How tall is Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas Height

5ft 9in (175.3 cm)

American Actor best known 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".

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Add a Comment 169 comments

Average Guess (17 Votes)
5ft 8in (172.7cm)
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.
Willes188 said on 16/Apr/17
Rob, do you still think he's 5'9? ;)

No but too be serious, how much height do you think he has lost by now...
Editor Rob: 4-5 inches by now.
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!.
Willes189 said on 27/Feb/17
Being over 100 years old has nothing to do with smoking....
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.
Willes189 said on 13/Feb/17
Holy **** he is still alive! And over 100 years old... this is insane
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.
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.
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.
The Horse of FUNK said on 4/May/06
I'm not really interested in this guy's height, but damn I thought this guy was dead already lol. He's really lost some serious inches, too.
Editor Rob said on 5/Apr/06
Said he was in the 145 pound wrestling division.
Charlie said on 4/Apr/06
Going back to Frank2's comment below (where he says Kirk must be standing on a box) this photo is from the 1961 movie The Last Sunset. Kirk was not this tall in the movie. He was a few inches taller than Dorothy Malone, but many, many inches shorter than Rock Hudson. There are several scenes in The Last Sunset where Kirk and Rock are seen together. One in particular comes to mind. They are standing next to each other before their fight scene. You can see both guys feet on the ground. There are no angles or illusions. Rock is at least 8 or 9 inches taller than Kirk. You can appreciate it even more during the fight. Rock looks so much taller. He is huge. It literally looks as if Rock is crushing Kirk during parts of the fight. From the photo Frank2 shows, it seems like Rock is 6 inches taller. No way. Had to be minimum 8 or 9 inches taller than Kirk.
Charlie said on 4/Apr/06
Going back to Frank2's comment below (where he says Kirk must be standing on a box) this photo is from the 1961 movie The Last Sunset. Kirk was not this tall in the movie. He was a few inches taller than Dorothy Malone, but many, many inches shorter than Rock Hudson. There are several scenes in The Last Sunset where Kirk and Rock are seen together. One in particular comes to mind. They are standing next to each other before their fight scene. You can see both guys feet on the ground. There are no angles or illusions. Rock is at least 8 or 9 inches taller than Kirk. You can appreciate it even more during the fight. Rock looks so much taller. He is huge. It literally looks as if Rock is crushing Kirk during parts of the fight. From the photo Frank2 shows, it seems like Rock is 6 inches taller. No way. Had to be at least 8 or 9 inches.
leonari said on 22/Mar/06
I have to agree with Frank and I go beyond. At his absolute peak he was probably 5'7.5 but not taller. His son Michael is sooo much taller these days and we all know he ain't even a full 5'10". Kirk looks 5'5 these days and therefor lost about 2.5 inches ,which is a lot but not uncommon for men of his age.
Sue said on 22/Mar/06
Okay, I relent, after seeing some more of all the photo's, in comparison with others, I don't think he was 5'11" in his prime. With Charles McGraw, he looks a lot more like 5'9" possibly 5'8" in his hey day, but no shorter goddammit!
Glenn said on 22/Mar/06
Shockingly,Michael always looked 5-8 to me.and I guess kirk fooled me.great men.
Frank2 said on 21/Mar/06
He was most likely wearing lifts when you saw him. Barefoot Kirk was never more than 5'8". Now he's about 5'5"! When Kirk received his special Oscar, Spielberg stood right next to him on stage and Steven is no more than 5'8" and he towered over him. Remember?
Glenn said on 21/Mar/06
Looked 5-9 when I saw him in 1992.
Charlie said on 20/Mar/06
To Frank2- You're right. No way Kirk is anywhere near 5'11. Interestingly enough, The Last Sunset made in 1961, stars both Kirk and Rock. There are a number of scenes where their height disparity is very evident. Before a good fight scene between Kirk and Rock, they are standing right next to each other arguing. Rock has to be at least 8 inches taller, if not more. He looks absolutely huge next to Kirk. During the fight scene, the huge height difference is just as apparent. Both guys were throwing punches, etc, but you can tell if this were a real fight, Kirk (known as Mr. Tough Guy) would have gotten killed. Rock was nailing Kirk pretty good with his long reach, getting some good punches in. At one point, they began wrestling. Rock was pushing down on Kirk's head and body, while both guys are standing trying to outmuscle each other. Rock's body from the waist to his shoulders are just covering Kirk's entire body, so you hardly see Kirk's body. I realize it's a staged fight, but you know Rock can destroy him. No way a guy only six inches taller would look so much bigger. Rock had to be at least 8 or 9 inches taller. Has anybody else seen the movie? It's actually a good fight scene and you will see Kirk and Rock standing side by side in a number of scenes.
Frank2 said on 20/Mar/06
If Kirk was ever 5'11" barefoot then I'll eat my laptop!
Sue said on 19/Mar/06
Hey, no wonder Kirk looks so small he's standing next to John Wayne who's 6'4" !! My husband has just done some photoshop image manipulation to remove the perspective on the image of John Wayne and kirk Douglas. As calculated there's between a 5 to 6 inch height difference between them. So yes, he was around 5ft 11 but wow, he's lost a lot of inches since.
Sue said on 18/Mar/06
Kirk looks like he should be a much taller man. As an actor, especially in his younger days his confidence and sexual magnetism just oozes height but obviously the tape measure tells a different story. Height shouldn't maketh man though. At average height for a man or even a bit shorter, he's still a legend.
Charlie said on 15/Mar/06
To Frank2- If I'm interpreting your answer right, if Kirk and Rock were both barefoot, Rock would be at least 8 or 9 inches taller?
Glenn said on 15/Mar/06
Wow.he seemed 5-9 to me.
Frank2 said on 14/Mar/06
Rock was 6'4" barefoot. So if Kirk was wearing his usual height-increasing cowboy boots that gave him an extra three and a half inches I would estimate that Rock (wearing normal cowboy boots with an inch and a half heel) was about six inches taller. Kirk never went before the cameras without his lifts. When I worked at Universal I discovered the actual sandals he wore in Spartacus which were still kept in the wardrobe department. They were specially made to hide an increase of two inches. In the film The War Wagon they built a ramp for Douglas to use when he was in scenes with 6'4" John Wayne. They did the same for the film In Harm's Way.
Charlie said on 14/Mar/06
Rock was probably a good 9 or 10" taller than Kirk. I've seen pictures as well from the 60s and I can't decide if Kirk is that "short" or Rock is that "tall." Probably a combination of both. I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen the photos. If Kirk was wearing lifts...I'd hate to see the difference when he removed them.
Richard said on 14/Mar/06
If Kirk is wearing lifts, how much taller was Rock Hudson than him. I've seen pictures of them on the internet standing side by side. Rock dwarfs Kirk more than John Wayne does.
jack naidoo said on 12/Mar/06
not everyone loses height because of old age. my father was 6ft 6ins. at twenty and still is at age 88.
Frank2 said on 27/Feb/06
When Kirk was a young man (without a horn) he was about 5'8". In the film Seven Days in May he wears Frankenstein shoes which puts him at eye level with Fredric March who was 5'10" and a little taller than Whit Bissell who was 5'8". That was the movie where Burt made fun of him. Those silly lifts looked like they boosted his height by at least three inches!

The last time I saw Kirk in person was at a deli in Beverly Hills. He had shrunk down to about 5'5". He's now so bow-legged that it doesn't help his posture.
Tall vs. Short said on 22/Feb/06
Kirk was about 5'9. I watched The Last Sunset, a 1961 movie, with Kirk and Rock Hudson. Rock totally dwarfs Kirk, probably by about 9 inches. There are two scenes where you can really see the difference in height. The first is right before they fight. Kirk and Rock are standing next to one another. Rock looks massive. The other is the actual fight scene. It looks like Rock can crush Kirk with little trouble, by using his enormous size.
Mr Imposter said on 21/Oct/05
Burt Lancaster was a maximum of 6'1 at his peak. He clearly had about four inches over Douglas in "Gunfight at the OK Corral" - I reckon Kirk was 5'9 at his peak, just like his son.
McFan said on 21/Jul/05
He and Tom Jones were the same height in a 1972 special on TV. Tom Jones claims to be 5'10.5. He's so old he's had to have dropped 2-4 inches and really looks hunched over.
Mr A said on 16/Jul/05
In one of Kirk's books, he said he lost almost three inches in height due to the helicopter crash he was in some years ago. He looked the same height as Tony Curtis in The Vikings and Spartacus so he must be about 5'5-6" now.
sam said on 5/May/05
Yeah, you can see he's wearing blatant lifts in a bunch of films, particularly when he's with 6'2"ish guys like Lancaster and Johnny Cash. I don't think he stood more than 5'9" at his peak without lifts.
Mr. R said on 16/Mar/05
There are a lot of stories from Burt Lancaster making fun of Kirk's height. They did a lot of films together.
CelebHeights Editor said on 15/Mar/05
From Burt Lancaster (An American Life) "Burt Lancaster reportedly told a group of autograph-seekers to go ask his costar for an autograph - that is, if they could find him without his elevator shoes on...Douglas was weeping by the time the ribbing was over."

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.

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