How tall is Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball's Height

5ft 7in (170.2 cm)

American Actress best remembered for I Love Lucy, Room Service and Long, Long Trailor. In her autobiography she wrote: "I was very skinny, being my present height of five feet seven and a half but weighing less than a hundred pounds" In the movie "Easy to Wed" with Van Johnson and Esther Williams, she states "I'm five - seven". A Buffalo News article mentioned: "The FBI file contains a photocopy of the registration for Miss Lucille D. Ball, who gave her height as 5 feet, 6 1/2 inches".

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Average Guess (7 Votes)
5ft 7.79in (172.2cm)
Ian said on 1/Jul/17
That's correct richinkle.

Carol Burnett, another great comedienne, is often listed at 5 feet 6 inches. But in both her and Lucy's 1971 appearance on the Dick Cavett show, Lucy is easily taller. Lucie Arnaz is taller but not by a lot. Dick Cavett is pretty short (5'3" I believe), and Lucy easily towered over him.

The I Love Lucy crew even put in a taller cushion for Desi Arnaz after the early I Love Lucy episodes so it wouldn't look like Lucille was just as big as he was.

DeDe (Lucille's mother) was much shorter than her which makes me wonder how tall her father was, even though he died in the World War I era.

Interesting nonetheless.
richinkle said on 19/Jun/17
Ian, I agree with many of your observations, and could have written the first two or your paragraphs myself.

In Stage Door (1937) and Without Love (1945), Ball looks at least an inch taller than Hepburn Click Here . In "Dance, Girl, Dance", 1940, she looks to be 1/2" to an 1" taller than Maureen O'Hara Click Here She's got about 3" on Ginger Rogers, Diana Ross and Dinah Shore, as you can see in these clips: Click Here Click Here (around 45:00 and 50:00)

Ian said on 7/Jun/17
I have watched every I Love Lucy episode, seen a fair number of The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy episodes, watched guest appearances of Lucy on various TV shows and saw most of her early movies.

There seems to be a debate on how tall Lucy actually was. Lucie Arnaz confirmed her height of 5 feet 7 and a half inches on her website (old version) and she said she was that height in her autobiography when she was around 15 - 16 years old.

Though I've looked around on the internet and according to one source from the 1940s, it claimed Lucy was 5 feet 6 inches. This was also listed in the movie Lured and a FBI profile on her also states the same height. This couldn't be the case because Lucille Ball was consistently taller than Vivian Vance (who is 5 feet 6 inches) all throughout I Love Lucy. In some episodes I watched, Ethel was wearing heels and Lucy was still just as tall if not taller, in only flats. The episode with Van Johnson when they were both practicing reveals how tall Lucy truly was, even though Van was easily taller, he didn't quite tower over her as he probably would of with smaller actresses of that time period.

Lucy mentioned being 5 feet 7 inches tall in Easy to Wed. But her daughter Lucie Arnaz was taller, nearly 5 feet 9 inches tall (5 feet 8 3/4 inches according to her on the Dick Cavett show) and it's definitely noticeable when you go back and watch Here's Lucy. Lucy may of even been close to 5 feet 8 inches tall, because normally you round up to the nearest decimal (.5 - .9 becomes 1.0). Definitely taller than Ginger Rogers in Stage Door, may of been as tall if not taller than Katherine Hepburn although I don't know her height. In various shots with Maureen O'Hara Lucy looks to be the same height, including a photograph of them together in Washington D.C.

Lucy was definitely tall for the time period. There were a couple actresses like Ingrid Bergman who were indeed taller, but 5 feet 7 and a half inches wasn't too common especially considering that people in the early - mid 20th century were typically smaller. Nowadays I find it fairly common to see woman at that height and a little taller, so it isn't a big deal anymore. Lucy was definitely a fantastic actress and one of the best comediennes of all time, if not the best.
FactChecker101-Z said on 9/May/17
Lucille Ball's daughter, at 19 years old, stood 6'3" [tall: excellent posture; donning low-soled '70s boots]; doubt it; then watch on eg, the trio-interview on the Dick Cavett Show, featuring, in order of their on stage "meet and greet" appearances: (1) Dick Cavett (approx. 5' 5 3/4", though sometimes claiming to be 5' 6 1/4"; (2) Lucie Arnaz 6' 3" [she candidly states her height: watch/listen to her dialogue with Cavett]; next up: (3) Carol Burnett, dons low heels; while Lucie, "self-conscious" as to her own height, and in accord with 60s'/70s' prevailing decorum (ladies remain seated when other ladies enter a room) does not rise up from her seat to greet her .... yet Burnett stands for several moments alongside Cavett, and it becomes clear that Burnett stands 5'7 1/2" to 5'8 1/2" [later on you see her ankles and shoes, as she crosses her legs, seated]; still later on, Lucy (Ball) makes a sweeping sort'a grand entrance, graciously decked out in some sort of multi-layered, formal evening outfit [mostly greens: geometric pattern, early 70s look c. 1971 interview date] .... significantly towering over Cavett, clearly 4" 1/4" to 5 1/2" taller than Burnett .... then takes her seat in a chair, to Cavett's left, with her own left flank (side) view on-camera ... head to toe ... revealing her (Ball) to be wearing .... flat-soled ballarina-style slip-on shoes .... a former NYC high-fashion model, Ball had been celebrated in that realm for her tall-tall slender body's terrific proportions and beautiful hands, and her assorted "ever-morphing looks"; over those years as fashion-model, her assorted looks ran from short-hair-bobs to long-flowing wavy or curled manes, marked by several all-out hair-color changes, only, marred sometimes by odd "too tweaked-(re)shaped-eyebrows".

Suffice it say, adduced from review of her modeling days' pictures posted online .... that her assorted "ever changing eyebrows" ran the gauntlet from 1920s Clara Bow to "tadpole" early 40s; from to little make-up to "toxic-overpainted features"; what remained (?) ..... a constant as to her appearance: Ball stood a towering 5' 11 1/4" tall, nearly a full 2 1/4" inches over the then ultra-ideal female model's height of 5" 9", but to her "vibrant colors advantage" ... whether at any one period running around as a "platinum blonde, medium-brunette or redhead", her fair complexion and light-turquoise-blue (slight green aspect) eyes and terrifically long-neckline helped Lucy project assorted "elegant looks".

While her daughter's height reached into the next-level, Amazonian realm, Luci's lack of her mother's (Ball's) natural fine-boned slenderness did not present itself (in Luci) .... a much more robust "solid" sort of body type .... with giant-sized height (for a gal).
richinkle said on 22/Mar/17
Lucille Ball appears to be nearly 2" taller than 5'-6"+ Carol Burnett in this mid'60's episode of the Lucy Show. She may have a little heal advantage here. I believe Ball in her prime was at least 1" taller than Burnett.
Click Here
Sarah said on 16/Mar/17
Looks to be close to 5'7" in my opinion. Maybe closer to 5'6"
Later in life.
richinkle said on 18/Nov/15
In this photograph, and there are several online just like it, it is clear that Lucille Ball was at least 5'-7".
Click Here

If Andy Griffith was 6'-0", and if Danny Thomas was even close to 5'-10 (IMDB says 5'-11"), and if Jack Benny was at least 5'-7" (IMDB says 5'-8") then Lucille Ball was easily 5'-7"+. In heels that are under 3", standing very straight up, she appears to be over 5'-10".
richinkle said on 18/Nov/15
In this photograph, and there are several online just like it, it is clear that Lucille Ball was at least 5'-7".
Click Here

If Andy Griffith was 6'-0", and if Danny Thomas was even close to 5'-10 (IMDB says 5'-11"), and if Jack Benny was at least 5'-7" (IMDB says 5'-8") then Lucille Ball was easily 5'-7"+. In heels that are under 3", standing very straight up, she appears to be over 5'-10".
richinkle said on 18/Nov/15
In this picture, ifI Loretta Young (next to Lucille Ball) was 5'-6", and Marlene Deitrich was 5'-5",then Lucille Ball was easily over 5'-7".

Click Here
richinkle said on 4/Aug/15
While we are discrediting that police ID…..Lucille Ball at 36 weighed well over 114 lbs!
richinkle said on 4/Aug/15
What police ID lies? A police ID that was a hastily produced prop for a movie.
That said, Lucille Ball played a very cool, intrepid and level headed detective in this Film Noir murder mystery. And throughout the movie, she looks well over 5'-6".
Babalu for a week said on 1/Aug/15
In the 1947 movie "LURED" at 1h:10m:19s her police ID states Height: 5' 6'' Weight: 8 stone 2 lbs. sic[114lb] Color of eyes: Blue Color of Hair: Red.
She was a HOT 36yo at the time! I'm watching the movie now, saw the ID, and went to this site. What police ID lies?
richinkle said on 15/Apr/15
In this link with Van Johnson (weak 6'-1"), Ball dances with Johnson in 1/4" flats, and looks about 6"shorter, and then dances with him in 3+" heels, and he only looks no more than 3" taller.

Click Here

Ball was clearly 5'-7"+
Phil said on 14/Oct/14
Yeah, I think Lucy needs an upgrade, at. least 5'7".
richinkle said on 2/May/14
If you ever thought Lucille Ball was anything less than 5'-7", watch this rare bit of video from 1962, which shows a glamoured up Lucy in 2 1/2" to 3" heels next to Danny Thomas, Andy Griffith, Jack Benny and Gary Moore.

She towers over Gary Moore, is 2" taller than Jack Benny, about the same height as Danny Thomas and less than 2" shorter than Andy Griffith, who is listed at 6'-0".
NXR said on 14/Nov/13
Probably in the 5'7" range in her prime.
Hazel said on 27/Sep/13

Lucille is about 5'7. She was accused by the American government cuz they thought she was in support of communism but she wasn't so her 5'7 claim is right for her and she could have been a weak 5'7.
Tutie said on 22/Aug/13
How tall was Lucille Ball
eglė said on 14/Jul/13
she must have been 5ft 7.5 because people loose some inches in older age
richinkle said on 19/Nov/11
65 year old Lucille Ball starred with 39 year old Shirley MacLaine in a 1976 tv special, and stands at least an inch taller when the two are dancing side by side, in equal heels.
Click Here

Ball often leaned on one foot when standing, taking an inch or two off her height. But when she danced she usually stood straight and tall, which is when you notice most clearly her height advantage.

Ball retained her 5'-7"+ height throughout her life. That said, I don't believe MacLaine ever topped 5'-6 1/2". MacLaine is probably under 5'-6" today.
richinkle said on 24/Aug/11
I have some stills from that episode.....indeed Lucy comes up just above his chin. With about a 1" shoe advantage, she is no more than 9" shorter than Clint Walker.

If he's 6'-6", that puts Lucy close to 5'-8". I believe Lucy's peak height is around 5'-7 1/2", as she stated in her autobiography, which was published posthumously.
Dee_Ann said on 24/Aug/11
Right now I am watching Episode #24 of Season 4, "Lucy and Clint Walker".
The giantly scrumptious Clint Walker who is known to be 6' 6" tall is standing next to Lucy a lot in this episode. Once I am finished recording it I will grab a few choice stills to share. Lucy, in heels (I assume to be about 2"), appears to come up to Mr. Walker's chin. Her hair is teased up but it's pretty easy to picture where the top of her head really is.

As to the previous episode with her in front of the police line up, I didn't think about the camera angle, that's a good point. I also wonder if they actually pasted it up correctly or just "slapped it up" with no regards to it being accurate or not.
richinkle said on 17/Aug/11
Thank you, Dee_Ann for those great stills! I think the angle provides a little distortion which makes the women look a little bit taller relative to the height chart beyond.

I think Ball, who was about 5'-7.5", appears closer to 5'-9.5" against this height chart, which leads me to believe that either the chart is about 2" short, or at least the angle is producing a result that looks about 2" short.
Dee_Ann said on 14/Aug/11
I was wondering this myself (how tall is she?) and today I was watching The Lucy Show on Me TV and they showed Season 5, Episode 19 "Lucy Meets the Law".
Lucy was "pinched" by the police and put in a police line up.
Now the question is, were the marks on the wall accurate? Were they lowered for vanity sake? (Some of us wish we were taller) Or did someone just paste them up any old way, "Looks good to me!" ??

I took a few screen captures of it. The woman on Lucy's right looks pretty tall, I could see her being 6' or so.

I don't know. You be the judge..

Click Here
richinkle said on 12/Jul/11
Below is a link to a scene with Lucille Ball and Maureen O'Hara in Dance Girl Dance. A terrific, darkly funny scene with a feminist twist. Lucille Ball, wearing 2 1/2" heels, stands several inches taller than most of the other women in bare feet, and about 3" taller than O'Hara, also barefoot.

Click Here
richinkle said on 11/Jul/11
Sam, I completely agree with you. Lucille Ball, looking about as gorgeous as any actress ever, stands slightly taller than Maureen O'Hara in "Dance, Girl, Dance" (1940), who is reported on this site to be 5'-8".

And then, in both "Stage Door" and "Without Love", Ball looks at least an inch taller than Katharine Hepburn, who is shown at 5'-7 1/2".

Ball was probably about 5'-7 1/2" at her peak, not the 5'- 6 1/2" reported here. She wrote that her height was 5'-7 1/2" in her autobiography, which was confirmed by her daughter Lucie Arnaz in her "Ask Lucie" online column.
Sam said on 7/Jul/11
Its strange because she looks taller than actresses who are reportedly taller than her according to this site. Compared her to Katharine Hepburn in Stage Door and Maureen O'Hara in Dance, Girl, Dance
richinkle said on 1/Feb/11
Very interesting....I'd love to know which episode, and which role was played by your grandmother!

Regarding Ann Miller, we watched her get taller, and then watched her get shorter.... in "Stage Door", a great 1937 movie, which if you haven't seen, you absolutely must. In it, Ann Miller looks like she couldn't be more than 5'6", and is about the same height in high heels as Lucille Ball in flat shoes. But, then again, she was only about 14 years old, and probably hadn't finished growing.

Then, in "Too Many Girls", 1940, she had clearly grown at least an inch, if not more. She stood about the same height as Lucille Ball, or a little over 5'-7".

The last time I saw Ann Miller was in "Mulholland Drive", 1999, in which it looks like she was no taller than 5'4.
123456789 said on 30/Jan/11
my grandma was in an episode (cameo) of I love lucy she is about 5'4 and Lucille ball towered her. So i think she must of been around 5'8.
Shadow2 said on 18/Jan/11
Lucy looked tall alongside MGM co-stars 6'2" Red Skelton and 6'1" Van Johnson, so had to be close to 5'7.5" in her 30's. As we've discussed, she still seemed 5'7" in her early 60's on "Here's Lucy". Anne Miller is an interesting case, she could have easily been 5'8" earlier in her career, but unlike Lucy, lost height later on.
Shadow2 said on 2/Jan/11
richinkle, if Lucy was min 5'7" in 1950 (aged 39), with 3" heels, she would have been 5'10" in the "Fuller Brush Girl". If Eddie Albert was an inch taller, he would have been 5'11" (aged 44), which sounds right for the following reasoning.
Eddie did "Switch" in 1975 to 1978 (aged 69 to 72) with 5'11.5" Robert Wagner (who I've met and can therefore verify his height) and he was only marginally shorter than Wagner at the time, i.e. still a min. 5'10.5".
More proof by deduction that Lucy was TALL back in that era.
Shadow2 said on 25/Dec/10
richinkle, I think you are right about Stevens' height. One of my favorite Lucy movies is 1950's "Fuller Brush Girl", which is a comedy with a film noir twist. Lucy seems tall alongside co-star Eddie Albert, who would have been close to 5'11" at the time. Imagine, "Oliver Douglas" and "Lucy Carmichael/Carter" as a couple solving a murder mystery!
Shadow2 said on 12/Dec/10
Sorry, that last post ("Anonymous") was mine.
Anonymous said on 12/Dec/10
richinkle, it was remiss of me not to mention Lucy's important role in the go-ahead of "Star Trek" while she was running Desilu. With "Mission Impossible", Lucy herself said she did not fully understand the premise, but supported the talented people behind it.
I've never seen the movie "Lured", yet another film classic locked away from cable and DVD availability. George Sanders was a minimum 6'3", maybe 6'3.5", and I notice 6'6" Alan Napier is also listed in the cast as a detective. If Lucy still looks tall around these big men, it may well prove that she was then 5'7.5" at 36 years old.
Shadow2 said on 8/Dec/10
Lucy always looked tall for a woman without being imposing, whether with 5'8" Esther Williams at MGM in the 1940's, or with 5'9.5" Bea Arthur in "Mame". As CEO of Desilu in the mid 1960's, she gave the go-ahead to long running classic series "Mission Impossible" and "Mannix". She was the first woman studio head in Hollywood, quite an achievement. richinkle, Lucy would be very proud of your ongoing support for her career as a performer, executive, and much loved star.
Shadow2 said on 4/Dec/10
I've just seen a 1973 episode of "Here's Lucy", and agree Lucy was still close to 5'7" at 62 years of age. She's wearing very flat heeled shoes in several scenes with 6'3" Dick Sargent (No2 Darrin in "Bewitched"), 6' Al Lewis (6'1" earlier in his career), 5'10" Mary Wickes, 5'9" Gary Crosby, and 5'9" (plus heels) daughter Lucie Arnaz. With so many people of known height all around her, Lucy seems a tall woman for her age, with no heel advantage to assist her. She was a great star!
CC-Tron said on 3/May/07
Sounds good to me.
richinkle said on 2/May/07
The link where Lucie Arnaz notes that her mother was 5'-7 1/2 is Click Here
This should be the last and best word on the subject.
richinkle said on 24/Jan/07
I'd love to see that short film, but it's kinda flimsy evidence for you height speculation. I've seen most of her tv and film work, and seen her next to dozens of tv and film stars with better-known heights, and she is clearly in excess of 5'-7".
CC-Tron said on 24/Jan/07
She seemed 4 inches taller than the Larry of the Three Stooges in the one short she did with them. Larry's was no taller than 5'3. However she was wearing heels also. I don't think she was any taller than 5'6 barefoot.
richinkle said on 22/Jan/07
In the 1960's, in her autobiography, Lucille Ball stated her height as 5'-7.5". Her daughter, Lucie Arnaz, in an "Ask Lucie" website, lists her mother's height as 5'-7.5". Click Here
I would not give more credibility to a 1930's Communist Party voter registration form that lists her height as 5'-6 1/2". The form has her name spelled wrong -"Lucile" - indicating that she did not even fill out the form herself. She also testified that she never voted Communist, and only registered as a Communist to please her Grandfather, who was a devout Socialist and champion of workers.
Like many tall women, especially an aspiring actress in the 1930's when being over 5'-7" was a distinct disadvantage, Lucy likely underreported her height. The tv and movie images of Lucille Ball clearly show a woman over 5'-7", who, if anything, tried to look shorter. You must revise your listing back up.
richinkle said on 13/Jul/06
I agree with you Walter completely. Not just about Lucille Ball's height, but also about Lucie Arnaz, whose height was indicated to be between 5'-9" and 5'-10" in a "Here's Lucy" episode with Donny Osmond. She's also a very talented, generous and big-hearted woman. She responds to her fans queries on her "Ask Lucie" website with extremely gracious, thorough and thoughtful answers. She also looks amazing for a woman pushing 55!
Walter said on 24/Jun/06
Lucie Arnaz height is between 5' 9" and 5' 9.5" .By no means she is shorter than 1,75 cm at all.Can you explain me what do we watch in the so many Here's Lucy episodes ????? They are partenered together, mother and daughter and Lucy is only one inche or one inche and a half shorther than her daughter.
Another thing.Why Lucie Arnaz states in her site that her mother height was 5' 7.5 " ????? With what intention Miss Arnaz would tell a lie about her mother height ? Lucie Arnaz is a very opened and hearty woman, she answers every questions her fans and her mother's fans make to her.What about the Lucy photos taken with Carol Burnett in 1966 and with Shirley MacLaine in 1976 ? Burnett and MacLaine height is 5' 7" and Lucy seems exactly like them with the difference she was more than 20 years older than Burnett and MacLaine.
Waiting for your asnwer.
Thank you
Frank2 said on 2/Jun/06
You said it right there with: "I have to see things with my own eyes" Join the club. I've never believed what I've read or been told regarding heights of celebs since almost always when I would see these famous people in the flesh they'd never be the height I expected. Sometimes they really surprised me and were a lot taller. Other times they were shorter and a few times a lot shorter. Few were ever what their publicity claimed them to be. So I can understand your reluctance to accept what I've observed personal and up close.
richinkle said on 1/Jun/06
But it's not good enough for me. It's just one ingredient, but not the last word. I have to see things with my own eyes - and I've seen just about every movie and tv appearance of Lucille Ball, and have reached my own conclusion that's she's at least 5'-7" to 5'-7 1/2" (I used to think she was 5'-8", which I read in an article back in the early '70's, but have down-graded that.)
I think your celebrity encounters are fascinating, though, and don't mean to disparage them or you. We'll just have to agree to disagree - it's not the end of the world. I will still enjoy reading your accounts and stories of Hollywood - thank you for them. And I'm glad you're a fan of Lucy's work as well. It shows you have excellent taste :-)
Incidently, I forgot to mention that the photos below with Hepburn, Rogers and Arden are from the movie "Stage Door", 1937. An amazing movie available in many video stores and online. One of Lucy's and Eve Arden's first important speaking roles. And, the dialog is extremely clever, witty, snappy and contemporary. It shows how bold films were before the censorship rules began to tame films after WWII. Frank could probably tell you a lot more about that.
Frank2 said on 1/Jun/06
Nonsense. She never leaned. I've seen just about all her films. I saw her in person many times and stood right next to her. She was 5'6" just as it's stated in one of her bios. Her mother and my grandmother would good friends and both were members of The Motion Picture Mother's Club, a group of women who were mothers to celebs. My recollections are clear to me. And that's good enough for me.
Frank2 said on 19/May/06
I never saw Hope wearing lifts and I saw him many times over the years. He did tend to stand on boxes when being photographed with tall people as a photo showed that I posted of him with Joe DiMaggio. But he never wore lifts on his TV shows going right up till he retired. Benny didn't seem to wear lifts either. At least not during his later years. He did wear them during his brief movie career.

As for Lucy trying to purposely look short, that's utter nonsense. The woman had excellent posture and stood erect most of the time. I was at a party at the Motion Picture Country Home and stood right next to her when she was wearing flats. She was short enough that I could easily look over the top of her head and she was standing erect and not slumped. Lucy was 5'6". I had a good five inches on her. If she had been 5'7.5" or even 5'7" that wouldn't have been possible.

As for Lucy being a tyrant, well, she knew what she wanted and usually got it. If that pissed off directors then so be it. She was one of the funniest comedians ever. So I'm sure her tenacity proved useful. You have to be strong in this business or you get steamrolled.
Frank2 said on 11/May/06
None of whatever you show me explains just one fact. I met her. I even knew her to some extent since my grandmother was good friends with her mother and Lucy was 5'6". That or I've been kidding myself all along and I've been six feet tall. I keep running into people who claim they're 5'11" who are much shorter than me and when I tell them I'm only 5'11" they usually balk saying that can't be true, that I have to be taller. Well, I just measured myself and I got 5'11" so I suspect most folks are just plain full of it when it comes to their height. Lucille Ball at 5'6" was relatively tall. Most actresses back then were under 5'4". Many were just over 5' tall. When Lucy wore high heels she was around 5'9" which is why she towered over many people. That's why Desi wore lifts. He was only 5'9".

Look. I'm finished with this thread. I've said and posted far too much already. I know what I know and that's good enough for me. You go with what you wish to believe. After all, showbiz is mostly make believe anyway.
richinkle said on 10/May/06
The images to the right are of Lucille Ball and Eddie Albert. I intended to note that in the movie "Fuller Brush Girl", 1950, Lucille Ball in heels stood about 1" to 1 1/2" shorter than 5'-11" (according to Frank) Eddie Albert in shoes. Therefore, in heels, Lucille Ball was about 5'-10 1/2", or 5'-7 1/2" in stocking feet. (I probably pressed the "clear form" button by mistake.)
Frank2 said on 10/May/06
I fail to see what the photos prove. The far left shot is obviously tilted making both Desi and Lucy look taller. On the two right photos, Lucy doesn't look that much taller than Eddie Canter. I take it that's Canter. And in those two blurred photos, Lucy is wearing heels.
Frank2 said on 10/May/06
I think you're just as obsessive in pushing that Lucy was at least 5'7". I met her many times and unless I'm taller than I think I am, she was at least five inches shorter than me when she was wearing flat shoes. With heels she was still at least three inches shorter. One problem as I see it is that when I'm measured I stand somewhat relaxed and don't strain to gain as much height whereas most people do exactly the opposite which is to make themselves as tall as possible. I suppose If I did that I could claim I'm 6'. But that's not the way a doctor is supposed to accurately measure someone. But in reality I just think most folks lie about how tall they are. This is especially true with celebs, male as well as female.
richinkle said on 9/May/06
Frank, I'm just using your own observations as a reference. According to you, by 1960, Bob Hope and your father both stood about exactly the same height - 5'-9 1/2". I would've thought Hope was about 5'-10", but you have pictures with him and your father, and I'll take your word for it.

As for your obsessive insistence that Lucille Ball was only 5'-6", despite all MY evidence that she was at least 5'-7".....
* No 3" difference in that pic with Lucy and Desi. 2" max, and she's wearing slippers, he's wearing shoes. I've seen WAY too many images of Lucy and Desi side by side where you can see their feet to convince me that they are less than 2" apart in height.
* Lucy looks no more than 5" shorter than Richard Denning, but it's a strange angle, so can't really tell.
* The Cyd Charrisse shot with Lucy, Gene Kelly and company is fascinating. Doesn't show shoes (and by your own account, Cyd Charrisse wore very high heels) or posture. There appears to be some leaning. I can only conclude that they are CLOSE in height.
* The Eddie Cantor picture is bizarre. The image is so small, and she's holding her head back so far you can barely tell it's her (I had to read the caption to find out which one was Lucy). I am enclosing a much clearer image of Lucy and Eddie Cantor where, likely in heels, she hovers about 3 1/2" to 4" above him. I hope Rob will kindly display it :-) Now explain that one. I can hardly wait. ;-)
Frank2 said on 9/May/06
Nope. The photo taken of my dad with Hope on his thread was shot circa 1950 when Hope was 5'10". My father directed Hope in those commercials more than ten years later. By 1960 Hope was no taller than 5'9". You admitted you saw a three inch difference in the shot of Ball and Hope dressed as Santa shot around 1960 so she was 5'6".
richinkle said on 9/May/06
The incredible shrinking Hope. Frank, you indicated he was 5'-10" in the picture taken just 5 years earlier. Five years later, you think he's "no more than 5'-9". In the Hope forum, you say "My father even directed Hope in some TV commercials he did to promote some vitamins. That was around 1960. At the time they shot it at a neighbor's home. My father was about 5'9 1/2" so you can see that when the photo was taken which was about 1950, Hope was a little taller. But I have other photos where they appear to be the exact, same height...". So, according to you, Hope was about 5'-9 1/2" in 1960. Ball was about 2 1/2" shorter, or about 5'-7". I still believe at her peak she was closer to 5'-7 1/2". In her films and tv shows, she often towers over her female a more-than-5'-6" way. She's at least an inch taller than Ann Miller, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Burnett, and Vivian Vance, all of whom claim to be 5'-7".
richinkle said on 8/May/06
That anonymous quote was mine....sorry for the confusion.
Frank2 said on 8/May/06
By the time of the photo with Hope he was no more than 5'9" so if she was as you admit about three inches shorter then she was 5'6". I saw Hope over the years almost once a year and could see how he shrank. My dad directed him in a TV commercial and by then Hope was slightly shorter than my just under 5'10" father. Somewhere I have a photo of them taken at that time which was around 1961. In earlier photos, Hope was slightly taller. By the late 1960's Hope had lost at least a couple of inches. There's a shot of Hope and Ball taken in the late 1970's where Ball almost is his height. But no matter what photos I publish on this website there will be people who will disregard them and go with what they believe to be true.
Anonymous said on 8/May/06
Congratulations, Frank. That Santa Claus photo is a great image, and is actually very helpful in determining relative height. It was probably around 1960 (when "Facts of Life" was being promoted). It shows feet, shows stance. Ball is leaning slightly, and Hope is standing perfectly erect. By my reckoning, Hope is about 3" taller. If you account for Lucy's leaning, he's about 2 1/2" taller. Hope = 5'-9 1/2" to 5'-10", Lucy 5'-7" to 5'-7 1/2". The other two images are interesting, and I love looking at them, but don't really add to the height debate. In the more recent one, you can't even tell if Lucy is standing.
I saw Lucille Ball in Feb, 1988. She was standing straight, and walking without difficulty, and looking lean, tall and elegant. In May of that year, she had a stroke and was partially paralyzed. That's probably when you saw her. Probably not standing very straight, by the sound of it. Hard to base a height estimate under those circumstances. However, she did present at the Academy Awards in March, 1989 with Bob Hope. She had recovered her walking skills somewhat, and was wearing a long gown with a long slit to show off her still-shapely legs. She was also taller than Hope in her heels. I have an image somewhere that I'll send to Rob.
PS - the Teddy Bear is not wearing lifts, but he is being lifted ;-)
Frank2 said on 8/May/06
And when I saw her late in her life she wasn't 5'7". More like 5'5". She was walking in slow steps and was being helped along by her husband Gary Morton who she was holding onto or otherwise she'd had most likely fallen. That was only a year or so before she died.
richinkle said on 7/May/06
That is a carefully staged still from a scene in which Lucy was playing a boy selling "red hots" at a baseball game. She is posed to look much shorter. If she had been standing straight, on the same level as Bob Hope, she would have been much taller. Frank's in the business, and he knows this. He knows that crates are carefully used to stage images as well. It's a convenient fact that he uses to make his point, but forgets when it doesn't suit his argument. The only certifiable evidence are images that show feet and heels. Not staged stills, not "a biography I read", and not someone's 40 year old recollections. If Lucille Ball is 5'-6", then Katharine Hepburn, Carole Burnett, Vivian Vance, Maureen O'Hara and Ann Miller were no taller than 5'-5". Watch the movies for yourself, don't go by questionable recollections and cherry-picked images.
And, by the way, I saw Lucille Ball in person too. It was right before she died. I was a grad student at Harvard and she was named the "Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year". I waited at the back door for her to emerge along with a small crowd of about 10 people. She stood right next to me for about 20 seconds while people around me told her how much they loved her. She appeared to be about 5'-6 1/2" to 5'-7". She was also 76 years old and had probably shrunk about a inch. I was actually surprised by how tall she looked. But, to be honest, while I believe myself a good judge of height, I don't think my observation is proof of anything, since it's easy to be off by an inch or so in these matters.
Frank2 said on 5/May/06
Turner Classic Movies ran two Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz films tonight. The Long, Long Trailer and Forever Darling. In both films Desi wore huge lifts. In Forever Darling, Lucy was at least four inches shorter than 5'11" James Mason. In those scenes she was wearing at least three inch high heels. When Desi was in a full shot with Mason he was about two inches shorter and that's with his lifts. So this proves to me that Desi was no more than 5'9" and Lucy was no more than 5'6". Forget that I saw them both in person. Just go by their films.

[Editor Rob: actually I've seen 5ft 6 listing for her in the past. Maybe they were right!]
richinkle said on 1/Apr/06
ps..Burnett was in her 30's, and Lucy around 60 years old at the time of this photo.
richinkle said on 1/Apr/06
Here's a photo of Lucy looking over an inch taller than Carole Burnett, who was 5'-6" to 5'-7" in her prime. Click Here
richinkle said on 28/Mar/06
Here is a photo showing 64 year old Lucille Ball looking every bit as tall as 41 year old Shirley MacLaine, who is estimated by Frank2 to be 5'-7" in her prime.
richinkle said on 19/Mar/06
Lucille Ball was originally a brunette.
Matheson, who was 19 in the summer of 1967 when Yours, Mine and Ours was filmed, appeared to be the same height as Fonda, at 6'-1". (Matheson ended up marrying his costar in the movie, Jennifer Leak, who played Lucy's daughter Colleen, his step-sister in the movie. They divorced after 3 years.)
But, even in 3/8" house shoes, Lucy never looks more than 6" shorter than Fonda or Matheson in 1" shoes or sneakers. Perhaps we need an independent arbitrator to estimate the difference in height. Someone care to watch the movie and give their estimation of the height difference? It's an excellent flick.
Frank2 said on 19/Mar/06
The scene where she's given too much to drink is still hilarious. Did you notice that a still teenage Tim Matheson was already as tall or taller than Henry Fonda?

I noticed that in close up's, Lucy looks taller than in the long shots. In the widest shots such as when she's standing next to Fonda and especially Matheson and Van Johnson she looks to be at least 7 inches shorter.

You still haven't answered why with his lifts on that Desi was the same height as 5'10" Richard Widmark. If he was even 5'10" he'd have looked taller. No, I'm sticking with 5'9" max and no more. No way was he any taller. If anything he could have even been shorter. Those lifts looked like they boosted him by at least two and a half inches. Watch him in Bataan and see how short he is next to 5'10" Robert Taylor. In that film he doesn't even look like he's 5'9". And in that film he doesn't appear to be wearing lifts.
richinkle said on 18/Mar/06
Frank, I love that you were watching Yours, Mine and Ours. I think it's one of Lucy's best - if not her absolute best - movie. It was filmed in 1967, around the time of Lucy's 56th birthday). I've just popped in my copy. My perceptions are very slightly different from yours, which underscores the tricky "science" of height estimation.

It's especially tricky in this movie because Lucy's hair is so big - you don't know what's head and what's just hair. (I'm not sure if she wore a wig in this film - she did on most episodes of her later shows to hide the surgical tape she used to smooth out her lines. Because her skin bruised very easily, she never had cosmetic surgery, according to her biographies.) I just assume her eyes are in the center of her head, and estimate accordingly.

In the scenes where she wears her highest heels (2 1/2" - 3") she comes to just above Henry Fonda's eye brow - which at least on my head is about 4" from the top, and I'm similar height and proportions to Fonda. Assuming Fonda is 6'-1", plus 1" for shoes, that puts Lucy somewhere between 5'-7 and 5'-7 1/2", about right for her at that age. Those scenes include their first date, her first visit to meet his family and the wedding. Even in the scenes where she is wearing 3/8" (+/-) house slippers, she comes up to about his nose, which on my head is about 6" from the top. Those scenes include their first night in their new (old) house and Christmas morning). In the long shot scenes, where her shoes are between 1 1/2" to 2" heels, she consistently comes up to his eye level - within 5" of the top of Fonda's 6'-1" + 1" shoes head. (I think you're subtracting too much for her hair).

Frank, please don't take it personally that I am skeptical of your 30 or 40 year old estimates of Lucy's or Desi's or anyone else's exact height. I am seeing the same things as you, and reaching a different conclusion. But, I don't know how you can walk away from that movie, knowing the heights of Fonda and Van Johnson, and observing her clearly tall stature, thinking Lucille Ball is at all under 5'-7".
Frank2 said on 17/Mar/06
I had an aunt who looked like Harpo Marx. But unlike Harpo, my aunt never stopped talking!
larry said on 17/Mar/06
I have an Aunt that looked a lot like Lucille Ball! In fact I thought she WAS Lucy when I was about 5! :-) Don't know about the actual height of either her OR Desi, but I did do army induction physicals in San Antonio, Texas during the Vietnam "ho-down" (as I've boringly mentioned before). The height that went down on the IPEF (inductee physical examination form) was the height you were measured at (in this case, for several months - by yours truly). We kept meticulous records, because that's what the US army does: EVERYTHING gets recorded. A couple of (relatively) big time athletes passed through our cheerful halls at Fort Sam Houston while I was there and one 5'10" baseball player THOUGHT he was 6 foot (even, as he put it). But my sergeant always said; "ACCURATE PRIVATE! YOU WRITE DOWN WHAT THE DAMN STADIOMETER SAYS, YOU DUMB JACKASS!" So, 5'10" went on the form. I'm not sure how a guy in his privys would bribe you, but I knew about the penalty for upsetting Sergeant Williamson! :-) Could a military examination be fudged? Theoretically, but quite a few "grunts" would know and "We Grunts" loved to talk! Elvis Pressley was evidently measured at 6'0.5" (not the 6'2" he was stated to have been) and 6'0.5" was what went in his record (at least according to several folks on this site).
These PARTICULAR cases I don't know about, but I never heard of the US army taking anyone's word for anything. Are mistakes possible? Of course, but always up and by as much as 2-3"? Maybe, but not on my watch. I can see being off by a cm, but after a couple of months of measuring guys, I could accurately judge standing height to within +/- 1 cm.
Now, having watched the I LOVE LUCY show many times, Lucy always looked about 5'7-7.5" to me and Desi seemed to be about 5'9-9.5". But then I don't recall them showing footware. Wasn't William Frawley shorter than Lucy? Comparing them with famous co-stars, that seems about right. Gee: Lucy was 6'!? :-) Then my fibbing daughter is ACTUALLY 6'4.5 - 6'5"! Funny, when I've been in LA the folks there didn't LOOK shorter than the ones in Austin, Texas. In fact, on average, they seemed a bit taller. Is everyone in LA wearing elevator shoes!? How sneaky is that? (just pulling your legs, folks).
Frank said on 17/Mar/06
I'm watching Lucy with 6'1" Henry Fonda in Yours Mine and Ours and Lucy standing next to Fonda in long shots while wearing nurses shoes with approx. two inch heels looks to be about seven inches shorter. She barely comes up to Fonda's nose if you subtract all her hair. When she's wearing heels and they place her in close up's she's about five inches shorter. She comes up to his eye level. Next to 6'2" Van Johnson she really looks short.
Frank2 said on 16/Mar/06
So when I say I saw her and Desi in the flesh on several occasions it means nothing? Hmmmmmmm......Maybe I should just give up. Hell! I lied all along. Lucy was an Amazon! About six feet tall barefoot! Desi was 6'3" and Bill Frawley was 5'10". Oh, and Billy Barty...he wasn't a little person. Barty was actually 5'8". Here's a photo to prove it: Click Here And remember little Topo Gigo who appeared with Senõr Wencez on the Ed Sullivan Show? Well, Topo was actually a giant of a mouse! Didn't you notice he was taller than Ed Sullivan?
richinkle said on 16/Mar/06
Frank, the pictures you've submitted don't show any shoes, feet or context. I have many of the episodes and film footage from which your stills were taken. Lucy is much taller than she looks in the publicity stills. I have tried to take pictures of them on my television, showing the position of the feet and footware. Unfortunately, Rob was nice enough to post them, but the quality is grainy, and most of my collection is not on dvd (where the quality of the stills is somewhat better). But, Frank, you've been in the business long enough to know that publicity stills are even more doctored than height records.

And your zealousness and repetition don't make your observations any more convincing or compelling, nor do your carefully selected publicity stills that don't show any feet or shoes. The proof is in the film, showing full context body shots, not the still photos.
Frank2 said on 14/Mar/06
Oh what's the use. You people believe what you want. Desi was six feet and Lucy was almost five ten. No Hollywood male star was under five ten. There! Happy?
richinkle said on 14/Mar/06
Frank, while I don't believe a word the President says, I do believe certain government records - particularly the height on a military discharge certificate. If Desi was going to pay to change the record on his height, why choose 5'-10", when his Certificate of Naturalization, which is dated two years earlier, shows 5'-11"? Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. Or, the Army actually does a physical when you're inducted and keeps records of it for when you're discharged. Whereas, a naturalization form or a passport uses an estimated height, or takes the applicant's word for it.
Lucy, I believe, downplayed her height. She may have worn heels when she got dressed up, but she usually wore flats on her shows. She also seldom stood up straight or flaunted her height. She often slouched and hunched and leaned and made herself seem smaller and more child-like. It was part of her character and her comedy.
Paul said on 13/Mar/06
Frank2, I've enjoyed reading your various posts and think there is merit to some of what you say, but to be honest, I question some of your statements. When you say (rather emphatically) to believe you but not government records or other reliable sources, that's a bit hard to swallow. Some of these heights you cite are based on other people's recollections from 40, 50, even 60 years ago. Not the best evidence IMHO.

Please don't take this as a personal attack. It's not. I just think there's room for the possibility that maybe all these sources that say Desi was 5'10" (or Dino was close to 6 foot) might actually have some validity. In the end, does it really matter if Dino was 5'11" or 6'0" or even 5'10" as you claim? Bottom line is that he was a great entertainer who will be remembered for his talents more than his height.
Frank2 said on 13/Mar/06
Desi was not 5'11 1/2" nor 5'11" nor 5'10". He was shorter. I'd put him at around 5'9" max and that was when he was young. He wore lifts on I Love Lucy. And Lucy did wear flats, but each time she was dressed up she wore heels. And stop believing the damned government records! They have Robert Taylor at 6'. He was 5'10". They have Ty Power at 6'. He was 5'10". The police claimed Michael Jackson was 5'11"! It's all nonsense. Money goes into one's hand and then the records are changed. Look, unlike most of you I've actully seen many of these people, talked with them, even gotten to know them on a first-name bases. Lucy was about 5'6", Desi was 5'9". Billy Barty was 3' tall! Or perhaps he was 6'5" and tried to hide it!
richinkle said on 13/Mar/06
I've seen bio data that has put her height anywhere from 5'-6" to 5'-9" ("Ball of Fire" the latest book out about her, puts her at the taller height.) Her autobiography puts her right in the middle at 5'-7 1/2", a height her daughter confirms.
I have watched every I Love Lucy episode dozens of times - and she only occasionally wore high heels on the show. Usually she wore no-heel house slippers. (She had a foot condition that made heels painful, and wore them only when she had to.) In early episodes when she wore high heels she stood the same height as Desi Arnaz. Barefoot, there appeared to be no more than 2" difference between them. After the first season or so, he began to wear lifts to maintain a greater difference in height.
According to his US Army discharge papers, Desi stood 5'-10". I imagine his induction probably included a physical, and that this was his measured height. His Certificate of Naturalization puts him at 5'-11", and his passport and daughter state his height at 5'-11 1/2". (Copies of these documents are part of a Lucy-Desi scrapbook you can buy at any book-store). If Desi if 5'-10", Lucy is clearly taller than 5'-7". She's also clearly taller than Katherine Hepburn and Carole Burnett, both of whom claimed to be 5'-7".

[Editor Rob: Arnaz was listed 5ft 10 in the army?

I think Frank2 mentioned he was this height aswell...]
Frank2 said on 9/Mar/06
Oh, I first time I saw and met with her was back in the mid-1960's when she attended a party thrown by the Motion Picture Mother's Club of which her mom and my grandmother were members. In a bio I read on Lucy it clearly stated she was 5'6". She almost always wore high heels on camera, mostly three-inch so being 5'9" was quite tall for her day, tall-enough to force Desi to wear lifts. And if anyone can't spot his obvious elevators on I Love Lucy, they do need glasses! The last time I saw Lucy was when she visited her husband Gary Morton at Fox Studios. That was about a year before she died. By then she had lost about an inch. In person she had a deeper voice than most men do! I think only Suzanne Pleshette has a deeper one.

[Editor Rob: Lucie Arnaz has said Desi was 5ft 11.5...]
richinkle said on 8/Mar/06
How late in her life did you see her as exactly 5'-6"? I suspect she shrunk to that height by the time of her death.
Frank2 said on 6/Mar/06
"Big Red" as Desi used to call her was exactly 5'6". I saw her many times. Desi was 5'9" and always wore hug lifts on I Love Lucy.
Rick Hinkle said on 16/Aug/05
I just saw a website that Lucie Arnaz has called "Ask Lucie", where she confirms her mother's 5'-7 1/2" height.

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

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

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