How tall is Lionel Barrymore

Lionel Barrymore's Height

5ft 8 (172.7 cm)

American actor best remembered for roles in It's a Wonderful Life, A Free Soul, Grand Hotel, The Temptress, David Copperfield, Camille, Captains Courageous, You Can't Take It with You, Duel in the Sun, Key Largo and 1940's Dr Kildare films and Its a Wonderful Life. In 1954 NYTimes obit, he was described as 6ft.

Add a Comment29 comments

Average Guess (7 Votes)
5ft 8.29in (173.4cm)
Dennis Flynn said on 17/Sep/23
I am watching dinner at eight with John Barrymore and Lee Tracy Tracy is 5’9”. He’s at least 3 inches taller than John Barrymore, so 5’6 looks about right. And 5‘11“ Wallace Berry is a good 5 inches taller than Lionel Barrymore.
Dennis Flynn said on 17/Sep/23
I am watching dinner at eight with John Barrymore and Lee Tracy Tracy is 5’9”. He’s at least 3 inches taller than John Barrymore, so 5’6 looks about right.
Rich Paul said on 31/Jan/22
I watched an old movie where Lionel looked about an inch shorter than Alan Mowbray who’s listed as being 6 feet, but in reality was about 5-10. Mowbray wore huge lifts in The Man Who Knew Too Much and was two to three inches shorter than Cary Grant in Topper. I’d say in his prime, Lionel was 5-9, but severe arthritis took its toll and before he was confined to a wheelchair he had lost several inches in height.
MAX LINDER said on 17/Apr/19
anyonmious said on 1/Oct/17
Lional Barrymore is 5'6" maybe 5'7". Ethel Barrymore is 5'4" max. John Barrymore is maybe 5'6" max.
FM said on 25/Mar/17
Watching Arsane Lupin with him and his brother John. In one scene they describe Lionel as 6 feet, 190 lbs. He is visablly taller than his brother, John - whom you have listed at 5'9.75.

He had arthritis and was confound to a wheel chair. His height may have deterorioated as he aged. But I think he was close to 5'11". Especially if John is somewhere around 5'9".
gene powers said on 15/Jan/17
was 5'5"....see him standing next to norma shearer who was 5'1"
charlie said on 11/Apr/16
Lionel Barrymore was about 5 ft 7 inches his brother John was 5 ft 6 inches.
Steve said on 24/Dec/14
Here's another photo showing how short John Barrymore was.

Click Here

And this one shows how shore Lionel was.

Click Here

The Barrymores were towering actors so people tended to believe they were tall. That just wasn't the case.
Steve said on 23/Dec/14
John was no more than 5'7". He usually wore elevator shoes.

Click Here

And with Basil Rathbone, Leslie Howard and Reginald Denny, he's still the shortest actor.

Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 20/Dec/14
There's absolutely no way John Barrymore was only 5 ft 7. I was watching a scene in Counsellor's the other day and when he was stood in the doorway he looked way taller than one of the other guys in it and generally looked near 5 ft 10. 5'9" range is possible. At times though Lionel could look taller which is pretty bizarre. He had to have been a lift wearer at times!!
Arch Stanton said on 20/Dec/14
He must have worn lifts!!!
Steve said on 19/Dec/14
Lionel's peak height was 5'8". His brother John was 5''7".
Editor Rob said on 19/Dec/14
I think 5ft 11 is a bit far, check him here with Wallace Beery
Click Here
5ft 8 or 9 is more believable than anywhere near 6ft though
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
He does look 5'11 range next to John in Arsene Lupin!
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
Rob check out 58-59 minutes Click Here OK I'm stumped. Lionel does actually look taller than John and not far off 6 ft there!! He does walk funny though so might be in lifts. This really needs looking into I think, his height is all over the place!!
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
Look at his proportions on the right Click Here Generally I think 5 ft 9 might be nearer but his height could be all over the place at times. He does look as low as 5 ft 8 in the Disney photo. I don't think he was taller than John although he looks it in one of the photos. He had to have been a lift wearer.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
Possible he wore lifts on occasions. Looks nearer 5'9" a lot of the time, see Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 18/Dec/14
Rob can you add a photo and films like A Free Soul, Grand Hotel, The Temptress, David Copperfield, Camille, Captains Courageous, You Can't Take It with You, Duel in the Sun and Key Largo. Are you sure on this low Click Here
Sam said on 14/Oct/14
Was he really this short? I had no idea, not that I thought he was necessarily a tall guy at peak, before rhumatoid arthritis, but I've read the six foot listing around the net. I've seen him younger in some D.W. Griffith's shorts, I thought he looked medium-height, although I guess in 1910s-1920s, 5'7" was medium height!
Knowitall said on 7/Jul/13
Five eight in his prime when he could stand up straight. But by the early thirties he walked slightly bent over causing him to appear shorter. By 1937 he was in a wheelchair suffering from a combination of rheumatoid arthritis and a broken hip which never healed properly. Turns out Barrymore broke his hip twice.

There was a huge mystique over the Barrymores which added height to both John and Lionel. Of the two brothers, Lionel was the taller. John was no more than five seven. Both actor's studio publicity listed them as being six feet tall which was ridiculous. But then, much of Hollywood publicity was and still is filled with make believe.
Anonymous said on 30/Jun/06
did he ever wear lifts because he has a few inches on lon chaney snr in west of zanzibar, who was 5'9"
Frank2 said on 28/Apr/06
Turner Classic Movies is currently running a Lionel Barrymore festival of old films he did at MGM back when he could stand and walk. In them it's easy to see he was a short man. Just about every other male actor is taller including Lewis Stone who was no more than 5'10" and who I suspect was actually about 5'9" when young and 5'8" by the time he did the Andy Hardy films. Lionel is at least three inches shorter than Stone.
Anonymous said on 3/Apr/06
john looks tallest in that pic, but thats probably worth nothing as you cant see their feet or the ground
Frank2 said on 21/Mar/06
I've studied photos of Lionel and watched almost all of the early movies he was in when he was younger and could stand up and walk. He was no more than 5'7". John was about 5'6".
Anonymous said on 21/Mar/06
He might've shrunk when he got old or is it just because James Stewart was 6'3" and tall.
Frank2 said on 7/Mar/06
I just called my mom (she's 85 years-young!). She worked as an actress in radio with all the Barrymores and she told me that Lionel was short and so was John. Ethel was actually as tall or taller than both Lionel and John. According to my mom, Lionel was mostly in a wheelchair due to severe arthritis, but would sometimes stand up and by the time my mom worked with him which was in the early 1940's he was hardly any taller than she was in her three-inch heels. Back then my mom was 5'4". As far as John, if you take the time to look up photos of him with various other actors you'll see just how short he was. Check out this photo of John with Rudy Vallee and Orson Welles. Rudy was 5'10" and Welles was about 6'.

Editor Rob
no doubt the guy shrunk, I can't say just how tall he was in the early century...
Frank2 said on 7/Mar/06
Check out this photo and tell me he was six feet tall. And then take a look at this one: I suppose Ethel was also six feet tall!
Frank2 said on 7/Mar/06
ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!!!! Lionel was 5'7"! His brother John wasn't much taller than 5'6". Stop believing what's published on these worthless official sites.

Editor Rob
;-) I knew I would get you to jump all over that height! Did he not do a film with Bob Taylor who you say was 5ft 10, not near 6ft like his draft card?

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