How tall was Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas Height

5ft 9 (175.3 cm)

American Actor, best remembered for roles in films such as Spartacus, Paths of Glory, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Tough Guys, Champion, The Big Sky, Detective Story, The Bad and the Beautiful and Ace in the Hole. In his book 'Life could be Verse' he mentioned his height, claiming to be "five feet eleven inches".

How tall is Kirk Douglas
I didn't realise how bowlegged I used to be. Maybe I'd been in too many Westerns. The knee operation not only straightened my legs, it also added two inches to my height. I needed them because I'd lost three inches as a result of my back operation after the helicopter crash.
Peter [son] is the tallest in the family, six foot two, and handsome, with curly hair. I once told him, “When I was starting out, I wanted to he six two instead of five eleven. I wanted to have curly hair, not straight hair. Why didn’t you become an actor?”

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Add a Comment281 comments

Average Guess (81 Votes)
5ft 8.49in (174cm)
Hong said on 3/Jun/23
Click Here== in pic 2 you can see that Kirk has a substantial lift in his sandles.
Editor Rob
Elevator Sandals 😄
Arch Stanton said on 15/Mar/23
heightPoirot said on 26/May/22
looked like Tony Curtis' height twin in Spartacus. certainly a lift-wearer in his day, so could seem taller, but a weak 5'9 is most likely.

I thought Curtis looked near an inch taller in some scenes...
berta said on 7/Feb/23
he did look like a small guy i mean everything over 178 is just impossible. could he have been 176? Maybe he didnt look that mutch shorter than arnold in an old western movie but i guess he had big boots and lifts in then. Was he almost under 174 like the average guess? also possible but in photos of him and young michael douglas that was around weak 177 cm peak i would say they could look very close. I think the 175 is the best listing but his longer than average head could make him seem shorter. 5´9 it is. would be interesting to know his height when he was over 100 years. MIchael himself was about 173-4 at the time and was mutch taller. could he have been down to something like 164-65? My gradnmothers father lived to 106 ( almost 107 years) an looking at photos of him beside my grandmother (172 peak) he looked around 180 cm peak, but at the end he was maybe 4 cm shorter than her. HE lost over 4 inches at that age.
Henrik said on 4/Feb/23
According to this article, Burt Lancaster claimed that Douglas wore lifts.

Click Here
Sinclair said on 6/Oct/22
Rob, included below are some brilliant photos of Douglas and Keenan Wynn together.

Are we settled on 5’10.5” for Wynn?

Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here

5’11” is too much and 5’10” too little; that seems certain for Wynn.
Uncle Paul said on 26/Aug/22
Listed as 5'11" on his WWII draft registration card - Click Here

Not sure if the height was based on a measurement done by some government worker or if it was based on self-report - my great-grandfather (paternal grandfather's father) was listed as 5'7" at the age of 60, assuming it was a measurement instead of a self report, Rob do you think he would have been 5'8" as a young man, since he was a farmer his entire life, which presumably put strain on his spine?
Editor Rob
Sounds like a claim that would have come from himself, which matches with what he claimed on the other occasion.
Mark S. said on 17/Aug/22
Back in the eighties, I was in Beverly hills when I saw Kirk Douglas striding towards me. He was grinning, head high, swinging his arms as he walked rather quickly. He was quite impressive, high energy and proud in a happy generous way. I’m 5’9”, but he looked an inch or two taller than me. But, he was very broad shouldered, and like many actors, he had a rather large head, so this could make him look much bigger than me. I didn’t look at his shoes, but it’s certainly possible, or even likely that he was wearing heals or lifts. But, I’m sure if you saw him seated he would look like a much larger man because of his big chest and shoulders, straight posture and large chiseled facial features. He was intimidating and welcoming at the same time.
Rob D said on 24/Jul/22
In the 1962 movie “Two Weeks In Another Town”, the actress/singer/model Daliah Lavi listed as 5’ 7”, looked as tall if not taller than Kirk when they walked together and she was wearing flat shoes whilst he wore heels. No way was Kirk 5’ 9” in my opinion. More like 5’ 7”.
5'10 Dude said on 19/Jul/22
The video of Kirk and Burt Lancaster at the Oscars makes me think that Kirk wore pretty big lifts(at least when he was younger). He definitely doesn't look 4 inches shorter than Burt there.
heightPoirot said on 26/May/22
looked like Tony Curtis' height twin in Spartacus. certainly a lift-wearer in his day, so could seem taller, but a weak 5'9 is most likely.
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 26/Mar/22
‘Spartacus’ was one of the first epic movies that we were allowed to watch. I was about 8 or 9, and thought it truly shocking and very sad.

5ft8.5 peak height.

RIP Kirk Douglas XXX 🕯
9th December, 1916 - 5th February, 2020, aged 103.
Sinclair said on 24/Feb/22
Rob, how tall would you say actor Paul Stewart was at peak? 5’9”?

Douglas and Stewart were pretty much even in Champion and Tony Beckley (who I have at a fraction over 5’9”) was only a small fraction taller than Stewart in Revenge of the Pink Panther.
Editor Rob
Could have been in that range, seemed a few inches taller than Alan Ladd
Joseph Cully said on 7/Feb/22
In the movie "There was a Crooked Man", Henry Fonda appeared with Kirk Douglas. they looked to be about the same height. Could that be true? Henry Fonda is billed as being 6 feet to 6 foot one, or even up to 6 foot two. I would say 6 feet one would be most accurate. But no way was Kirk Douglas that tall. Five feet 10 peak, but more than likely 5 feet 8 at peak. As an old man, like 5 feet 5.
Sinclair said on 5/Dec/21
Rob, what peak height would you put Irene Papas at? 5’7.25?”

Despite many 5’10” listings for her, 5’9” Douglas seems considerably taller than her in The Brotherhood. Douglas probably wore lifts as he looked close to 5’11” at times, but I recall she may have been wearing heels when Douglas was still noticeably taller than her. 5’9” Jacques Perrin and 5’8” Bernard Fresson also looked taller than Papas in Z and Papas really didn’t seem 5’10” in The Guns of Navarone, I thought 5’8” Gia Scala even gave a taller impression than Papas. There are some 171cm listings for Papas, I take these to be accurate but 5’10” I really doubt.
Editor Rob
Nearer 5ft 7 sounds a more realistic figure for her.
Arch Stanton said on 21/Oct/21
Watch most of Kirk's films and you'd think around 5 ft 10. But I think he really wore lifts at times to give him a boost. There's a good chance that both Douglas and Tracy were around 5 ft 8 and a half barefoot looking at legs and build.
Wayne Fan said on 30/Sep/21
He often wore lifts in his footwear on set. Very evident next to John Wayne in War Wagon.
Hong said on 23/Jun/21
There was definitely something going on with Kirks footwear in that clip from the 1958 Oscars,there had to have been,because Burt looked nothing like 4 inches taller.
Sinclair said on 17/Jun/21
Rob, how tall would you say Alex Cord was at peak?

Maybe not the strongest 6 footer, he was about eye level with Kirk Douglas in the Brotherhood, but could seem an inch taller than Douglas. I believe Joseph Wiseman was approximately an inch taller than Cord in Stiletto and I reckon Wiseman had about two inches on Douglas in Detective Story. As Douglas was a known lift wearer, this could make him appear 5’11” at times. I agree Douglas did seem almost as tall as Lancaster at the 1958 oscars but I’d still vote 5’9” for Douglas.
Editor Rob
on Airwolf could still look over 5ft 11, maybe he was somewhere in 5ft 11-6ft zone, closer to 6 than 11
Hong said on 4/Jun/21
Click Here Here's Kirk and Burt in Video from the1958 oscars,at the end they both stand and sing together,I don't know maybe Kirk has massive lifts in his shoes?but it doesn't look like Burt is that much taller,in fact they both seem similar.
MaskDeMasque said on 24/Apr/21
May have a been tad under 5'9 peak. Looks 5'8.5-5'9 range in paths of glory.

@ Paul Wood

Matt Damon, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Tom hardy..... I could go on

There are tons of leading actors under 5'10
Hong said on 21/Apr/21
Click Here It looks like Kirk is wearing high heeled saddles if you look closer.
Paul Wood said on 16/Apr/21
Regarding the previous comment, these days many young people consider 5ft 9in and even 5ft 10in as 'short' male heights so I'm not sure a leading man could be that sort of height in many movies now, particularly those movies aimed at younger audiences.
Ian C. said on 15/Apr/21
Five foot nine (as a real height) turns ups a lot for leading men. It's as if five foot nine is a naturally occurring height threshold for a successful leading man. Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Michael Douglas, Kirk, Tony Curtis, Sylvester Stallone, all these guys hovered around five-nine. You notice that none of these actors ever had a tall co-star.

If you're five-nine, you can get away with seeming taller in a movie. Below that and you're into Tom Cruise territory, and everybody who meets you for the first time calls you a midget.
Hong said on 8/Apr/21
Click Here Here's Kirk wearing a pretty substantial heel.
Alan mctavish said on 25/Mar/21
I thought kirk douglas was about 5' 10" to 5' 11" when i just found out there he was 5' 8" at most, i thought the directors obvously put him in lifts to be the same height as actors who were 5' 10" to 6ft tall. But to walk in lifts at 4 inches high and more he must have fell a few times. Becouse alot of woman cant walk in 3 inch high heels, it takes a bit of skill. So i was laughing when i thought of kirk walking onto scences like a woman lol and the directors having to cut it at least 10 times till he got it right. A mean 4 to 5 inches in lifts is alot of height to add. But he was a great actor. But to be honest i never saw him as a brilliant actor. His good looks decieved alot of people? Once it came into the 1970s thats when the best actors arrived like gene hackman who is one of the best if not the best i have seen and michael douglas was better than his father i thought. There was just so many its hard to name them all. Clint eastwood another, Eli Wallach who stole the show in the 'The Good The Bad And The Ugly' Lee Van Cleef too was great, but the film was just awe some, the best western ever made! rip kirk !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rich Paul said on 9/Feb/21
Tell me these aren’t lifts on Kirk.

I believe it was taken on the set of The Bad and the Beautiful.
slim 6'1 said on 7/Jan/21
173.5-174cm somewhere in the 5’8” range 👍
Rich Paul said on 1/Dec/20
Douglas appeared over the years on Letterman’s show. The last appearance was after his accident. He looked the same height each time. I don’t buy that he lost three inches from the accident. He had already been in the crash when he was given the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1991. He mentioned it. He didn’t appear to have lost any height. Kirk was probably 5-8 to maybe 5-9 in his prime. He wore lifts to match actors taller than him. On a Tonight Show he guested on in 1973 he appeared to be Carson’s height.
uncle buck said on 25/Oct/20
Kirk was never taller then 5'7"
Directors made him look taller by having him stand on higher ground or platforms when near other actors.
marcus said on 27/Feb/20
Douglas said in an interview that after dropping 40 feet straight down in a helicopter crash he lost 3 inches dropping to 5 ft 6 in
Jimmy Cochrane said on 15/Feb/20
He was 5ft 11. Take a look at his interview on the Johnny Cash show. Kirk Douglas has height and was a formidable presence.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Feb/20
RIP Kirk, a true Hollywood legend, I've been watching some of his films of late. Bob Mitchum, John Ford and John Wayne you'd think more contemptible though but I believe the stories about him. Kirk and Spencer Tracy resembled each other in a few ways, very solid, stocky guys, wouldn't put money on them being a full 5'9.
Allie said on 9/Feb/20
@Ian C - Longevity appears to be in his family. His sister died at 96 back in 2015. At the end of the day living old is just luck. There are people who lived to be in their 90s or to 100+ but their children or grandchildren don't live that long. There are people who suffer multiple strokes or battle cancer/disease and somehow make it out alive while others drop dead or unfortunately lose the battle. People who eat clean, never smoke and try to stay active but die in their 60s/70s while others who smoke everyday and don't live that healthy lives and live close to 100.

RIP Kirk. 103 years is nothing to slouch at =and that was in spite of health problems and close calls (a stroke and helicopter crash). He lived a long life and I hope he's at peace wherever he maybe now.

Of the stars from Classic Hollywood, there are a few still alive, though obviously many are about a decade or two younger than Kirk like Angela Lansbury and Dean Stockwell. And of course, many of the "bigger" and most famous names from Old Hollywood are long gone.

@Tall in the Saddle - Norman Lloyd I think is STILL acting. That shocked me but if you can still move and talk then do what makes you happy.
Hijoputamos said on 8/Feb/20
He was Spartacus!
Tall In The Saddle said on 8/Feb/20
Douglas' passing had me checking on similarly aged actors.

I knew that Olivia De Havilland is still alive, 103 yo and several months older than Kirk. Unreal but we haven't seen her in public for many years.

Then I found that Norman Lloyd (St Elsewhere among other credits) turned 105 yo in Nov last year. The narrated clip showed him sitting in front of a birthday cake with people gathered around. I figured, well that's all she wrote. Probably can't stand or talk too well. Then there was an addendum clip of Lloyd then standing, albeit bent with some support giving a speech, speaking perfectly and coherently and remembering the old days working with the likes of Eddie Cantor.
Reaching a high age is one thing, having all your faculties and a reasonable quality of life is another thing again.
Finally, this blew me away. I didn't know Eva Marie Saint presented at the 2018 Oscars at 93 yo no less and into her 94th year. Older than even the Oscars as she said. Looked great and she was absolutely on the ball with a youthful glint. We should all be so lucky.Click Here
Ian C. said on 8/Feb/20
I really want to know how this man lived to be 103. When somebody does that there should be a legally mandatory inquiry into how he lived, including what he ate. Certainly he had a strong, athletic physique, and he seemed to keep himself very fit.

Douglas had a heart pacemaker put in when he was about seventy. He had a massive stroke when he was eighty. A very hard man to kill, apparently.

Now that he's dead, everybody is saying kind things about him, but he was often described during his prime as the most disliked man in Hollywood.
Beau Dare said on 7/Feb/20
As an American actor screenwriter working in London, I'll never forget a day in late 2008 when I was walking home from the local library, where I just checked out Kirk Douglas' film "Spartacus". As I passed a local shop the owner stepped out and opened his awning filled with water and drenched me. Several people on the street suddenly turned and saw the dvd in my hand and said in unison, "I'm Spartacus!, no, I'm Spartacus!"(a classic moment in the film) Kirk stood tall among men, and will be remembered... No need to say more...
Nearly 180cm guy said on 6/Feb/20
Goodbye Kirk, you have lived a really beautiful age! Very few classic Hollywood actors are still alive... RIP
mark thompson said on 6/Feb/20
rip kirk, crazy that he lived to 103.
Jtm said on 6/Feb/20
Burt Reynolds another 5'6 - 5'7 guy as well did. No shame in that I am a muscular 5'7 as well and those guys were always my heroes.

burt Reynolds 5'6-5'7 peak? I thought I was bad.
Karl H. said on 19/Dec/19
I'd say Kirk was 5'7 in bare feet when he made "Champion" one of my ATF movies. He said he was 5'11 on The Dick Cavett Show and he was full of baloney. Both him and Stallone are the same height - short men but very muscular. Both wear ridiculous heels and lifts inside those heels - Burt Reynolds another 5'6 - 5'7 guy as well did. No shame in that I am a muscular 5'7 as well and those guys were always my heroes.
K.A 188 ! said on 10/Sep/19
@Eric W Tam
Lol i thought the same. ..
@ROB i think there is no point giving him a peak and current to be honest.
Editor Rob
His current height was removed a fair while ago. Every day at his age is a blessing to be still alive.
Eric W Tam said on 14/Mar/19
He's going on to 103 now, he still hasn't shrunk?
Mister lennon said on 19/Sep/18
My bet is still a solid 5'8 peak.
Rising - 174 cm said on 15/Sep/18
He also looked pretty tall in Seven Days in May(Great film, btw). He was easily pulling off 5'10" range, arguably close to his 5'11" claim since he only seemed around 2", maybe 2.5" shorter than 6'1" listed Burt Lancaster even in wide shots, a good 4" taller than 5'6.5" Martin Balsam and similar to 5'10.25" Frederic March since either could look taller depending on the shot and angle, but Douglas probably had the edge overall. He wore obvious lifts, but his footwear seemed like it'd be in the 2" range. And 5'9" is basically average for an American man today, but was about an inch above average back when these films were made.
Bobby said on 15/Aug/18
Honesttly thought he'd have been 6ft in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I suppose that goes to show you that 5'9 is far from short, even for a man.
Rising - 174 cm said on 19/Jun/18
He looked pretty much average height in Detective Story. He still looked similar to Michael into his early 70's. Here's a full pic of a 73 year old Kirk with Michael in late 1989: Click Here

Michael looks at most 2 cm taller there, but Kirk doesn't look to be standing at his full height. In this picture from the same day, I don't really see any difference: Click Here Michael isn't standing as straight there, but you can also see age has affected Kirk's posture by that point. The front part of Kirk's shoe looks pretty flat as well, though we'd have to see from the side to see for sure whether he has an extra lift or heel, but it doesn't look like he shrunk much until the helicopter crash and stroke. I think there's a good chance both Michael and Kirk could have been 5'9" flat. At the very least, I'd be surprised if Kirk wasn't at least 5'8.5". Obviously he's a lot shorter now at 101.
Mark Harrison said on 18/Jun/18
Douglas only looked 5'11" because he wore lifts in films. In reality he was 5'8" at his peak. In his nineties he was less than 5'5".
Daniel D said on 3/Jun/18
He looked like 5.11 or 6f,,just saying,, In Last Train From Gun Hill and he must have been fit and strong when that movie was made to carry a knocked out Earl Holliman who is 6f and must have been at least my weight of 180 lbs over his shoulder with ease,,the carry scene lasted a long time,,add re-takes,,impressive.
Daniel D said on 3/Jun/18
He looked like 5.11 or 6f,,just saying,, In Last Train From Gun Hill and he must have been fit and strong when that movie was made to carry a knocked out Earl Holliman who is 6f and must have been at least my weight of 180 lbs over his shoulder with ease,,the carry scene lasted a long time,,add re-takes,,impressive.
somerandomguy said on 2/Jan/18
He was in a helicopter crash in '91 that caused him to lose 3 inches of height due to the damage done to his back. I think he was probably a solid five nine when younger.
Mister lennon said on 27/Dec/17
Looked more in the 5'8 range at peak.
Ian C. said on 24/Dec/17
Ty Hardin was in a movie with Douglas in the fifties and described him as "that little shrimp."
Sandy Cowell said on 10/Dec/17
@ Duffer - Hi! Thanks SO much for enlightening us! So he's 101 today - wow! He is well deserving of a Birthday mention. Thanks mate! You in no way 'duffed' that one up!

Kirk can have a Birthday guess of 5ft9, his hey day height!
Duffer 5ft 11 said on 9/Dec/17
Happy 101st birthday Mr. Douglas. 5'8.5 in your youth, sir, but I would say that you are no more than 5'6" today. Such longevity..!! Rock on:)
Rising - 174 cm said on 28/Oct/17
I doubt those are 3" myself as I'd think they'd need to conceal more to fit a big enough lift. 3" of actual height is A LOT. I'll watch Top Secret soon to see how tall Kirk pulls off in that film as I know he wore obvious lifts in that as well.
James said on 14/Oct/17
Fredric March was only 5'9" when he starred in "Seven Days in May".
Tom said on 8/Oct/17
It looks like even with his giant lifts, Kirk was still shorter than 5'10'' Fredric March! Click Here
Tom said on 8/Oct/17
Those lifts worn in Seven Days in May must have been three inches.
Kev said on 22/Sep/17
Kirk Douglas was 5'8" at his peak.
Anonymous said on 19/Sep/17
Yes! A actor who was 5.8!!!!
Rising - 174 cm said on 18/Sep/17
He did have a good set of elevator shoes on in Seven Days in May as I posted below on August 3rd, but I'm not sure how much over 2" he'd get out of a pair of shoes like that since they have a good heel, but they're too low cut to get as much as 3" for instance. I haven't seen much proof he was only 5'8". Anywhere from 5'8.5" to 5'9" seems believable to me, but he's very likely shrunk below 5'5" in recent years.
Tom said on 26/Aug/17
5'8'' was his correct height. Later on, he shrank down to around 5'5''. He almost always wore lifts in his movies. When he co-starred in Seven Days in May, Burt Lancaster kidded him on the set over the huge lifts he wore. With lifts Kirk was 5'11".
James said on 22/Aug/17
Kirk's peak height should be downgraded to 5'8".
Rising - 174 cm said on 3/Aug/17
He definitely wore lifts, but how many inches is anyone's guess.

Here's a good shot of his elevator shoes as he's sitting down in Seven Days in May: Click Here
These look built up in Top Secret Affair: Click Here

What's commonly called "3 inch lifts" don't actually refer to the lift size, but the overall elevator shoe, outside heel included and it typically means the highest point at the back of the shoe, not the actual height gain, which would be closer to 2.5"-2.7". If that's how much he got from elevators, then he'd look like a 5'9.5"-5'10" man in normal shoes. I do think 175 cm may well be accurate after seeing how similar Kirk could look to his son Michael even in the late 80s when he was in his early 70s. Then Kirk claimed the helicopter accident and subsequent back surgery in the early 90s caused him to lose 3 inches. Of course, he could be exaggerating the loss to try to explain why he was so far from 5'11", but it's clear he was much shorter by the mid 90s than he had been just 5-10 years earlier. I don't think he'd have been much shorter than Tony Curtis in his prime, or even shorter at all. Though Kirk's sandals were built up in Spartacus.
Richard said on 3/Aug/17
Kirk Douglas usually wore three inch lifts in films, so 5'8" was probably correct for his peak height.
RisingForce said on 14/Jul/17
I don't know about a full 5'9", but I think 5'8" flat is too low as well. He could look at least 5'10" with his lifts, possibly even close to the 5'11" claimed, but Rob's comment about Kirk looking up to Bogart has me thinking 5'8.5" is most likely as I have some doubts Bogart was even 5'8".
even said on 8/Jul/17
hes exactly 5'11" bu youll have to subtract 3 inches to get the correct results
RisingForce said on 23/May/17
LOL, not only did I see Kirk described as 6 feet tall in a 1966 article a while back, but a Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph article dated June 12th, 1971 wrote about Kirk

"Douglas stands six feet tall, weighs 175 pounds, has green eyes and brown hair"

At least Kirk has limited himself to claiming 5'11" the times he's claimed a height himself, but funny enough, I saw his son Michael getting the 6 foot description the same year and then a decade later!
RisingForce said on 7/May/17
Kirk always struck me as similar in size to Charles Bronson, though I actually think there's a better chance of Bronson being 5'9" and Kirk being 5'8.5". You can see here that Kirk's cowboy boots have a noticeably bigger heel than Lancaster: Click Here Though Kirk does wind up looking 5'9.5" with a looser stance. Here's one that shows more clearly that they put a bigger heel on Kirk's cowboy boots: Click Here In these cases, Kirk can look his claimed 5'11", but only because of Burt's loose posture: Click Here Click Here And in the second pic at least, I'm pretty sure of lifts. Here's another example of the big footwear Kirk wore: Click Here I guess I'll go weak 5'9. The full 5'9" is possible, but he's one of the most obvious big lift guys. He could certainly pull off 5'10" or so, but I'm thinking maybe a weaker 5'9"? Not so sure. As for Burton, I always heard 5'10"-5'10.5", but then I heard he wore elevators as well. Maybe he was 177 cm, between 5'9.5" and 5'10". Definitely taller than Kirk and Kirk knows it!
Jose said on 30/Apr/17
Looked about 5'6 when I saw him a few years back.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/17
RisingForce said on 16/Mar/17
That's what I was thinking, Rob, that's his story and he's sticking to it! He seemed reluctant to agree he was taller than Burton as well! Good interview, though.

Yes, his body language there tells you he's thinking "Burton is actually taller than me, he must be 6 ft". Burton IMO was close ot 5'10, 5'9.5 seems a little stingy.
DirectorKrennic said on 20/Mar/17
He is 100 years old now. I wonder how much he had lost.
RisingForce said on 16/Mar/17
That's what I was thinking, Rob, that's his story and he's sticking to it! He seemed reluctant to agree he was taller than Burton as well! Good interview, though.
RisingForce said on 13/Mar/17
Claimed to be 5'11" around 41:30 in this 1971 interview with Dick Cavett: Click Here This was after Cavett remarked Douglas looked smaller in person than on screen. You see them standing next to each other around 4:35 and 26:20. Cavett was supposedly around 5'6", but seeing Mike Tyson tower over him in the 80's, I'd guess more 5'5.5" but Kirk does look a good 3-4 inches taller so he could have been around 5'9" unless he wore lifts with Cavett.
Editor Rob
at least he's being consistent with his claim...though imagine saying 5ft 11 and Looking up to Bogart!.
Probably Right said on 26/Feb/17
5'9 seems reasonable. Whatever height he was, he is likely 4 inches shorter now at 100 years old!
James said on 16/Feb/17
That's because Kirk gave up smoking in 1950, unlike his son.
James said on 15/Jan/17
"Spartacus" wasn't about Christianity. Are you sure you weren't watching "Barabbas" or "Quo Vadis"?
Sandy Cowell said on 29/Dec/16
@ Tim - Hello! Do you know that 'Spartacus' was one of the first adult films that my Mother allowed me to watch? I think that this film had real significance in my feelings about the dreadful things that the early Christians endured.
I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I saw it - no more, but I was as equally concerned about my own Mum's tears as I was about the plot, which I saw through a haze of my own personal tears about what went on way back in history.
My dear mother stood up for her faith in the war. When I see this film, which hadn't even been made yet, I am so proud of her!
Now let's get to the height significance! How tall is this fellow? For the record, I shall go for 5ft9, and yes I did cheat! Otherwise I'd have chosen 5ft8.5 for him. Not that it matters! He's given us a great amount of pleasure, education and offsprings!
(I know that's sh*t grammar, but sometimes I hope it's forgivable!)
Tim said on 28/Dec/16
Curtis was badly miscast in "Spartacus" as the singer of songs.

Douglas was no more than 5'5" in his 90s.
David said on 18/Dec/16
My guess is that these days, Kirk Douglas would be lucky if he was any more than 5'.6", bearing in mind that his son Michael is supposed to be 5'.8". When you see them together, Kirk looks to be much shorter. I remember standing right behind him in Melbourne, Australia waiting to board a plane in around 1981 and he was much shorter than me, and I stand just on 6'.2". But of course he has probably shrunk a few inches since then as most of us do in our senior years.
Arch Stanton said on 3/Dec/16
Glenn said on 21/Mar/06
Looked 5-9 when I saw him in 1992.

That means Douglas was 5'7.5 at the time ;-)
jwwjr said on 22/Nov/16
He could look tall cause of lifts .My opinion 5 ft 9 without shoes , possibly even 5 ft 8 half, about same as Tony Curtis.thats probably one reason why he wanted him to be in Spartacus with him.
Arch Stanton said on 10/Nov/16
Pulled off looking 5 ft 10 with Yul Brynner in Cast a Giant Shadow. Wore lifts I think.
James said on 4/Nov/16
Douglas should be downgraded to 5'8" peak height. He was a better actor than his son, although he was always a bit hammy.
Josh Jeffords said on 9/Oct/16
Kirk was short and it was obvious especially with how short people supposedlyrics were shorter than.
Next to John Wayne he looked like a small man 5 6 even wearing cowboy boots.
5 11 is ridiculous even in lifts he likely was barely average.
He was a good actor on the rare occasion he landed a decent role.
Tom said on 13/Aug/16
Watching an old Jack Benny program revealed Kirk without lifts was about Benny's height. No more than 5-8. With lifts he'd hit near 5-11.
Tom said on 7/Aug/16
Kirk told Dick Cavett in a 1971 interview that he was 5-11. I don't buy it for a second. At best in his prime he was 5-8. Otherwise, he wouldn't have worn lifts in so many films. They're easy to spot.
Arch Stanton said on 31/May/16
Looked the same height on screen as Spencer Tracy, plus they had very similar builds, if Rob put Douglas at 5'8.75 I would agree with it. Both could look a stronger 5 ft 9 at times and nearer 5 ft 10 but then it's a question of footwear.
Tom said on 20/Jan/16
Kirk Douglas was 5'8". Remember he was wearing lifts in "Gunfight at the OK Corral".
LoganNoll1996 said on 23/Dec/15
Is 5'8" - 5'8.5" possible for this guy? He really doesn't look as though he was taller than 5'8" guys like Bronson and Bogart. He looks no more than 5'10" in his lifts and those were some BIG lifts he wore back in the day. If you look at photos of him with John Wayne, he looks no more than 5'10"(lifts included) - and this was when Wayne was down to a flat 6'3" as opposed to his 6'3.75" peak.
Editor Rob
you could argue 5ft 8.5 for him
somerandomguy said on 6/Dec/15
In "Gunfight At The OK Corral" Burt Lancaster easily had a few inches on him, so I doubt he was any more than five ten.
Danimal said on 6/Jul/15
70 year old Kirk Douglas with 76 year old Ronald Reagan in 1987: Click Here
Gonzalo said on 3/Jul/15
In his book The Ragman´s son there is a picture of his resumé as an actor and in his height it says 5`11.
What´s going on in here? Who is the lift wearer? Father or son?

Click Here
Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 2/Jun/15
5'11 LOL, he may as well have just claimed the full 6ft!!! In fairness at times he could pull off looking 5 ft 10, but more than that is laughing gas.
Arch Stanton said on 2/Jun/15
Sam says on 27/May/15
Rob, could you add Champion, The Big Sky and Detective Story to his credits?
[Editor Rob: I forgot to add his quote to this page too, claiming 5ft 11 - interestingly I found another quote from woody strode who said he was 6ft 4 and kirk about 5ft 7 or 8!]

I think I've read though that the two didn't get on during the making of Spartacus Rob. In fact I think most of the cast of Spartacus disliked him!
Sam said on 29/May/15
Yeah, not surprised that he claimed 5'11"! Kirk seems to have been one of the more height conscious of the golden age stars, certainly there's a lot of evidence of him wearing lifts and, from the 50s through the 70s, shots of his with advantageous angles in his films. I could almost believe Douglas was never more than 5'8" because of these distortions!
Sam said on 27/May/15
Rob, could you add Champion, The Big Sky and Detective Story to his credits?
Editor Rob
I forgot to add his quote to this page too, claiming 5ft 11 - interestingly I found another quote from woody strode who said he was 6ft 4 and kirk about 5ft 7 or 8!
Steve said on 3/Jan/15
I met Douglas when a friend took me to a studio wrap party back in the 1960s. He looked no more than 5'8". I don't remember his footwear. I remember being surprised he was that short. I always figured he was around 5'10" to 5'11". I think they play lots of tricks in movies to make shorter actors appear taller.
Sam said on 2/Jan/15
Ok, you towered over Curt Douglas, let us know if you've met Kirk Douglas though!
Leland said on 1/Jan/15
I walked into a "guest" elevator at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964 with my dad who immediately introduced me to "Kirk Douglas!" who was riding the elevator. By this time, I was 17 years old and 6'2." I TOWERED over Curt Douglas by approximately 1 foot! I would guess that he was Tom Cruise height: 5'3" Sorry people, but that's the truth!
Sam said on 1/Dec/14
Douglas probably in lifts and slightly uphill, so trying hard not to look shorter than Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark. Click Here
Sam said on 27/Oct/14
Yeah, there's a lot of nasty rumors about Douglas that make him sound like a true monster more so than just difficult. It's unsettling but I'm not going to just believe a bunch of rumors without actual evidence.
littlesue said on 26/Oct/14
He does look about 5ft 5 nowadays, be intersting of the stories what will come out when he passes away, one which he won't thought of as such a 'great' man!!
Arch Stanton said on 25/Oct/14
Agreed Sam, but later on I think Lancaster grew into a superior actor, by Atlantic City he was really quite accomplished.
Arch Stanton said on 25/Oct/14
Well, my Granddad reached 93 and only shrunk to around 5'10, although he had a stoop when walking as most that age do, he was an easy 6 ft in his prime and he was born in the late Victorian period in 1900.
Douglas really looks 5 ft 8 range in Man Without a Star and in boots too.
Realist said on 6/Oct/14
Rob is he the last of them from the golden age era ? I am sure he'll make it to 100 at least, he still walks today, he looks barely 5'5 today though. Would you be 5'5 at 100 ? Quintessential example of a great life: great career, great man and long life. I wanna live till 100.
Editor Rob
yeah one of the few of that era left and being able to walk about still at that age! I'd probably end up that height at 100 if I ever lived that long.
Sam said on 14/Aug/14
There's a shot out there where he's standing on an Old West-style porch for a promo shot w/ Johnny Cash and he looks like only an inch shorter than Cash but Douglas is wearing quite blatant lifted boot.

I agree with your assessment of their personalities and I think Lancaster might have typically been more fun but both could be difficult to be around as well. In terms of sheer acting ability, I think I would rank Douglas slightly higher.
jtm said on 13/Aug/14
alec baldwin claimed 5'11 in the past but i wouldn't be surprise he claims 6'0 now. he was always listed 5'11 but now that 4 letter site has him listed at 6'0.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/14
And yeah in the longer shots though the difference between them looked greater and more 3-4 inches as you say. In some scenes though he did manage to look no more than 2 inches shorter.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/14
Yeah he was definitely wearing lifts in Seven Days in May, in one scene you could see as he walked away his trousers legs lifted up and bit he was wearing really blocky brown shoes with his feet almost popping out not too similar to Rob's "I'm 5 ft 11" Dons. I thought in the film he pulled off looking nearer 2 inches shorter than Lancaster so I do think he was pulling off a strong 5'11" in them as Lancaster would have been 6'1.5-6'2" in shoes I think.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/14
Ian C. says on 29/Jul/14
Whenever an actor claims to be five foot eleven, you just know he's lying.

I know what you mean, but some actors actually are around 5 ft 11 and aren't afraid to say they're just under 6 ft...
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/14
"Douglas seemed to regard Lancaster as a boorish, immature bully and Lancaster regarded Douglas as a bitch-y, social climbing airhead who cared about publicity"

Lancaster looked like he could have been a lot of fun. Kirk Douglas on the otherhand always struck me as rather stiff and self-important. I've read a lot of stuff about Douglas being a major diva and blackmailing film bosses; I think he rather difficult to work with.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/14
Looks 177 in The Vikings.
Sam said on 8/Aug/14
Kirk and Burt Lancaster often look more 2 or 3 inches tops in height difference but Douglas was a lift-wearer. I've said it before but once Lancaster hid Douglas's lifts as a practical joke, enraging him. In full body shots, Douglas can't pull off the lifts as well, so the difference can suddenly looks like a solid 4 inches.

Unfortunately, their love-hate relationship was a lot more hate than love off screen according to Burt Lancaster's biography...Douglas seemed to regard Lancaster as a boorish, immature bully and Lancaster regarded Douglas as a bitch-y, social climbing airhead who cared about publicity more than anything and both would privately call each other out for narcissism that they both possessed in spades (isn't it a movie star pre-requisite?) Love 'em both though!
Click Here
Ian C. said on 29/Jul/14
Whenever an actor claims to be five foot eleven, you just know he's lying. An actor who really was five foot eleven would claim at least six feet. The phrase "I'm five foot eleven," when spoken by an actor, means "I'm a lot shorter than the characters I usually play in the movies." Pursuant to that, my guess is that most leading men who are not actually very tall play characters that are understood to be six foot two. (It's like most leading men who are in their forties play characters who are thirty seven.) Having seen Douglas at the Oscars recently, I was surprised at how small he was. When you see him as the Viking Einar in The Vikings, he seems like a big guy. That's acting.
Realist said on 7/May/14
Guys 5'7-5'8 was the solid average at that time. 5'9 was equivalent to 5'11. Today 5'7-5'8 is considered low average. But i dont think height will grow at the rate at which it has grown in turn of the century. Very minor increase can be observed. And for the grand old man of hollywood 5'8 peak 5'6.5 in 1980s and 5'5-5'6 today at almost hundred.
Sam said on 5/May/14
Yeah, I really An Ace in the Hole was top-knotch, certainly one of the darkest Hollywood movies from that stage and few stars would have dared to play a character as unlikeable as that one. I don't think he wears lifts in that one and Douglas looks no less than 5'9" IMO.
Arch Stanton said on 4/May/14
There is a scene in Ace in the Hole in which Douglas is stood next to Porter Hall who was around 5 ft 7 and he looked tall proportionally in comparison actually.
Arch Stanton said on 3/May/14
Looks about 5'9" in Ace in the Hole. Superbly acted, played the arrogant journo to perfection.
Arch Stanton said on 2/May/14
5 ft 8 range is possible Knowitall but he definitely didn't look as low as 5 ft 7 peak. Lifts can't change the actually torso and leg length of a guy and Douglas was easily a solid average height guy for his generation. Actually in some of his films he could look 5 ft 10, lifts perhaps.
Arch Stanton said on 2/May/14
Click Here

He does actually look as low as 5 ft 4 today Knowitall but he's pushing 100 now so on average he'd have lost 4 inches anyway.
Sam said on 22/Apr/14
The Big Sky an interesting one for comparison since he co-leads with Dewey Martin, who is listed on the net at 5'8", and looks right around an inch taller and average height at best in all the crowd scenes. I think this is a little before Douglas became a routine lift-wearer. Also, you can see Buddy Baer look ginormous in comparison in the film.
RisingForce said on 12/Apr/14
Kirk's quote of "Everyone thinks actors are tall but I'm only 5-11" is still pretty funny to me, since it's pretty much the same thing Johnny Depp did when trying to claim 5'11" and it seems pretty common for celebrities who claim a pretty tall height to put only in front of it. But even worse is that a 1966 newspaper described Kirk as 6 feet!
Knowitall said on 3/Apr/14
Here is a very revealing photograph taken of Kirk with Walt Disney:

Click Here

Disney was roughly five-ten. Study the photo and you'll see that Kirk is closer to the camera making him look taller than he really was. He's wearing lifts covered over by his bell-bottom trousers. Yet he appears to be about two inches shorter than Disney.

I seriously doubt that Kirk barefoot was any taller than five-seven. Lifts boosted him to a little over five-nine. Then lots of camera tricks were pulled.
Knowitall said on 31/Mar/14
I'd say Douglas is now no more than five-four. I saw him in person and was shocked how short he was. And bent over, using a walker. Still it's amazing at 97 he still walks and is not in a wheelchair.

Douglas is amazing. He's outlive just about everyone he worked with. Had it not been for the helicopter crash which I believe later triggered his stroke, I'm sure he'd be as feisty as ever.
Arch Stanton said on 24/Mar/14
He was definitely wearing lifts in Gunfight at the OK Corral. There's a scene in which he's lying on the bed and he's not only wearing 2 inch cowboy boots but you can see the arch of the lift inside which is about another 2 inches. Yet he still looked 2-2.5 inches shorter than Burt Lancaster!!
Arch Stanon said on 22/Feb/14
In fact Kirk Douglas is 97, not far off 100 now. No wonder he looks 5'6 tops now!!
Arch Stanon said on 22/Feb/14
Christian Douglas is like 90 something, on average he'd have lost 3 inches. He's no longer active like Connery as an actor so he won't list current.
Arch Stanon said on 22/Feb/14
Really doesn't look over 4 inches shorter than 6'2.5" Walter Pidgeon in The Bad and the Beautiful, was Douglas wearing lifts in that film?
Arch Stanon said on 22/Feb/14
Rob can you add The Bad and the Beautiful, Ace in the Hole, Lust for life, Paths of Glory (not Days of Glory) Seven Days in May and Tough Guys?
Christian said on 24/Jan/14
I usally agree with almost a hundred procent with your estimates Rob but Kirk today is much much shorter. I would say 5'6''tops. In most pictures he looks 3 inches shorter than Michael. Click Here
Robert said on 4/Jan/14
Douglas was a bigger star than Mason, so he was made to look almost the same height in that film.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Dec/13
Was he wearing lifts in 20,000 leagues?? He only looks about an inch shorter than James Mason in it.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Dec/13
I'd honestly guess him at 5'9.5, he just didn't have the proportions of a 5'8" er. Brando on the other hand... Will try to see Seven Days in May soon and I'll let you know!!
Arch Stanton said on 17/Dec/13
Looks between 5'9 and 5'10 in 20,000 leagues too. LOL if Douglas was short what did he think of Peter Lorre?? Douglas looks about 8 inches taller in that film.
diavolo said on 18/Nov/13
Kirk Douglas was Obsessed With Height, his shoe-wearing habits were legendary. Watch Ace in the Hole, his enormous lifts are clearly visible, especially in the last scene. In Gunfight at OK Corrall, he has boots on with ca. 3-inch heels. And yes, the anecdote is true, as a practical joke Burt Lancaster stole his lifts during filming of Seven Days in May, which made him really angry. So, barefoot he was much shorter than what we see in the movies.
Yaspaa said on 27/Aug/13
No way 5'11, actors got billed taller ALL the time.
@rafe - He's not 5'5.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
Seen some more of his earlier films recently and he honestly looked nearer 5'10" to me rather than 5'8". Brando could look 5'8" range a LOT but Kirk Douglas really didn't look under 5'9" to me and I could buy 177cm.
Tony said on 10/Aug/13
Mr Kaplan: I'm a well built 5ft 11 and boxed at super-middleweight (max weight 168), so i see no reason why Kirk couldn't have been 5ft 11, as described in his bio.
Sean said on 10/Aug/13
Kirk Douglas describes himself as being 5' 11 in his autobiography, THE RAGMAN'S SON. I see no reason for him to lie.
Knowitall said on 25/Jun/13
Check out the monster lifts on Kirk that he wore in the film In Harm's Way:

Click Here
Knowitall said on 3/May/13
Kirk was never more than five eight. He wore lifts in just about all his films. Huge lifts in Seven Days in May. His co-star Burt Lancaster used to poke fun at him for wearing lifts in that film.

Watch the film. Even with those lifts he's still shorter than five foot ten Fredric March. There's a shot where the two are standing face-to-face and it's clear Kirk is shorter by at least an inch. So it's quite possible his peak height was five seven.

In the documentary of the making of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, director Richard Fleischer mentions that Kirk was short which surprised him. On the other hand, James Mason was tall. Mason was five eleven.
leonari said on 1/May/13
Never has he seen 5'10 or 5'11. A good 5'9 for his generation was solid average and he looked it.
Arch Stanton said on 29/Apr/13
He could look 5 ft 10 that's true, but he always looked average range to me, never looked tall in his films. 5'9" ish is a good shout.
Reality said on 3/Dec/12
Rob, are you sure his peak height was 5'9? I thought he's a tall man because he looks so.

I personally think his claim of 5'11 was honest.
Mr. Kaplan said on 29/Nov/12
Kirk was a well-built guy in his youth, there no way he was only 167 lbs for 5'11". Weight might me accurate, not height.
Robby D said on 25/Oct/12
Rob. In Kirk Douglas autobiography, "The Ragman's Son" there is a photograph of his Broadway resume which states his age:27 height: 5'11" and weight: 167lbs. I doubt he was 5'11" so do you think this was his height in shoes or do you think he just added a couple of inches to make his resume more impressive?
RisingForce said on 22/Sep/12
Some interesting quotes about Kirk's height, including a 5'11" claim from himself (which he also claimed in a recent book) and a shoemaker claiming he made Kirk lifts in 1980.

" Everyone thinks actors are tall but I'm only 5-11,' he said once on a talk show. - 10/15/86 Dallas Morning News

"A custom shoemaker in Los Angeles once reported that among his lift customers were Kirk Douglas, Rod Steiger, Andy Williams and Burt Reynolds." Click Here

Not exactly news that Kirk wore lifts, but it's another source that has made that claim.
rafa said on 7/Jun/12
He is near 5'5" these days and peak height was near 5'9.5".
Patrick said on 16/Jan/12
I met Mr. Douglas while playing guitar with the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet rock band when we were chosen to play the movie Final Countdown's cast party. Mr. Douglas was indeed quite short, I would guess about 5'6" or 7". He was incredibly polite and gracious, actually taking the time to meet the people in the band individually. He was a class act all the way, and I'll never forget shaking his hand.
micky said on 3/Jan/12
I worked a s a gofer for Kirk on a film and he was the same height as me in stocking feet-5'7".
Sam said on 7/Dec/11
Here is a few pictures with Kirk and the Man in Black. I seem to recall a shot where Douglas & Cash appear close to the same height on a boardwalk and Douglas's lifts appeared pretty clear, but don't see this one online:
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here

And some shots with Kirk and Burt Lancaster:
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
oldmoviefan said on 24/Oct/11
In the movie The Bad and The Beautiful, I have heard stories that he removes his shoes 3 times, because the lifts were causing him aching feet. I don't know how true this is but I've heard the story, next to Lana Turner my guess is his height was 5'9"(presumably with the lifts). I am 5'11" a while ago he stood next to me at the Plaza Hotel in NY, and I felt I was much taller. Your Comments.
SaimoN_ said on 17/Sep/11
In the movie The Gunfight from 1971 his co-star is 6'2'' Johnny Cash. Next to him Kirk looks "allmost" the same height, I would say Kirk looks a weak 6'1'' ! Yeah, very unlikely ofc but they both wear those big westernboots so that instantly add a bit of height to them both.
Saloon Singer said on 14/Sep/11
Burt used to tease Kirk about his height. One time he hid Kirk's lifts when they were about to do a two shot. Another time, he made Kirk cry when he said to some visiting nuns on the set of The Devil's Disciple, 'You might not recognize Mr. Douglas because he's not wearing his lifts.'
Andy M said on 21/Aug/11
It was well reported he wore built up shoes, which makes it hard to judge but I would say 5'8" would be about right
Mr. Kaplan said on 26/May/11
Kirk was never 5'10". He was 5'8" peak. With good footwear.
rafa said on 28/Apr/11
This listing is VERY INNACURATE in my opinion, especially the actual height.
rafa said on 6/Apr/11
Rob, if you watch Spartacus, he didnt look short and was about the same height of Laurence Olivier (5'10"), but he is 94 years old now and looks nowadays about 5'5". I propose you to establish his peak height in Spartacus days as 5'10", and today's height as 5'5". Would you consider it?
guyfrommars said on 20/Mar/11
Wow he looked really short next to Heston, even in those thick sandals. I'd say he was 5'8" in his peak, and claimed 5'10" (5'11" in shoes). He employed lifts and heels to achieve that. Nowadays, in his 90s he's not taller than 5'5".
James said on 22/Feb/11
I was at a book signing five years ago. He walked past me. Very short. 5,5 was my guess.
Sam said on 7/Feb/11
I think he's definitely shrunk more than to 5'7". He may have brushed 5'9" at one time. Another film where he was clearly lift-wearing was the Gunfight one with Johnny Cash.
Liz said on 6/May/09
I met him. He is 5'7", he was a little shorter before the knee surgery. I'm 5'8" and he was just a little shorter than me.
Dean said on 21/Apr/09
Douglas is 5'7" based on his Navy records . He wore lifts in his shoes and was constantly being victimized by Burt Lancaster who used to hide the lifts between scenes . Lancaster was no giant, coming in at just under 6' .
RisingForce said on 17/Apr/09
Yeah people can shrink a lot by their 90's. Women lose even more. My 97, 98 year old grandmother looked to be about 5'2" last I saw her 2, 3 years ago. She was 5'6", 5'7" when she was younger!
Will said on 9/Apr/09
I met Kirk and his wife last Christmas while working at someones house where I parked his car. I'm 5'6 and we stood just about the same height. So, I'd say 5'7 is right.
leonari said on 30/Mar/09
Kirk is tiny these days. Under 5'7". He shrunk even more. No wonder the man is around 90 years old.
RisingForce said on 29/Mar/09
I'm not sure, he claims 5-11 on his official site. I never trust claims unless they're backed up with a link. I remember on the Brad Pitt page someone said that Pitt claimed 6-1 on a show, but other posters who saw the show said he didn't even talk about his height.

And I'll assume that Kirk Douglas meant 5-11 peak even though I agree that he's probably giving himself 2 inches for even his peak height. There's no way he's so delusional that he'd claim 5-11 now.
glenn said on 28/Mar/09
i thought i read 5-11.5 his platforms for a movie
RisingForce said on 28/Mar/09
Did Casey say 5'11.5"?!! I thought he said 5'11" flat and that is bad enough, but 5'11.5"? Maybe he's claiming his height in platform shoes.
glenn said on 27/Mar/09
exactly risingforce.5-11.5 casey.
RisingForce said on 27/Mar/09
Or maybe even a Casey Affleck 5-11!
glenn said on 27/Mar/09
to me 5-9.i could be that a mel gibson 5-11 he means?
RisingForce said on 26/Mar/09
How tall do you think he was at his peak?
glenn said on 26/Mar/09
i would be shocked if he was 5-10.he signed that book for me.
Brad said on 8/Mar/09
Peak height 5' 7".
old movie fan said on 24/Feb/09
I saw kirk once at the old New York Plaza standing almost next to me a man of elegance and great looks but not too tall, I never got to talk with him but I know people who have they all say he is a great person like I said before he is one of my favorite actors, whatever he may lack in height he has in talent
your comments
Mr. R. said on 24/Feb/09
I saw Kirk entering a post Oscar party, when his son Michael walked up. Michael towered over him.
felipe said on 23/Feb/09
Old movie fan, I noticed that, in a couple of his films unless the script called for it I can see foot agony in his expression and he takes his shoes off a lot. mutual observation your comments anyone
your comments
old movie fan said on 22/Feb/09
Kirk was no taller than 5.8 one of my favorite actors I don't know if this is true but I've heared that in the bad and the beautiful he took his shoes off 3 times because his feet were killing him from wearing the lifts, then again I've never seen this statement in print.
Bleemo said on 24/Dec/08
I tend to go with Frank on this one I watched 10,000 leagues yesterday and even though Kirk was standing in dubious looking boots that made him stand like he had a pole up his arse, he was still atleast 2 inches short of 5'11" James mason. Also Paul lukas loomed over Kirk significantly, now that guy was lanky but only to the tune of 6'1"-6'2".

I'll give Douglas some credit though he is the master of looking bigger then he really is, if you went by Spartacus and the Vikings you would swear blind that he was a six footer. I suspect it's partly because of lifts and camera angles, buit also because of his broadness of shoulders and lean waist making him look more statuesque.
Neon Genesis said on 9/Dec/08
Kirk Douglas was never more than 5'7'' (1.70 m), he reached the peak height that is stated here (5'9'') only if he used lifts
Frank2 said on 6/Oct/08
Remember, Kirk is in his 90's.
The Horse of FUNK said on 6/Oct/08
Hell, he looks like he could be as low as 5'4" today, Frank2.
Frank2 said on 6/Oct/08
Douglas' peak height was 5'-8". With lifts he appeared about two and a half to three inches taller. Still that meant they had to play tricks on the set. Today, he's no more than 5'5".
The Horse of FUNK said on 6/Oct/08
Frank2's 5'8" estimate might not be too far off. I'm seeing him listed as 5'7" or 5'7.5" on some sites for peak height and this bit was interesting:

"He wore lifts in many of his films, which made him appear about 5' 11" or 6 feet on screen. Once, as a prank, Burt Lancaster found Douglas's lifts on a film set and hid them from him, which allegedly infuriated the shorter actor."

Anyhow, I saw Kirk narrating some show on TV the other night. Wow, he looks like he can go any day now. He'll be remembered as long as his films endure.
Frank2 said on 27/Aug/08
Douglas is also extremely bow-legged. So much so that it's hard for him to walk. I'd say today he's no more than 5'6". Could even be 5'5". But he's in his 90s so he's entitled.
George H. said on 26/Aug/08
Hey Frank2, good to have you back, man. It sure is an improvement over others with first hand celeb encounters! Did you see Jackie's photostudy of various celebs with Warren Beatty, posted some time ago on this page? Anyway, here's the url Click Here I thought old Douglas looked maybe as short as 5'5" in those, but then again he's one of the last oldies alive so he probably lost a few inches.
Off topic, Jackie if you're still visiting this site, Frank2 came back, why don't you? My wife could use some new Beatty collages, hahaha.
Frank2 said on 22/Aug/08
And Jimmy Carter with Clinton:

Click Here

And here:

Click Here

Carter is a short man. The shortest US President of the latter half of the 20th century:

Click Here
Frank2 said on 22/Aug/08
Kirk, probably wearing lifts with Jimmy Carter:

Click Here

Carter is no more than 5'8".

Kirk next to actor Charles McGraw who was about 5'8":

Click Here

One trick they'd use was to slightly build up the ground where Kirk would stand. Invisible to the camera.

Kirk with with the late Senator John Heinz and Representative Claude Pepper:

Click Here

The shortest man in the room:

Click Here

Kirk and 5'8" Ingrid Berman:

Click Here
Frank2 said on 21/Aug/08
Like I said, I first met Kirk in the 1960s. Back then he wore huge lifts and was still shorter than me. I'd say his peak height was 5'8". Check out the supplementary material on the DVD of 20th THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. As I said, the film's director Richard Fleischer said that Kirk was a short man. Fleischer was surprised by this as he was how tall James Mason was. He was expecting the opposite to be the case. Now why would he say this if it wasn't true?

I saw Kirk at a book store in the late 1980s and he was about the same height. Then I ran into him at Nate'n Al, a popular deli in Beverly Hills. This was sometime in the 1990s and he looked like he had lost at least a couple of inches. Today I think he's about 5'6".

In the film SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, Kirk wore huge lifts prompting Burt Lancaster to poke fun at him on the set.
Caesar said on 18/Aug/08
BK_Daniel says on 24/Jun/08
This guy lost a good three inches. In all his movies when he was young he gave the appearence of being a big guy, I doubt he could have done that if he wasn't atleast 5'10". Spartacus wouldn't look 5'9.5" if I squinted. I agree with Tony.

Except 5'10 Laurence Olivier was a couple inches taller than him. I think most of the slaves were cast as short actors and/or Douglas wore lifts that made him appear bigger in gladiator scenes.
Frank2 said on 3/Aug/08
Trust me. Kirk was never more than 5'8". I met him back in the 1960's at a charity event. He was several inches shorter than me and I'm 5'11".

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA director Richard Fleischer mentioned that when he met Kirk he was amazed that he was a short man. Then, when he met James Mason he was surprised that he was relatively tall. Just the opposite of how they appeared on the screen.
Danimal said on 25/Jul/08
I think he has dipped below 5'6" in his early 90's. I am quite positive the man was at least 5'10" in his younger days. Most people lose up to 2" by 70 and 3" by 80. By 90 it can be as much as 4-6".
BK_Daniel said on 24/Jun/08
This guy lost a good three inches. In all his movies when he was young he gave the appearence of being a big guy, I doubt he could have done that if he wasn't atleast 5'10". Spartacus wouldn't look 5'9.5" if I squinted. I agree with Tony.
JOSH said on 28/May/08
Kirks height probarbly has dipped over the years but he did look a solid 5ft 8.5 -5ft 10 in his prime. He looked about 5ft 9 in lust for life and a bit taller in cowboy boots in gunfight at the ok corrall. These days hes got to be a good bit under that.
glenn said on 16/Apr/08
thats sounds fair.
glenn said on 15/Apr/08
new bio from last year at that.yeah,but was he ever 5-11? i doubt it myself. 5-10 i can see.5-9 he looked for sure.
glenn said on 7/Apr/08
well he certainly wasnt 5-10 or 5-11 whenever i saw him.5-8 in the early 90s,5-7ish now.but why claim 5-11 in his new book?
frank p said on 5/Apr/08
Going by movies only, you guys are more generous I guess than my eye. I would've said 5"8 at the most in his prime. Kurt ALWAYS seemd short to me.
Now Lancaster appeared to me to be no more 5"11 at his peak also. Bear in mind everyone, put a normal dress shoe on a person and that hieght is already up one inch. But..Glenn stood next to him not me.
glenn said on 1/Apr/08
whats crazy is he claims 5-11 now.5-7ish now.5-10 max peak.i agree,i alway thought he was 5-9 anything is possible.and we all know 5-10 men are the cause of all height debates.
dmeyer said on 10/Mar/08
his body makes him look 5'3
glenn said on 10/Mar/08
are you crazy dmeyer?.the man says he is 5-11 in his new he had to be 5-10 in youth.
dmeyer said on 10/Mar/08
5 ft 8 peak 5 ft 6 now
pop said on 8/Feb/08
my grandpa was 6ft tall when he was younger. At the age of 88 he was 5-9 or 5-10. So I think that if mr. Douglas has 5-7 like very old man, he could have at least 5-10 when he was younger.
glenn said on 27/Dec/07
the man is 93 or so.hard to figure out what his expressions are.
AS said on 27/Dec/07
Interestingly enough, Kirk does not look small next to Arnold in this 1979 film:
Click Here
H said on 17/Nov/07
Why does Mr. Douglas look so SERIOUS in the first photo? There is a flicker of humor in the second one. Glenn, how do you find these celebrities? I've several photos seem to have been made at night.
Paul N. said on 11/Nov/07
I too have a friend whom is an actor, and she too has been very good at estimating height (better than even Robert R. 's friend). She said she figures Kirk Douglas to be 5ft 9-1/2in in 1981 when she met him.
Gonzalo said on 29/Oct/07
Douglas is downgraded in this page for strange reasons. He didn
al said on 28/Oct/07
He looked inbetween 5ft 8 and 9 in most films like spartacus the vikings and lust for life. He has probarbly lost an inch or 2 over the years.
glenn said on 5/Oct/07
in his new bio at age 90,he says he is 5-11.
Anonymous said on 4/Oct/07
If kirk was ever 5'10 I am 8 feet.Once more Rob has him perfect
sam said on 12/Sep/07
Gunfight at the OK Corral may have been one of the movies where Kirk wore lifts. I recall him looking about 5'11" next to Lancaster usually, so he probably was.
marlon said on 11/Sep/07
Kirk looked a strong 5ft 10 inches in height next to burt lancaster in gunfight at the ok corrall.
Jackie said on 2/Aug/07
Hi George,

To answer your questions: the people in the photo with Jack Nicholson at the Oscars in 1990 are (according to Getty Images) Richard D. Zanuck and his wife Lili Fini Zanuck. I only know that the lady in the picture with the leather jacket is actress/singer Julie Andrews and the lady in the red dress in the last picture I think is the wife of Ben Kingsley, who is next to her. Hope that helps, George. Take care
George H. said on 26/Jul/07
Hi Jackie, another great photo mix. Do you know who the people are between him and Jack Nicholson? Also the people in the pic with the leather jacket and purple tie and in the picture with teh woman in the red dress?
jackie said on 26/Jul/07
Hi George,

Yes, you are right. I was wondering the same thing. Of course, Kirk's excuse would be that he's 90 already and I've seen in other pictures that he has
quite bow legged legs (I don't know if he always had them). I've put together yet another collage in which
Beatty can be seen with other celebs ranging between 5'6" and 5'11". His entire build obviously shows he's not 5'11" (like Joe Mantegna and
Robert Wagner). Click Here
Take care George!
glenn said on 23/Jul/07
furhermore i was shocked to see beatty at the 6t i always saw him at just several months ago.when i told peers and photogs about the 6-2,6-3 claims,they all had a guffaws delight.i wouldve minded my business,but cant stand when someone shaves off inches on someone to back their claims.thats substantial evidence beatty can look 6ft.cause no way in hell kirk is below 5-7 now.and can still look 5-8.but thats the nature of the site.people cling on to their fantasies and when i come around to correct them by 17 years of meeting these celebs and interveiwing peers,photogs,security,drivers,who almost always back my guaging,i get attacked.
glenn said on 23/Jul/07
now im gonna bud into your fantasies,just like you budded into my stallone fantasies.kirk was never as low as 5-5.look at my proof photos on top.he is 5-7 minimum now and claims 5-11 in his new bio.beatty can look 6ft with his mysterious posture,so thats the 2 inches you crop off.or beatty wears lifts as im starting to suspect.i heard rumors he was 5-11 and wore them.i believe 6ft and wears lifts or is 6-2 and has weird posture like cobain or dmx.dont crop off 2 inches for kirk just to substantiate your deluded hypothesis.
George H. said on 23/Jul/07
I think Douglas must be down to 5'5" by now or just about. I'm borrowing a picture sheet by Jackie here, look at the bottow right recent picture of Kirk with 6'2" Beatty! Click Here
dmeyer said on 20/Jul/07
i think he was more 5'8.5 and noe 5'6.5 2 in at 90 is not that bad
Gonzalo said on 17/Jul/07
In the CV shown on his bio he is listed 5`11. I wouldn`t lie in a thing like that. It can be 5`11 with shoes on, however
He did a film with Spanish actor Imanol Arias and Douglas in his seventies looked around the same height. I have seen Arias in the flesh and he was at least 1`78, surely taller. I doubt Douglas was under 5`10 at his peak.
AAAA said on 5/Jun/07
Rob in that pic you posted he looks to be wearing a 1in lift. His foot looks too long... human ankles and heels are never that thick and they do not vary much person to person
Josh said on 29/Apr/07
Peet said on 28/Apr/07
Josh ?? is Helicopter Accident made he shorter ?
Josh said on 26/Apr/07
George H. said on 19/Apr/07
Yeah, Rob, that's definitely a shoe with some help. Jesus.
glenn said on 19/Apr/07
amazing how he goes into his son who passed away was the shortest of the men.cant remember if he mention a height.then he mentions he is 5-11.this book came out last month too!
Viper said on 18/Apr/07
Maybe 5-8 peak, but could have been always 5-7. This guy is known to wear huge lifts.
chris said on 18/Apr/07
In my opinion, a weak 5'9" in his prime. He wore lifts in many movies that made him appear 5'11" - 6'

Editor Rob
the cut of this shoe can certainly contain lift link
glenn said on 18/Apr/07
saw him fall twice.luckily people grabbed him in before the hit the ground.
Plok said on 18/Apr/07
I think that 5'9" for him at his youth is a bit over the measure.
I would say shy of it 5'8.5" or 5'8"
George H. said on 18/Apr/07
You think he still wears lifts now? The guy can barely walk anymore, since his stroke and old age. He's also very bow-legged.
glenn said on 18/Apr/07
does he? i dont know much about him.
Brad said on 17/Apr/07
5' 7" is it. Wears huge lifts.
glenn said on 17/Apr/07
he claims 5-11 in his new bio.

Editor Rob
maybe I'll relook....5ft 11 I doubt, 5ft 10 might, but a legend anyway, now into 90's!
mcfan said on 9/Apr/07
I thought he was taller than Mike slightly, but maybe lifts were used. In fact, I thought he was 5'10.
josh emery said on 24/Feb/07
kirks proper height was about 5ft 8 and a half inches but he wore a good few inch lifts in some films to look as tall as his co stars like anthony quinn
DC said on 6/Feb/07
Had a brief conversation with Kirk Douglas during on-location shooting of Kazan's "The Arrangement" here in my neighborhood. We stood face-to-face and were, as I recall, the same height. I'm 5-10, If you watch him with Burt Lancaster in the many films they made together, he looks about three or four inches shorter than his 6-2 co-star.
Robert.R said on 19/Jan/07
I have a friend who is an actor and has worked with alot of the stars and so far has been accurate estimating their heights. He is positive Kirk Douglas is 5'7".
TR said on 24/Aug/06
Just watched HBO"Father & Son" documentary of Kirk & his son's
shot in 2005. Michael and his brothers all say several times during
their comments about Kirk, "For such a little guy, he was really
tough." They also mention all but one of them(Kirks son's) was
taller than him.
Frank2 said on 14/Aug/06
Kirk wears his lifts to bed.
Faith Ladlow said on 12/Aug/06
I met Kirk Douglas 40 years ago when he visited the Center in Montecito, CA . I am atmost 5'7" and he was no taller than I am. In fact I thought he was shorter.
Anony said on 29/Jul/06
Lifts could explain how he could have appeared same height as 6'1.5 Arnold:
Click Here
Frank2 said on 2/Jun/06
Yeah, just like Sly does with his huge lifts. Both men are short. Both fall under the catagory of physical action stars. Yet both men never really looked terribly short on film. But that's camera angles, ramps, shorter extras and lifts for ya! They don't call Hollywood "The land of make believe" for nothin'!
sam said on 2/Jun/06
I think most people can agree that Kirk was never over 5'9" at his peak and was probably closer to 5'8". He was a famous lifts guy, so he could look almost as tall as guys like Anthony Quinn, Burt Lancaster or Johnny Cash on screen. I've seen a picture with Douglas standing next to Cash in a film and you can pretty much see his lifts.
Gonzalo said on 1/Jun/06
In his biography, there is a picture of a page with Douglas`personal data, like a CV for pictures, I guess. In height they say 5`11. Reading what Frank2 says it seems hard to believe
Frank2 said on 5/May/06
He suffered a terrible stroke which has caused him to have slurred speech. It's amazing he's lasted so long. That helicopter crash he was involved in years ago should have killed him. I think his injuries possibly led to his eventual stroke.

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight or shoe size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

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