Katharine Hepburn's Height
5ft 6 ½ (168.9 cm)
American actress best remembered for films such as Bringing Up Baby, African Queen, On Golden Pond, Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, The Lion in Winter, Holiday, Summertime, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Philadelphia Story.
I was 5 feet 7. Now I'm 5 feet 5, I'm shrinking.
Height: 5 ft 6 inches
- Katharine's 1927 passport
MGM Publicity Still (circa 1941)
I'm 5ft 7 and a little plus...I was tall and I was got rid of several times cos I was just tall. Now I'm short. When I play with young girls I have them walk on the down side of a hill or off the step or something because I like to be taller than they are...Spencer Tracy was about 5ft 11.
When a woman looks down on a man, it does something to his ego. It's quite extraordinary. They become so uncomfortable that they give you practically anything you ask for just to get rid of you.
I'm tall, skinny, with a lot of freckles, and I can't stop growing. I'm 5 feet 8 inches now, and I have put on an inch in the last year. You could call me an antelope: swift, lean, graceful - I hope - and freckled.
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Add a Comment53 comments
Average Guess (15 Votes)
5ft 7.1in (170.4cm)
Arch Stanton said on 2/Aug/20
"Spencer Tracy was about 5ft 11. "
LOOL!!! He was like 1.5 inches taller than her barefoot!!
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 12/May/20
Katharine Hepburn was born 113 years ago today. She was one of 6 children.
11/5/1907 - 29/6/2003 🕯️💐
Tall Sam said on 18/Feb/20
Katharine's self-claims are really all over the place, I doubt as low as 5'6" but I'd agree with a weak 5'7", maybe 5'6.75" is the best fit. She did look taller than average most of the time, but 5'8" was a stretch (or, more likely, in some heels).
Gonzalo said on 22/Feb/18
She looked around 1,70
mister_lennon said on 24/Mar/17
I think that she was a weak 5'7 peak. Tracy was more in the 5'8 range.
SonnyboySlim said on 22/Mar/17
She may have been 5'7" but Spencer Tracey was never 5'10".
no nickname said on 14/Mar/17
"I had on very high heels. I was about five seven and a half then. I've been shrinking steadily; I doubt if I'd hit five five now. Spencer was about five ten." - from the 1992 autobiographical film Katharine Hepburn.
Arch Stanton said on 3/Mar/17
Ye, 5'6.5 seems to fit better. Still tall for her generation.
5'2 said on 1/Dec/16
She was about 5'6" in her prime. Later in her life she might be about 5'3"
Arch Stanton said on 5/Dec/15
Mmm, Cary Grant looked a good 7 inches taller in Sylvia Scarlett. She was wearing boys shoes and Grant towered her. Honestly looks nearer 5 ft 6 with Grant in that film.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Aug/15
Dalton and O'Toole were eye to eye.
Sam said on 12/Aug/15
The Lion in Winter, haven't seen in years, but a weird height film...as I recall Timothy Dalton looks towering in it but was really no taller than Peter O'Toole.
jtm said on 2/Aug/15
solid 5'6 in her younger days.
Arch Stanton said on 30/Jul/15
If you watch The Lion in Winter surprisingly she can look as low as 5 ft 6 flat with Anthony Hopkins, but I suspect he had on lifts as he looked weak 5 ft 11 with O'Toole!
Arch Stanton said on 30/Jul/15
There's a scene in Adam's Rib in which her and Tracy are briefly barefoot in the bedroom I think and Tracy looked 4 cm taller. Possibly a tad over 5 ft 7, I think Rob made a good call lowering Tracy a tad to 5'8.75.
Sam said on 30/Jul/15
I do wander if the claims of 5'7.5" for her was measured in flats or some other low shoe, she can a bit sub 5'7" at times. She herself claimed 5'7" and I'm sure she didn't round by much to that.
richinkle said on 9/Jul/15
Katharine Hepburn was about 5'-6" at her peak. A full inch+shorter than 5'-7"+ Lucille Ball in both "Stage Door" and "Without Love". Her passport information pretty much confirms this.
MaryAnne said on 29/Jun/15
My role model. Classic and cold.
Sam said on 20/May/15
Rob, can you add The Lion in Winter and Holiday to her credits?
SomewhereInBetween said on 5/Mar/15
Is 5'7'' tall for a women in the 30's and 40's?? She won't be particularly tall these days but of course, we are talking about a woman that was born more than a hundred years ago...
Sam said on 30/Dec/14
Rob, could you add, Alice Adams, Holiday and The Lion in Winter to her credits?
Sam said on 22/Dec/14
I actually preferred Hepburn roles opposite Cary Grant to her ones opposite Spencer Tracy...I think Grant just couldn't be outmatched at the battle of the sexes-type, wry romantic/screwball comedy roles and had just as potent on-screen chemistry w/ Hepburn, even if it wasn't also the case off-screen like w/ Tracy.
Sam said on 1/Dec/14
Another films where I thought she looked a little sub-5'7" was Stage Door, I thought Lucille Ball looked about inch taller but could have had bigger footwear.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Sep/14
If Hepburn was 5 ft 6 flat, Spencer Tracy at peak was 5'7.5-5'8 max.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Sep/14
I'm not sure she looked quite as low as 5 ft 6 flat Sue, I mean barefoot with Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib she was looking 1.5-2 inches shorter. And the worst I can see a peak Tracy is 5'8.5" after comparing him to various actors in his 30s and 40s films and concluding he was actually around 5 ft 9 even though he could seem smaller.
littlesue said on 14/Sep/14
Looking at her next to Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift in 'Suddenly Last Summer' I would have put her as around 5ft 6.
said on 13/Sep/14
Here's the photo of an old Hepburn passport. It gives her height as 5'6":
I always thought Kate was at least 5'7", but in 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' she looked shorter than 5'7" Dean Stockwell. She was only 55 at the time and she'd always been a very athletic woman, so I don't think she had lost any height.
Arch Stanton said on 4/Jun/14
She good look taller at times but seeing her barefoot in some films I thought she might have been nearer 5'7" flat.
Arch Stanton said on 4/Jun/14
Rob can you add Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, Summertime and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner too? Yeah i think 5 ft 7 looks more likely. Spencer Tracy generally looks 1.5-2 inches taller. In Lion I think she was looking nearer 5'6" by then in her early 60s.
said on 3/Jun/14
Rob how much height did she lose later on do you think? In 1968 in The Lion in Winter (which you should add here as she won Best Actress) she looks easily 3 inches shorter than Anthony Hopkins! Can you add Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, Summertime and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner too?
[Editor Rob: maybe she wasn't really this height...I put that quote up the top which she said she was 5ft 7 and now 5ft 5 in her older years...]
Arch Stanton said on 5/May/14
5'7 range is spot on I think. Much impressed with her golfing and tennis skills in Pat and Mike.
Sam said on 21/Mar/14
I think she can seem 5'7.5", although Lucille Ball must have been a bit taller than her listing since she had almost an inch over Hepburn in Stage Door. I think for sure 5'9" is a better listing for Tracy, which would explain why when they met Hepburn thought Tracy was too short to act beside her after leading men like Fred MacMurray and Cary Grant, although none of her co-stars won her heart until Tracy.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Aug/13
She can give a 5'9" impression at times in low heels. Definitely a tall woman. Looks near 5'8" next to Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart in Philadelphia Story accounting for footwear.
Arch Stanton said on 29/Jul/13
Both Hepburn and Wayne were really old when they shot Cogburn and might have lost a similar amount of height by then but Wanye could still look 6'4" even in the 1970s.
Arch Stanton said on 29/Jul/13
I'd have guessed 5 ft 7, but I can see why a lot of men were intimidated by her not just for the fact that in heels she was taller than a lot of men. She just looks tough as nails, I wouldn't have wanted an argument with her put it that way. John Wayne looked his listed 6'4" in comparison in Rooster Cogburn and I believe Bogart was barely taller in African Queen.
richinkle said on 9/Apr/13
Hepburn was about 1 1/2" shorter than Lucille Ball in "Without Love". Ball was about 5'-7 1/2" in her prime. Hepburn was at most 5'-6".
Anon said on 18/Jan/13
Kate was a close friend from the time I was 16 until 39. She did her final work for me at her home. I am 5'9, so all the listed heights are insane! She was likely 5.5 in youth and 5.4 in her last decade. She was 88 when she recorded a wonderful story for one of my "legendary Actors" projects (Enchanted Tales Vol. 1&2...with Julie Harris,Jason Robards and Michael York). Kate had a brilliant and dry sense of humor and hated stupid questions (such as what her height was).
Robby D said on 30/Nov/12
In the biography, "KATE, THE WOMAN WHO WAS HEPBURN" By William J. Mann", Katharine Hepburn is described as standing five feet five and a half inches and weighing 110 pounds. However, in a televised interview in her twilight years she said that when she acted with Spencer Tracy she was 5'7.5" and he was 5'10" although she admitted that she had shrunk to about 5'5"
said on 31/May/11
Michael Spound - you're close, especially with Rogers and Arden, but Ball and Hepburn are at least an inch taller than you have them.....watch these scenes from Stage Door. In particular the last scene with Lucille Ball, Katherine Hepburn, Eve Arden and Ginger Rogers.
Their heights are closer to:
Arden : 5'-8"
Ball: 5'-7 1/2"
Hepburn: 5'-6 1/2"
littlesue said on 31/May/11
She gave the perception of being very tall because of her adrogynous look but pictured a long side other actress's I would have put her at 5ft 6
Aly said on 14/May/11
She's at least 5'7...she's SO tall next to guys!
Michael Spound said on 23/Apr/11
Kate Hepburn is 5'5 and a half
Ginger Eogers, 5'5
Lucille Ball, 5'6
Ece Arden, 5'8
said on 30/May/09
Here is a fantastic youtube clip showing the end of "Stage Door", a wonderful 1937 movie starring Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Ann Miller - all of them in their peak- height 20's, except Miller who was a teenager. Click Here
In this scene, you can see all of them, and to some extent their shoes, standing side by side, dancing around, and joking. Ball and Rogers are wearing about 2 1/2"-3" heels, Arden about 1 1/2", and Hepburn is wearing heels that appear in excess of 3".
Hepburn is standing at least 2" taller than Rogers, and about an 1"-1 1/2" shorter than Ball (whom you might not even be able to recognize because she is so young here) Arden is about 3" taller than Rogers, and about even with Hepburn, but with a 2" heel disadvantage. She also slouches a lot.
My height conclusions based on the evidence presented here, and evening out all the stated heights, and their relative inconsistencies:
Ginger Rogers: 5'-4" to 5'-4 1/2"
Katherine Hepburn: 5'-6" to 5'-6 1/2"
Lucille Ball: 5'-7 1/2"
Lara said on 14/Mar/09
Seems like the leading ladies-Hepburn, Garbo, and Monroe-were all pretty tall.
said on 28/Feb/09
Sounds good. Kate interview with Cavett: Click Here
timber said on 6/Aug/07
I also read that biography recently, and it is true, her 1932 drivers license stats were 5-5 1/2", 110 lbs.
reader said on 15/Jan/07
A recent biography ("Kate") quotes her height from her driver's license (in the 30s) as 5 feet, 5.5 inches.
Editor Rob said on 6/Sep/06
In 1989, acknowledged loss of height: "I'm shrinking rapidly -- used to be 5-7 1/2, now I'm 5-6"
Xhavier said on 22/Mar/06
The average shrinkage by age 75 is 3 cm of height.
CelebHeights Editor said on 9/Jan/06
From a 1973 dick cavett interview, some comments on height:
"I'm 5ft 7 and a little plus...I was tall and I was got rid of several times cos I was just tall. Now I'm short. When I play with young girls I have them walk on the down side of a hill or off the step or something because I like to be taller than they are...Spencer Tracy was about 5ft 11."
richinkle said on 29/Dec/05
In their two movies together, Stage Door and Without Love, Katharine Hepburn looked about an inch shorter than 5'-7 1/2" Lucille Ball.
Anonymous said on 28/Dec/05
Losing height is pretty common once you hit your seventies. Kate had a long life so it's very possible she shrunk a bit
Jenny said on 28/Dec/05
Is it posiible to lose an inch????:-)))I do not believe it!