. The "lightening up" came when short actors were "allowed to be short". They didn't boost the height of Dustin Hoffman. Even when casting him next to tall ladies, such as Jessica Lange.
someone said on 18/Feb/11
I saw "East of Eden" last night and he looked short - he was the same height or shorter than almost all females in the film, and all the males towered over him.
ryan said on 13/Feb/11
he is 5'6 max
RobA said on 4/Dec/10
5'8" sounds right. I went to the same spot (Griffith Observatory in Hollywood)where he leaned back overlooking his car in Rebel Without A Cause and put my albows at the same pose as he did and mine had to sit higher. I'm 5'7" with shoes on.
the shredder said on 1/Oct/07
Rob , Now that you saw the other Brando/Dean photo .. What would you say was the minimum and maximum for Dean .. and Brando ?

I say If Brando was 5'8.75 Dean would have been 5'7 .. Brando 5'9-9.5 Dean 5'7.5 .. Brando 5'10 Dean 5'8 for sure !

[Editor Rob: max 9.5, min 9 I'd say for brando. Jimmy 5ft 7-7.5 range. But guys in that era I think had likelier chance of wearing lift. Easier to get away with.]
miles smiles said on 28/Sep/07
Most of the greatest male actors of all time are/were between 5-6 and 5-10: Dean, Brando, Deniro, Penn, etc. The tall ones are usually the B actors, and in the old days they were often the cheezy, wooden B-list actors.
the shredder said on 19/Sep/07
Martin , what are you talking about actors had to be over 5'11 ? So I guess Brando was too short to be an actor to at 5'10 ?
Martin said on 17/Sep/07
the shredder: Well, if you are 5'6.5 you ARE short. I find people shorter than 5'9", short to be honest. And about Deans height...Back then, actors were supposed to be superhumans. They weren't supposed to play average people like nowadays. That's why they might have thinked he was too short. Male actors were supposed to be over 5'11.
Drooperdoo said on 15/Sep/07
James Dean was only about 5'6'', according to his own family. [He lived with his uncle Marcus Winslow. It's his son [Dean's cousin] who gives his height at 5'6''. He was MAYBE 5'7'', and that's being generous..] So many people on here keep saying he "looked" 5'8'' in "Rebel Without A Cause," neglecting the fact that he wore thick-soled biker boots which boosted his height 2 inches. Go check out stills where he's in the famous red wind-breaker. He's got blue jeans and yes: boots. (You really need to pay attention to footwear.] * Go to Google's Image Library and key in the words "James Dean Rebel" and you'll see a number of pictures of him with the height-boosting boots.
the shredder said on 9/Sep/07
Rob , where do you see 5'5 listings for him ? You put at the top of the page that he got listed 5'5 to 5'10 .

[Editor Rob: in ancient newspapers.]
miles smiles said on 25/Aug/07
Dean never gave off the short aura like Cruise does. Perhaps in part because Dean was one of the most powerful screen presences in film history.
the shredder said on 24/Aug/07
If James Dean was 5 ft 10 , then Brando was 6 ft 2 !
miles smiles said on 24/Aug/07
It's funny...Dean always seemed a solid 5-10 or so when you watch Rebel...or when you see those classic moody photos of him strolling down the streets of New York looking so kool. I would have never thought that he was perhaps only a shade taller than Tom Cruise!
the shredder said on 17/Aug/07
Well as I point out that My Great Grandfather was in the Army and they did use halfs ! His listing was 5'7 1/2 180lbs ( my great grandfather ) ... So if James Dean's Army height was taking as 5 ft 8 , then that was his real height ! ... Then as Frank2 said , they could have changed his height simply because he was ... mmm ..... JAMES DEAN !

I never really doubted 5'8 or cared too much about his height , untill I read that people said back then that he was TOO SHORT to be an actor and looking at pics with him and other actors , and he was 5 ft 8 ??? ... years later Michael J.Fox , Tom Cruise ... were most likely never told .

In 2007 Im only around the 5 ft 6.5 mark and hardly get told Im short ! ... So being 5 ft 8 back in the 50's and being told your TOO SHORT , theres something wrong !
Yitzhak said on 13/Aug/07
5'8 in shoes. Slightly over 5'7 flat, and not 5'7.5

More like between 5'7.25
JanJ said on 31/Jul/07
he was only 2.5 inches taller than 5'4 guy Sal, in rebel without a he's about 5'6 - 5'7
the shredder said on 31/Jul/07
I must point out that they did use 1/2 in the Army ! ... My grandmother showed me her Fathers ( which would be my great grandfather )Army records form 1930 and it listed his height as 5 ft 7 1/2 and 180 lbs ! ...

So , if James Dean's army height was 5 ft 8 , then thats what he should be given ... Unless Frank2 was right and they changed the height on his records simply because he was a big star ?
Anonymous said on 19/Jun/07
Here's a link to a full length shot of James Dean standing next to Julie Harris and Richard Davalos during a wardrobe test for East of Eden Click Here I don't know if it's the photo Viv was talking about on 20/Mar/06... (comment by Francesca)
Steve said on 15/Jun/07
I've read several books on Dean, and most of them seem to put his height at 5'8". However, I think that was a bit of a stretch. Look at the pictures of him next to Brando and Newman, who were about 5'9"-5'10". They've got over a couple inches or more on him. I put him between 5'7"-5'7 1/2".
kiefer said on 22/May/07
He looked a good few inches below paul newman in one photo I saw.
He was a bit over 5ft 7 though more near to 5ft 8.5
the shredder said on 2/May/07
LOL ... Actually I really thought 5'8 myself into I photos with other actors ! Brando only claimed 5'9 and 5'10 , and some said closer to 5'8 ... and Dean just does not look near 5 ft 8 with him or other actors .

When I first saw Rebel without a Cause , I first thought 5'8 - 5'9 !
Viper said on 1/May/07
Dean looks 5-8 to me.
the shredder said on 1/May/07
Rob , how come you don't give him 5'7 flat or under ? ... You gave Elvis under 6'0 . Sh!t ... Dean had boots on all the time !!!
the shredder said on 8/Mar/07
Rob , do you think 5'7.5 could have been in boots ?
the shredder said on 21/Feb/07
the 5 ft 7.5 could have been taking in boots , just like Elvis ??? If so then James Dean's true height was somewhere between 5'6 and upper 5'6 range ( 5'6 flat to 5'6.75 ! ) ... But If it was 5 ft 7.5 barefoot ? then that was his true height !
the shredder said on 1/Dec/06
i found his last driver's license that says 5'8 and 160 lbs !!!

i can't posted it for some reason , but just go under Google and type in James Dean's last driver license
leonari said on 9/Nov/06
There is no way Dean was 5'8". Out of the question. I really go for 5'6.5" when comparing him to Paul Newman who was reeally measured by Howard Stern so that could be one of the few real heights we are sure of. Brando was 5'9.5" in my opinion and he looks a lot taller than Dean. I say almost 3 inches. So there you have it: James Dean is 5'6.5" to 5'7". Nothing above that not even the 0.5 inch Rob gave him. I always wonder: would james dean be a legend like Brando was if he hadn't died so young? Amazing actor no doubt-but you never know in Hollywood...
Domibucks said on 29/Aug/06
Several inches? I dont know about that. Maybe 2.5-3.
Drooperdoo said on 28/Aug/06
Glenn, I only know that Newman is 5'9'' because he himself stated that he was 5'9'', and when challenged on his height by a radio DJ, an annoyed Newman actually drove down to the station to be measured--and was certified as being 5'9''. He never claimed to be any taller--not even in his youth. So Dean isn't standing next to a 5'10'' Newman (since Newman himself never got that tall). Using Newman as a reference, Dean is busted at 5'6.5'' to 5'7''--tops.
Glenn said on 27/Aug/06
Interesting.Newman has appeared 5-10 to me 15 years ago.
Drooperdoo said on 27/Aug/06
Check out Dean's height next to 5'9'' Paul Newman in a rare screen test for the 1955 movie "East of Eden": Click Here
Newman is slouching and still several inches taller. Dean's lucky to be 5'7''.
Domibucks said on 18/Aug/06
He's always looked atleast 5'7 to me. MAX 5'7.5
Viper652 said on 16/Aug/06
James being under 5-7 according to Frank and Brad really surprises me. Always looked 5-8 to me.
Brad said on 15/Aug/06
My brother is looking for oil near where he got killed. He talked to a few roughnecks who knew the people who were at the scene. They stole all his money out of Dean's wallet.
Charlie said on 10/Aug/06
I agree with Brad. If you watch scenes from Giant with Dean and Rock Hudson, Rock appears a foot taller. There are a few shots when Dean and Rock are standing together. You can really appreciate how much taller Rock was. Rock was probably 6'6" in his prime and Dean was probably 5'7".
Glenn said on 4/Aug/06
You should know better than that Rob.NO ONE has the photo with.and rarely signed in the 70s.NEVER after that.though some claim he did in 1987 during the filming of The Freshman here in NYC.I never saw him,though a couple claimed he had an apartment here near me at the time in Manhattan.I know people 25-28 years in the biz that never saw him.and fraud sightings mainly.those authentic sightings had Brando make remarks about "getting your head examined" when you had an auto I said,I saw an amazing cast photo this, if still alive(85 years?) man had with The Godfather.I dont think Brando was in the pic.I could be wrong.but I hope I would remember something like that.
Glenn said on 3/Aug/06
Brando is reported between 5-8 and 5-9 from what I read and from people I know that met him.

[Editor Rob: did any of your friends ever get a pic with brando, or was he as reclusive as the papers said and always refused auto hunters?]
the shredder said on 2/Aug/06
iam unsure on james dean .... but he really was a bit shorter then 5'8 to 5'10 marlon brando ! what i do know is that james dean looked like brad pitt and wanted to be brando as far as acting !
Frank2. said on 1/Aug/06
Dean was 5'6". As I said before, Julie Harris as well as Lenny Rosenman confirmed that height to me. Both worked with Dean. Film composer Rosenman was a close friend going back to their days in NYC. And Rock was 6'5" back in the fifties. He said so in an old interview. In it he stated that he lost about an inch by the time of McMillan and Wife.
Glenn said on 1/Aug/06
The shortest Dean can be is 5-7 in my opinion.and yes Viper,he looked 5-8.
Viper652 said on 1/Aug/06
I thought James looked 5-8 actually.
leonari said on 1/Aug/06
Oh Please! 5'5" is the lowest I have ever heard for Dean...The man wasn't tall he was 5'6.5 to 5'7.5 but he was no midget...Get real.Hudson was 6'5"" in his prime...
Brad said on 1/Aug/06
I met Rock Hudson at Universal in '73. I was 6'5" and he was exactly the same height. Hudson is at least a foot taller than Dean. Dean was 5'5". My aunt met him in '53 in N.Y.C.. She said 5'5" is about right.
jimww said on 28/Jul/06
Elia Kazan was visiting a town near where I live. A university there was honoring him ,I was walking a few feet behind him.I was surprised he was so short,about 5 ft.5 or 6.
Jack said on 7/Jul/06
Justpassingthrough, what do you estimate Dean's height is? I say about 5'6.75 up to 5'7.5 that is listed here.
JustPassingThrough said on 7/Jul/06
Just to clear something up...Those "Frankenstein" shoes that a few people below have claimed Dean was wearing in the Rebel Without a Cause publicity shots are in fact merely standard engineer boots...probably Chippewa's. Every teenaged male actor in the film except for Plato was wearing them―they were the quintessential 50's biker boot. Most engineer boots have a 1 3/4" heel, which is about 1/4" to 1/2" taller than most standard heeled men's shoes, save for flat heeled loafers or sandals. You could fit lifts inside, sure, but at least from the outside, you can easily tell that the boots he's wearing in the photos are fairly standard. The heel height doesn't look any different than any other engineer boot I've ever seen...Just do a Google image search on Chippewa engineer boots.
Ramiro said on 30/Jun/06
It's difficult to state the exact height of a person looking at pictures that usually does not show the feet and never show if the persons have lifts or not. As I've said in other threads, there are too much factors that distort the appreciation made looking at pics or footage or even looking straight at the man: the position of bodies, the angle of shot, the footwear (lifts, heels) the situation of the ground or floor (I was sometimes surprised when watched a full pic after watching it cut that the floor was the explanation of some heights), the falibility of the human eye and the subjectivity of personal appreciations (everyone has one) and many many more. Think too that when someone is measured at a stadiometer he has to be a lot more straight than in normal life, in a forced posture to reach the anthropometric full height. In the case of Dean (one of the greatest slouchers in the Hollywood world, perhaps the greatest) the difference between a scientifically measured height and the height the people appreciate in normal life surely was big.
the shredder said on 13/Apr/06
rob, how does james dean have a official site when he died 51 years ago? did someone in the family make it up for him?

[Editor Rob: I think the CMG agency runs it, as they do for a number of past stars]
Charlie said on 10/Apr/06
Thanks. I wasn't aware of that. Although, I still don't think Rock would be too happy being insulted or teased by Dean.
Frank2 said on 10/Apr/06
Rock was hardly secret about his sexual preference while inside the safe confines of the studio. Everyone knew.
Charlie said on 10/Apr/06
I'm kind of surprised that Rock would have tolerated that behavior from Jimmy. To tease Rock in front of the cast and crew wasn't exactly professional. I really wonder if Jimmy and Rock ever exchanged more than words. Being Rock's sexuality was supposed to be secretive, I really wouldn't blame him if he lost his cool. I don't envy Jimmy if he did.
Viv said on 9/Apr/06
Yes, Jimmy and Rock weren't particularily fond of each other in real life, either (probably initially spurred on because of Jimmy's "bizarre" form of acting and getting into/staying in character). There might be some more complex reasons, too. They tended to stay out of each other's ways off-camera. But, sometimes, Jimmy acted up to Rock. Elizabeth was friends with both Rock and Jimmy and both men were apparently jealous of the any affections the other were to receive from Elizabeth.
Man-oh-man, all the complexities that go on behind the camera. I bet those two had no trouble acting out their dislike for each other in that movie.
Frank2 said on 9/Apr/06
Dean and Rock hated each other during filming which director George Stevens used to his advantage. Dean was bisexual and knew of Rock's homosexuality and would tease him about it right in front of the cast and crew. I got that from the film editor who cut the movie.
Charlie said on 9/Apr/06
Yes. Thank you, Viv. That is the picture. Since neither guy is standing straight, it is difficult to judge. And Frank2 says Dean is wearing lifts? Even so, it is unbelievable how much taller Rock is. No way Dean is 5'8". Kind of funny. I know Dean is drunk, but he looks petrified to me. I guess if a guy Rock's size was about to hit me, I'd look the same. One punch from Rock and Dean would have been a goner. I know there was no love lost between the two.
Frank2 said on 9/Apr/06
Plus it should be noted that Dean wore lifts in the film. No way was he 5'8".
Charlie said on 9/Apr/06
There actually is a picture on I can't seem to enlarge it though. Click on our collections and then click on cinema collections. Then, put in Giant. Looks like it might shed some light on our discussions. Both Dean and Rock have their fists up ready to fight. It would be good if somebody could post it. Thanks.
Viv said on 9/Apr/06
Frank2 is right about a good photo of Jimmy and Rock standing together where we can see their shoes, the ground, etc. I haven't found one. The only way, like Frank2 stated, is to get a screen shot off of Giant. I remember it being pretty darn hard to guage them even with the movie, though.
Frank2 said on 9/Apr/06
You're not going to see a photo of Rock and Dean standing together unless to do a screen shot off the DVD of Giant. Back in 1956 Warner Brothers publicity wouldn't issue anything showing Dean to be a shrimp. And remember that back then Hudson was a solid 6'5". Remember the actor who played Sarge in Giant, the huge guy who owns the dinner who Rock ends up fighing? That was character actor Mickey Simpson and he was also 6'5".
Frank2 said on 7/Apr/06
For what it's worth, actor and Dean close friend Dennis Hopper told me that Dean was shorter than him and Hopper was only about 5'7". I'm going with 5'6" for Dean and sticking with it. I could care less what any official document states. Paperwork can easilly be faked, especially when it comes to well-know celebs. And guys who are 5'6" tend to claim they're a couple of inches taller just as guys who are 5'10" claim they're at least 5'11". Like you said, Hudson towered over Dean by nearly a foot. Had Dean been Kirk Douglas' height of 5'8" we'd have seen the difference on screen. And Douglas claimed to be 5'11"! Actors who are 5'8" can look 5'10" with lifts. With shorter actors that's nearly impossible without using ramps and hiring short co-stars and extras. At Paramount the old rumor was that with films starring Alan Ladd, the casting calls forbid any tall actors or extras from trying out. That one I take with a grain of salt since Ladd did appear with a number of taller actors including 5'11" Howard DeSilva, 5'10" Robert Preston and 5'11" James Mason.
Charlie said on 7/Apr/06
I don't think Dean was 5'8". I still would like an explanation of why Rock Hudson appears to be at least a foot taller than Dean in Giant. I wish somebody would post a picture of them from Giant. There were a couple of scenes where the evidence speaks for itself.
Frank2 said on 24/Mar/06
Too bad I wasn't photographed with Elvis since that would end that argument fast. I did have an opportunity once, but I tend not to bother celebs. It makes me uncomfortable. Once in a blue moon when the time is right I'll get snapped with one. I lost out having my picture taken with Steve McQueen. He had a group of his dirt bike racing buddies get together for a group shot up when he raced off Mulholland Drive. A friend of mine was one of them. I was just about the only one not in the photo. At one point they yelled for me to join them, but just being a spectator I felt I didn't belong.
Viv said on 24/Mar/06
Thanks for your insight on Natalie, Frank2. I was quite shocked when I spoke with a lady who knew her and said she was about 5'2". So, your guage of her height sounds correct. BTW: LOVE the photos of you and various stars that have been put up on this site. Really helps to guage their heights. :)
Frank2 said on 23/Mar/06
I'd say that Natalie was no more than 5'2". With heels she could be 5'6". And she was quite small-boned, very petite and strikingly beautiful. Had I been RJ I'd have made sure the fires burned enough at home that she wouldn't be tempted to warm herself on the outside, if you know what I mean.
Viv said on 22/Mar/06
Yes, Frank2. I've thought of that, too. I've heard from people who knew and worked with her that she was actually about 5'2" - but, that she was so thin and small boned, she looked much smaller. What would you guage her height when you saw her?
Viv said on 20/Mar/06
Thanks for the information on Julie Harris, Frank2. She always seemed to me to be a very kind person and your story certainly lends credence to that. The reason why I asked her height was because I have a beautiful shot of Richard Davalos, Julie Harris and Jimmy (full length shot, can see the shoes and posture perfectly) taken during the shooting of East of Eden and I needed her height to help gauge Jimmy's. You said Jimmy did not wear lifts in East of Eden, so that helped me greatly in gauging this photo, too. Julie is wearing 3" heels that probably gave her about 2" extra in height bringing her to about 5'5". Jimmy is wearing normal looking shoes with a heel that probably gives him 1". He is also slouching (Julie is standing perfectly straight). Jimmy's heel and his slouching probably about balance out leaving him at whatever height he would be formally measured at. There is about a 1 1/2"-2" difference between Julie and Jimmy taking into consideration all factors, here including Jimmy's hair. That would put Jimmy at 5'6 1/2"–5'7". Yes, I'm certainly thinking about 5'7" for Jimmy, now. Perhaps, a hair less. But, 5'7" seems about right to me as this is the best photo of him that I've seen with another star. (I cannot find this photo on the net, but it's in George Perry's book on James Dean and I'm sure elsewhere, as well. If I find it, I'll post it).
And, I can certainly understand the animosity between Jimmy and Raymond Massey. I think Kazan egged that one on a bit, though.
I also looked at the shot Frank2 just posted of Jimmy's boots. Quite impressive. It's hard to tell his height without being able to see him standing next to anyone, but I get the drift.
Viv said on 20/Mar/06
Interesting, Frank2. I'm having a hard time distinguishing pictures where I can't see shoes, though. But, your thoughts on lifts are helping me. I am leaning more towards 5'7" than 5'8" for Jimmy now, based on my own findings in my collection. Maybe, that will even change, I don't know. But, I'm still hovering in the 5'7" region for him. Just looking for concrete evidence myself, that's all. I had asked you earlier how tall Julie Harris was since you've met her. I have always wondered how tall she was.
Frank2 said on 14/Mar/06
Dean was six feet.
Dominic said on 14/Mar/06
And Viv's got great points. I think she's got enough information that he's 5'7 to 5'8 already.
Dominic said on 14/Mar/06
No Frank, I'm saying I can't discuss this topic with you anymore because the argument is going no where. And how did I start it? All I did was state my opinion. I'm done, I'm going by army and highschool height.
Frank2 said on 13/Mar/06
So Dominic, it sounds from what you're saying that "I can't discuss why you claimed the army measured him nor can I acknowledge that Backus was taller and he was only 5'10" or anything else so instead I just want to drop it." You started the argument. I just reported what I knew to be true from the people who actually knew and worked with him. You went by material written in books. I spoke with these people in the flesh. And to Mark, no, I'm hardly saying Dean and Kirk were the same height. Dean was shorter by at least an inch, possibly two. And yes, Kirk wore lifts. You see the ads above for height-increasing shoes? Well, Kirk used them. He was even wearing them when he appeared at a bookstore to sign his latest novel which I bought for my wife. I noticed his shoes when he walked in with his wife. They were obvious lifts and with them on he was still three to four inches shorter than me. I could almost look over his head! Also, Kirk is severely bowlegged. And as he got older it got worse. The very last time I saw him was at a Beverly Hills deli. By then he was so bowlegged that I could look over his head! That same day I ran into Morey Amsterdam and had a nice chat. That was a year or so before Kirk was involved in that terrible helicopter crash that almost took his life.
Viv said on 13/Mar/06
Man-oh-man. I'm almost afraid to post here! ;) Anyhow, I had a few minutes today to look through a few of my things. The book by George Perry stated "When he (Jimmy) had stopped growing he was a wiry 5'8" and weighed only 140 lbs." O.k. We've heard the 5'8" before. I skimmed a bit and found another interesting quote in the book: "A couple of inches were added to his (Jimmy's) height so that, as far as Warners were concerned, he was 5'10in." I checked a few other sources. One stated he was 173 cm. I'm not sure what that correlates to...about 5'8"? In "Mutant," another biography, it stated 5'10" and 155 lbs. for Jimmy (obviously going on Warners listing for Jimmy's height). Another source, I believe his autopsy or death certificate, stated that Jimmy was "5'8" and 145 lbs." at the time of his death. The ticket Jimmy got the day he died is messy in areas. The cop took down his license info. and it appears to say "5'/8 in.", but, like I stated, the "/8 in." is a bit messy. It may have stated 5' and 7 1/2 in. There was definitely an "8" or a "1/2" in the inches slot and what could be a "7" or a "/" in front of the "8". I think I may have a copy of his autopsy report/death certificate somewhere and will look into that. The "boost" of Warners adding "a couple inches" to Jimmy's height to make him 5'10" is interesting as is the "173cm." quote. I'm looking for anything written or documented that states Jimmy was under 5'7 1/2" but cannot find anything thus far. I'm open-minded and will keep looking. But, the bulk of what I've seen all points to 5'7 1/2" - 5'8" for Jimmy (with the acknowledgement that the 5'10" listing for him was a height increase for Jimmy of a couple inches by Warners). Also telling, is a photo I found of Paul Newman (I looked him up here, Frank2 says about 5'10" for him, others say a bit shorter. He's listed at 5'8" by Rob) and Jimmy standing together. I cannot see their shoes in the photo. They are the same exact same height, but, taking into consideration that Newman is slightly slouched, I would say he has, about 1" on Jimmy if he was standing up straight. This photo was taken before East of Eden was shot.
Also, regarding the draft, the only rumor I've heard that makes sense was a visit Jimmy paid to the draft board in Indiana after coming home from L.A. just as his career was taking off. Jimmy had a talk of some sort with someone of authority there. No mention on what was talked about or done. But, Jimmy never was drafted. It remains, so far, a mystery.
Frank2: do you know how tall Julie Harris was/is? Thanks for your help. :)

[Editor Rob: the Newman 5ft 8 is what I thought he 'currently' looks, in heyday 5ft 9+. Interesting info Viv]
Dominic said on 13/Mar/06
Frank I'm done with this argument. I just dont agree with you saying he is below 5'7. The argument is basically going no where so lets just end it now.
Dominic said on 13/Mar/06
leonari, It's posted somewhere towards the bottom of this page that some people he knew and worked with described him as tall.
Mark said on 13/Mar/06
Just to make a comparison. You're saying that Kirk Douglas and James Dean are about the same height. If that is the case, Rock Hudson towers over Kirk in The Last Sunset. Rock Hudson much more than towers over Dean in Giant. There are a number of good shots in both movies where you can see the disparity. Does that mean Kirk was wearing lifts? Kirk came up to the bottom of Hudson's chin at best. Dean was well below Hudson's chin. Kirk could actually make the fight scene look somewhat "realistic" against Rock. No way Dean could have made it look "realistic."
Frank2 said on 13/Mar/06
Nope. I clearly stated that Steve McQueen was taller and got hell for it. Same with Paul Newman. It seems that some of you just like to argue. Dominic, You said "He was measured Barefoot in the army and the army would not lie for him." Are you now saying he was drafted and told to report to the Army? That's not in his bios. And if he was measured by the local draft board...well...Selective service isn't the army. I'm confused here as I suspect others are as well. In fact once a person gets drafted they might end up in almost any branch of the service. If he went down to the local draft board and received a quickie medical checkup, that's not the Army. Then if he passed they'd have issue him a draft card. Later they tell him which branch to report to. You haven't answered how he avoided being drafted. Like you say, they were taking people left and right for Korea. He was just 19 in 1950 so unless he got a medical deferment or was a straight A student with say a medical or scientific major I doubt he would he been able to remain out of the war. Dean took drama at Santa Monica City College and later at UCLA. And he dropped out of UCLA to do a play. Please explain that for me. And explain the shot of him wearing those huge boots. And explain why he was a lot shorter wearing them than Jim Backus who was 5'10". You like to say things like accusing me of BS, but you don't answer all the questions. And Mark, Kirk was never 5'10". Go out and Buy the special edition DVD of Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. On the commentary track director Richard Fleischer describes Kirk as being surprising little. Fleischer had always thought of Kirk as being taller and then when he met him got the shock of his life. He had always assumed that Kirk was near six feet. As it turned out he discovered that Kirk was actually about his height (Fleischer is quite short, maybe 5'7" on a good day). At the same time Fleischer always had thought of James Mason being somewhat short, but he found out he was six feet! (Actually Mason was 5'11") Kirk was at best only 5'8" and wore lifts. Bob stack was indeed 6' tall. I met him. And Jeff Chandler was very tall, at least 6'4". Also according to a book written by actress/swimmer Esther Williams, Jeff was a transvestite! When she dated him she discovered he had better wardrobe than she did. Quite frankly I simply cannot fathom Jeff Chandler in an expensive Dior Gown and high heels. Can you?
leonari said on 13/Mar/06
Dominic : who said Dean was tall?? Are you dreaming? Where do you live? mars? There is a famous quote by Jimmy but I am sure you don't know it, here it goes. When he started acting a producer or director told him he is too short for an actor. Jimmy replied:"HOW CAN YOU MEASURE ACTING IN INCHES?" (he was so right btw. If he would have been 5'8" why does he look small next to Brando who wasn't what I consider tall. Ok maybe he wasn't 5'6"...but he wasn't 5'8 either!!! 5'7" was the truth
leonari said on 13/Mar/06
Rock was never 6'6"!!! And Dean was never ever 5'8". The tallest I can see him is 5'7"...and I really think that was his height. 5'6" claim by Frank2 may be a bt to low but still possible...
Dominic said on 12/Mar/06
Frank 2, no way is he less than 5'7. You've met all of these actors and you dont even have 1 picture with them? BS. Almost every one of your posts on peoples heights your always trying to get Rob to put peoples heights down about 2 or more inches. And Rob, the draft card was most likely not self filled. People I know that are in the army measure and weigh you. Dean is most likely 5'7.5 but they rounded up for him because they can't use half's.

[Editor Rob: frank wants to remain anonymous, but he did show me some pictures of him beside actor/actress]
Viv said on 12/Mar/06
"Shortly after his 18th birthday (Jimmy was born on Feb. 8, 1931), in accordance with the prevailing law, James Dean had registered with the local draft board, or Selective Service System (SSS)." Various reports document how he avoided the draft with several stating he told the board he was homosexual. However, "neither Jimmy's papers nor his draft card substantiate the claim." "...he was at least spared the prospect of having to begin military service - the fate of many of his classmates, who were being drafted without realizing that within a year the US Army would be heavily involved with the Korean War." (these quotes came from a book authorized by the James Dean Estate, "James Dean" by George Perry). Hopefully, this will answer the questions surrounding his draft card. I've dug out the oodles of info. that I recieved in Fairmount (Jimmy's hometown). I'm going to have a look through it all once I get one of my manuscripts reviewed and sent out. I have some rare photos of Jimmy, too, that I will peruse for height purposes.

[Editor Rob: so the draft card did exist...whether it is accurate is the eternal question]
Mark said on 12/Mar/06
Just to add to my previous comment to Frank- In Giant, you know Dean and Hudson are heading for one big brawl. If you noticed, each fight was either stopped by others or not shown on camera. Probably because they couldn't even make it look good. In every other drama or western, Rock is always in a fist fight. Kirk Douglas (5'10), Robert Stack (6'0) and Jeff Chandler (6'4) are just three that come to mind. Yeah, Rock was a lot taller than them and always won, but at least they could film a good fight scene. Not so with Dean though, unless they wanted to show a totally lopsided battle.
Frank2 said on 12/Mar/06
Just when was Dean in the army? No biography says that. When he was 18 he attended Santa Monica City College and later UCLA where he dropped out to do a play. later he moved to NYC where he studied acting. Then he came back to Los Angeles. The rest as they say is history. If he was measured then he enlisted or was drafted. I can't imagine that he voluntarily joined up, not when he was pursuing an acting career. No way! That would have been around 1949 and I don't think they had a draft back then. Or did he get a medical deferment after receiving a complete check up when he reported? If so, then what was his problem? Flat feet? What gives? Please explain. I'm open to anything that's the truth. I simply cannot find anything except what's on this site claiming he was ever measured for the army. Nothing. And I do remember film composer Lenny Rosenman who was a close friend of Dean telling me he was only 5'6". Lenny who's 5'10" said he towered over him. Julie Harris confirmed he was 5'6" and Tim Carey called Dean "a shrimp" so unless you have something to prove he was 5'8" I'm going with what those who knew him well told me. He doesn't look 5'8" in any of the films he was in. He was much shorter than Jim Backus in Rebel. Backus was 5'10". Dean wore huge lifts as the photo of him standing by the wall outside of one of the Warner Brothers sound stages proves. Oh, I forgot! My mom was very good friends with actress Ann Doran who played his mom in Rebel and Ann confirmed that Dean was 5'6"! I last saw Ann at a tribute for my late grandmother back in 1986. At that event we spoke about the film. She thought Dean was a "powerhouse" of an actor. That he made up for his short stature with his incredible screen presence. And please explain why Dean looked so short next to Carey in East of Eden? I can see why he called him a shrimp.

[Editor Rob: all I found was the quote in Val Halley's biography, which I quoted on the 27th February. The question being, is it possible the draft registration card was merely self-filled as opposed to an actual measured height?
Mark said on 12/Mar/06
Question for Frank. Are you saying Dean wore lifts in Giant? Without exaggeration, Hudson looked at least a foot taller than Dean. Rock was probably 6'6. In a couple of shots, you can really appreciate the difference in height. That would put Dean at about 5'6, because I can't imagine Rock wore lifts.
Dominic said on 12/Mar/06
Well if Carey is over six foot three then I do believe he referred to Dean as a squirt. I mean of course he's gonna look like a squirt to him because Dean is 5'7 to 5'8 and Carey is almost over 6'3. And thanks for backing me up Viv.
Frank2 said on 12/Mar/06
Didn't wear lifts????? Are you kidding??? Have you ever watched Rebel Without a Cause? Have you watched Giant? The only film he didn't wear lifts in was East of Eden. But they shoved him on top of a box with his close shots with Raymond Massey so he wouldn't come up to Massey's nose. And it just occurred to me that I knew another actor who worked with Dean and that was Timothy Carey. Carey was over six foot three and told me that Dean was in his own words "a squirt!" He also told me that Dean was "weird" which coming from Carey really cracked me up. For those who don't know who Timothy Carey is, he played one of the French soldiers in the classic Stanley Kubrick film Paths of Glory that gets pegged as a coward and is tried and later shot along with Ralph Meeker and Joe Turkel. Carey has the classic line in the film delvered after Ralph Meeker says, "Look at that cockroach. Tomorrow it'll have closer contact with my wife than I will. It'll be alive. I'll be nothing." Carey then smashes his hand down on the table killing the cockroach and says, "Now you got the edge on him!"
Viv said on 12/Mar/06
Hmm...I really have to agree with Dominic on Jimmy's height. I just can't, for the life of me, even considering all opposing opinions here, see James Dean as anything under 5'7". I really see him as closer to 5'8". That's just the result I've come to for Jimmy from everything I've seen and heard. Natalie Wood's comment on his height really sticks with me, even considering Jimmy in lifts - which would probably about balance the difference between the two of them if she was wearing 3"-4" heels. I cannot imagine calling a guy who was about 4" taller than me "tall." Perhaps, 6"+ taller. And, there are many other things I've seen and heard too that lead me to believe he was in the 5'7"-5'8" range. There are a few highly "disputable" celebrity heights that I've considered very carefully (Jimmy, Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor). And, I'm very inclined to stick with what my knowledge and study of their heights proves to me. But, I love everyone writing in here with their own thoughts and knowledge. Gives the pot a little stirring, so-to-say, and keeps me thinking. Jimmy is just one I really think was closer to 5'8" than 5'6". But, that's just my opinion. :)
Dominic said on 12/Mar/06
First of all, I dont believe he wore lifts and I would like to see a picture of you and Julie Harris. I think it's rediculous saying that he is 5'6? I'll go down to 5'7 or 5'71/2 to him because someone made a good point that the army doesn't use half's. Why would some actresses describe him as 'tall' if he was only 5'6?
Frank2 said on 11/Mar/06
No reason except I knew many of the people he worked with. And just look at him in his movies. Does he really look like he's 5'8"? Try reason for a change. If he was truly 5'8" and he wore lifts (and he did wear them!) he'd have appeared to be the same height as Corey Allen (5'10") and a lot taller than Dennis Hopper (5'7") in Rebel Without a Cause. And next time you watch Rebel Without a Cause please notice that Dean is considerably shorter than Jim Backus who played his father. Backus was 5'10". Had Dean wore lifts and he did in that film, he'd have been the same height as Backus. And in the film East of Eden, Dean is much shorter than 6'1" Raymond Massey and at that they put Dean on a box for closeup's with that actor. Julie Harris told me that.
Dominic said on 9/Mar/06
Why should I believe you? I'd much rather trust the army height he is listed at.
Frank2 said on 8/Mar/06
Dominic, you say the people who worked with him say he was 5'8"? Have you ever talked with them? I have. Julie Harris who worked with him on East of Eden, Cory Allen who worked with him on Rebel Without a Cause and Lennie Rosenman who composed the music for both films and was a very close friend all told me he was 5'6"! Rosenman became a friend of mine starting back in the late seventies. I was also good friends with the late film composer David Raksin. I know of what I speak!!
Frank2 said on 8/Mar/06
You believe there were WMDs in Iraq?
Dominic said on 7/Mar/06
Haha, are you kidding me? They measure you barefoot and weight you barefoot in the army. So yes, I do believe it.
Frank2 said on 4/Mar/06
Look, Dean was five-six. You actually believe what the army tells you? If so then God help you!
Dominic said on 4/Mar/06
Do I have to say it again? He was measured Barefoot in the army and the army would not lie for him. Seriously, what more proof do you need. Dean knew he was 5'8, the army knew he was 5'8, and the people he worked with knew he was 5'8. Rough estimates from you guys really means nothing compared to actually being measured BAREFOOT and coming up with that height.
tgri said on 3/Mar/06
james dean i think was legit 5'6 . if he was legit 5'8 he would have looked 5'10-5'11. to me he looked 5'7-5'8 max.
Frank2 said on 2/Mar/06
Dean was considerably shorter than Brando. Just look at photos of them together. I met Brando on several occasions and he was five nine max. More likely he was five eight to five eight and a half. One time I saw him he had what looked like elevator shoes on. The other time he wore boots with two inch heels.
leonari said on 2/Mar/06
I totally agree with you Frank2. But apparently most on this Forum think he was 5'8". At 5'8" you don't look short on Tv, at least most actors who are 5'8 look 5'10 on TV. Now Dean looks short standing by himself and/or next to giants like Hudson. Possible Dean was 5'7 but I am pretty sure not above that mark.
Frank2 said on 2/Mar/06
Rock was an even 6'4". I saw him many times at Universal when he was starring in McMillan and Wife. Dean was no more than five six. They stuck him on a box with scenes with Hudson and he still looked a foot shorter.
Dean Fan said on 1/Mar/06
I watched "Giant" last week with Dean and Rock Hudson. Taking nothing away from Dean, who was a great actor, Hudson had to be 10-12" taller than him. Rock is listed between 6'4 and 6'6, depending on what source you use. I'd lean more towards the 6'6 range. In any case, there are a few scenes with Dean and Rock standing next to each other. Rock is well over a head taller. Hudson towered over all of his costarring actors and made them look short. But Dean doesn't look short, he looks tiny. I don't think Hudson wore lifts. At most, Dean may have been 5'7. Again though, Dean was a superb actor.
Frank2 said on 1/Mar/06
Big stars who were drafted almost always had their records on height changed. A little bribery goes a long way. Ty Power's draft card listed him as six feet which was not true. Power was 5'10" max. Robert Taylor, another big star who was 5'10" was also listed as six feet when he enlisted. Trust me. Dean was no taller than 5'6". I mean he wore obviously huge lifts and still looked tiny! Finally I also asked Cory Allen who played Buzz in Rebel Without a Cause and he confirmed that Dean was tiny. Corey was about 5'10" back then and towered over Dean in that film.
Viv said on 28/Feb/06
Jimmy was between 5'7"-5'8." The Army would have no reason to lie about it and I'm sure they did an accurate measurement. Sure, he looks short in his films...but, a lot of that was the actors he played with, as mentioned here. And, why would Natalie Wood (5'2" - probably about 5'4"-5'5" with 3"-4" heels) call James Dean "tall" if he only stood about 2" over her with her heels on? Even 3" accounting for his shoes? I believe the listing here of 5'8" is about as accurate as we're going to get. Also, I've heard of Frank Sinatra being called "short," I've heard 5'8" Humphrey Bogart called "short" many times. It's all the way people perceive height. Perception varies. If the army states 5'8" for him and his official site states 5'8" for Jimmy, I believe he was about 5'7 1/2"-5'8". The bulk of the REAL evidence (not Hollywood propaganda)just points to that being Jimmy's height.
Dominic said on 28/Feb/06
He was just called short because he acted with tall actors most of the time. The army measured him and they came up with 5'8. They wouldnt lie for him, so why is it that hard to believe?
leonari said on 28/Feb/06
If Dean was a legit 5'8" why was he called short?? Ok nowadays 5'8" is rather short but in the 50 ies?? No way. Sinatra was 5'8"...Nobody called him short. I say Dean was 5'7" not a tad over. He looks short in his movies...
Dominic said on 27/Feb/06
Yes then we should keep it at that. They measure you BAREFOOT, what else more do you really need?
UNK said on 27/Feb/06
5'7.5" = 5'8" to the army, they don't use halfs. Who saw this draft card any way? Better to go by the pics, and comments from other actors, than draft cards and other documents we can't be sure anyone here as really seen.

[Editor Rob: yes, if they didn't do halfs then you can buy 5ft 7.5 for him...

I doubt the author just pulled the 5ft 7.5 and 5ft 8 from nowhere...

the full quote is:
"he was required under the Selective Services Act of 1948 to register for the draft, which he did on February 14.
His registration card listed his height as five feet, eight inches, and his weight at one hundred fifty."
leonari said on 27/Feb/06
Frank2: I totally agree with you! I also see Dean as 5'6 1/2 5'7" Tops...5'8" is way to high for Dean...Great actor!
Frank2 said on 26/Feb/06
Nonsense. No way was he that tall. I once asked actress Julie Harris who played with Dean in East of Eden how tall Dean was and she told me he was five feet six and wore lifts to appear taller. She related that in the scene where Cal (Dean) is grabbing his father played by Raymond Massey they had to put Dean on a box which he almost fell off of during the take. Massey was six foot one.
Dominic said on 25/Feb/06
His draft card listed him at 5'8 150 pounds? When your drafted they measure you barefoot and weigh you. I think you could put him at 5'8 because his physical for the draft is pretty good proof of that.

[Editor Rob: yes, likely measured at that height...I'm going to leave him at army height...]
Viv said on 24/Feb/06
Yes, James Dean completely stole Giant away from two very big stars (Hudson and Taylor) as he was just up-and-coming at the time Giant was finishing production/his tragic death. And, yes, he couldn't have been any taller than 5'7"-5'8" - especially seeing him with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor and also in 'Rebel' with Natalie Wood. I think the 5'7 1/2" listing here is a good estimate. He certainly was a very talented man and it's a shame he died so young. Height has nothing to do with it.
Dean Fan said on 22/Feb/06
Dean was probably no more than 5'7. Despite his short stature, he was a tremendous actor. Acting ability and height are totally independent of one another. The downfall to being a short actor is playing a real tough guy, opposite a much taller actor. That's why I think the movie "Giant" was so well done. You know Rock Hudson and Dean are destined to come to blows at some point during the movie. Rock was so much taller and had to be so much stronger than Dean. You know it wouldn't be much of a fight. And with Rock being almost a foot taller than Dean, even great camera work couldn't make it look like Dean had a chance. There is one scuffle, where Rock is held back by other guys. The real fight takes place in a back room and when it starts the cameras go to another scene. Rock walks out after the fight. You know Rock beat the hell out of Dean, but it was never shown. It was all done in very good taste. To me, Dean was the star in "Giant."
Dominic said on 19/Feb/06
He was probably 5"8 in his prime. I think you can give him that listing.
Mario said on 10/Feb/06
This seems right, he looks in 5 ft 7 range in the Brando pics.
CelebHeights Editor said on 9/Feb/06
From his biography:
"An article on the Fairmount team at the beginning of Dean's senior season listed his height as five feet, seven-and-a-half inches and his weight as one hundred forty-six pounds"

"His draft registration card listed his height as 5ft 8 and 150lbs"
CelebHeights Editor said on 31/Jan/06
From a 1958 magazine, "And their height: a magazine claimed they were both five-foot, ten-inches tall. Stockwell was five ten, but Jimmy – although the studio biographies claimed he was that height, too – was ACTUALLY only five seven"

Stockwell was never 5ft 10...amazing Dean was also being billed as tall in that era!
leonari said on 14/Jan/06
I say Dean was a solid 5'7" , not quite the full 5'8" frame.
Viv said on 7/Jan/06
I've heard Sal Mineo was 5'5". Natalie Wood was about 5'2". While making Rebel, she described James Dean as "tall." (To put this in perspective for the taller people on this site, I'm 5'1" and my fiance is 5'8". And, to me, he is really tall.) The reliable sources I've heard all say 5'8" for Jimmy. He really does look in the 5'7-5'8" range if you compare him in his movies with other "measured" celebs.
JR said on 6/Jan/06
Dean may have been 5'7, even though it's hard to tell the difference between 5'7 and 5'8.

In Rebel, he stood taller than Natalie Wood, who was 5'4, and Sal Minio, who may have been 5'6. But it's hard to tell, depending on foot wear and how actors stand. Nevertheless, Dean seemed average in height for his day.

Not that any of this should matter. Dean was a handsome, talented actor who stole the show from all the tall people, including the talented Rock Hudson, who made everyone look smaller than they really were!
Freddie M. said on 16/Dec/05
Dean was a notorious sloucher--just one of his many notable mannerisms. When he's not hunching his shoulders he does look to be about 5'8".
Sidewinder said on 14/Nov/05
he's definately not 5'8, i think he'S 5'6.5 because i just watched giant and he's about an inch or more shorter than dennis hopper, and a midget next to rock hudson.

[Editor Rob: Hopper I think has lost a bit of height]
UNK said on 14/Nov/05
I have seen the below quote/statement many times. It doesn't make sense, if he was 5'8" why would any one, in 1950 no less, say he was too short to be an actor. Guys like Fred Astar, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and other big name celebs back then where the same or only slightly taller. 5'8" was the average height back then. He must have been closer to 5'6" to have people in the 50's making comments like this.

James Dean was once told that he was too short to be an actor. Replied Dean: "How can you measure acting in inches?"
anonymous said on 6/Sep/05
I don't think Dean was quite as short as 5'6. I saw a wardrobe test for Rebel without a cause and he was close in height to Dennis Hopper who is listed at 5 ft 8.5 inches at the internet movie database.
Drooperdoo said on 3/Aug/05
There's a famous photo of Brando and Dean together (in which Brando is subtly flicking him off). The photo's important because Brando is about three or four inches taller than Dean. According to Brando's military record, he stood 5'9''. (Perhaps he later grew an inch or two--though I doubt it.) Dean was really about 5'6''--nowhere near 5'8'' as reported here and other places (doubtless because of notoriously mendancious Hollywood publicists.)

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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