How tall was Merlin Olsen

Merlin Olsen's Height

6ft 5 (195.6 cm)

American football player and actor, best remembered for TV show Father Murphy and playing defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. He did say in a 1986 article "I'm 6-5".
I remember dreaming of playing football. I asked my mother when I was going to start growing, and she had to remind me that I may never get big enough for that. She reminded me that my father was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and that both of my grandfathers were only 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and both of my grandmothers were small women, too - one of them was only 4 feet 11 inches tall.

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Add a Comment22 comments

Average Guess (3 Votes)
6ft 5.83in (197.7cm)
greg lehmann said on 29/Oct/18
6'7" Merlin Olsen was QUALITY and CLASS in EVERYTHING he did! Whether as a powerful DRT from 1962-1976 for the Los Angeles Rams acting which starting with Block That Statue in 1964 on The Patty Duke Show when he fell in love with 5' Patty or breaking open Perry Mason's The Case Of The 12th Wildcat when he discovered who planted a Molotov cocktail bomb in the sleeping car of a football team owner who did not want to move the team because he smelled "rats" in the form of kickbacks and bribes to move the team,but in the end,Merlin and Perry became coowners and Merlin coach of the Wildcats football team or convincing middle Brady Bunch son Peter he could mix choir and football or as an analyst or The Undefeated in which he told John Wayne "the conversation just dried up" when he Wayne then Rams teammate Roman Gabriel Rock Hudson and pro bowling legends Dave Soutar and Don Johnson sent then Mexican leader Benito Juarez extra horses to smother Emperor Maximillian's attempt to overthrow him he was my boyhood idol! Sadly in 2010 Merlin died at the age of 70 from mesothelioma a deadly lung cancer triggered by heavy asbestos exposure,but ALWAYS I will rate #74 the greatest defensive lineman EVER!
VicLions said on 2/Sep/18
It is hard to say in all honesty. I could give Olsen a solid 6ft6 at his peak, no more.
william risman said on 17/Aug/18
merlen olson had a smooth baritone voice, great for color comentating. I saw him on an episode of peticoat junction before he lost alll the weight portraying johnathan garvey on little house on the prairie. Merlen olson was 6’7” tall in 2”- 3” elevator shoes. if he was standing beside chuck connors, clint walker, james arness, bo svenson, or fess parker i assume he is shorter than those tall actors? rosevelt greer was shorter than fess parker and i assume about the same height as merlen olson.
Sandy Cowell said on 30/Apr/18
It really threw me the other day, finding out that this guy is no longer with us and also, that he was primarily a sportsman. Watching his performance in 'The Little House on the Prairie', as I am right now, I see such a warm and genuine person, a true gentle giant! He is about to tackle a huge bunch of young hoodlums, so his size is going to come in very handy! They didn't like it one little bit when he put it to them, "It's a bit past your bedtime!"

Well, I do remember how he fairs, and he's about to become the new town Sheriff!
Sandy Cowell said on 23/Apr/18
Oh no, I've just noticed that he is no longer with us.

How sad.

RIP Merlin xxx
Sandy Cowell said on 23/Apr/18
So Merlin was a football giant as well as the tallest actor regularly appearing in 'Prairie', which I'm watching at the moment!

This episode is all about the jealousy he harbours when he finds out that his wife was married - for a fortnight! - before they tied the knot!

I know this guy is at least 6ft5, and so that is what goes in the box! Well, I will add half an inch just in case!
Canson said on 24/Dec/17
If the guy says he’s 6’5 he obviously isn’t 6’7”. That just shows how flawed **** is because 6’3” guys claim 6’5
TRIPLEHHH said on 22/Dec/17
Merlin was 6'5. Landon wore lifts.
Richard said on 14/Sep/17
Easy 6 feet 7 inches. That ian guy commenting on here is a horrible hater. My guess is because he is probably 4 foot 5
dietmar said on 23/Dec/14
Looked definitely shorter than Michael Conrad (197cm) Click Here Click Here

Olsen had also heel advantage, he was wearing cowboy boots, while Conrad wore flat shoes. I believe Olsen was no moore than 196cm. Not a chance he was 201cm. He was looking up when he talked to Conrad in that Little house on the prairie episode.
wishbone said on 13/Nov/14
George Allen,who coached the Los Angeles Rams (now St.Louis),once said he always got a great game out of Merlin Olsen. I go one step further with my boyhood idol: he played QUALITY games! I didn't see Merlin too much on TV football games as a youngster,but when I saw 6'7" Olsen play,he also showed CLASS in the NFL games he played. (The only other NFL star I saw with that kind of CLASS and QUALITY was bruising Miami Dolphins ORG Larry Little.) Then as an actor,I'll never forget how in the 1965 Perry Mason episode The Case Of The 12th Wildcat,he caught who killed the Wildcats team owner. (The owner was killed by a gasoline bomb somebody threw at him on the Southern Pacific Railroad San Francisco/Los Angeles Lark overnight passenger train when he squealed to Lt. Steve Drumm (Richard Anderson) he was paid a kickback to move the team.) Then Merlin announced for 18 years on NBC,CBS,and from 1992-1995,Big 10 games with Steve Zabriskie on ABC. (Steve confirmed John Lennon had been assassainated in 1980 after Dave Diles broke the news Lennon was dead.) But Merlin never went to Monday Night Football. (According to Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson,he wouldn't have fit well on MNF because he was a Cathy Rigby type "goody two shoes." Also,he wasn't interested in doing MNF.) I still miss Merlin,but any list of great NFL performers MUST include Merlin! (And Larry Little,too.)
Ian C. said on 29/Jul/14
Y'know, Dukefan, I would be more inclined to believe that Olsen was six foot five than that John Wayne was six foot four. John Wayne played a character who was six foot four, but he also played a character who had a full head of hair. Olsen didn't play a six foot five inch football player. He was one.
ittybitrph said on 24/Mar/14
I've been watching INSP & the Hallmark channel to see the shows I missed when I was in college. I heard a child on the show, "Little House on the Prairie," say, "WOW!! That's one big man!!" I didn't know his history at all, looked it up & am extremely impressed!! I knew that Michael Landon was 5'9" both would be considered tall to me since I'm only 4'11". I dated a guy when I was in high school (naturally, from another high school) & he was 6'8" & extremely self-conscious when people would look at us back then. Needless to say, that relationship didn't last that long. He thought of me as more of a wild child knowing that I was going to go to college to be a pharmacist. I married a guy who is 6' & he doesn't give a darn what people think!!! I find taller guys awesome!!! And, even though Merlin Olsen is deceased now, I greatly admire his acting!! I also think I may remember him as a commentator for football. But, many years have past since then. PS:I agree w/Gregory Lehmann, I think Merlin Olsen looks a heck of allot taller than 6'5" because I have a brother (16 yrs older than me) who's 6'4"...he got the height in my family & I got the high IQ lol
Dukefan said on 22/Aug/12
He was a hell of alot taller than 6'5. in the link below there's picture of him standing with 6'4 inch John Wayne and needless to say there is more than a 1 inch difference between them.

Click Here
gregory lehmann said on 11/Jun/12
Athletes turned actor don't typically start acting until their athletic careers end. But 6'7" Merlin Olsen started acting while playing. Not only did he blow open The Case Of The 12th Wildcat on Perry Mason in 1965,but he also convinced middle Brady Bunch son Peter he could sing while playing football and fell in love with Cathy Lane in a 1964 Patty Duke Show episode (though he actually loved Patty more),and was CLASS and QUALITY in every respect. He'll be deeply missed.
Gregory lehmann said on 28/Jun/11
There just was something about Merlin Olsen what made him my boyhood idol/CLASS and QUALITY. It's one thing to play a great game week in,week out,but 6'7" Merlin gave you QUALITY games every week. And even as a player,he was already showing his acting ability,such as when he broke open "The Case Of The 12th Wildcat" on "Perry Mason" in 1965 by revealing who planted a Molotov cocktail bomb on the train,killing him. Even if the "Merlin's Size" Vicks Formula 44 commercial with his wife Sandy coughing from a nasty chest cold,the Benilyn commercial with that woman coughing due to the flu and a sinus infection, a Vicks cough syrup commercial with the woman coughing from a bad head cold,and a Romilar CF commercial with the woman coughing from acute bronchitis (but after taking their cough medicines,they stopped coughing),Merlin named Perry the "12th Wildcat" in the end. He also starred on "The Patty Duke Show" and "The Brady Bunch" while playing. I sure miss Merlin. CLASS in every way!
gregory lehmann said on 18/May/11
While seeing Merlin in the "Perry Mason" episode "The Case Of The 12th Wildcat"last December 17,I did catch the "Merlin's Size" Vicks Formula 44 commercial in which his wife Sandy coughed clear down to her chest and her throat,the episode also had another cough medicine commercial with a coughing woman. In this one,for benilyn cough syrup,this coughing woman had the flu and a sinus infection. Though Joan told me there usually is some coughing with a sinus infection,usually,a sinus infection cough is a dry,hacking cough. But when Annette suffered a sinus infection last summer,the 5'1" sweetie did cough,but this cough Annette had was a thick,mucusy cough.This coughing woman had a deep chest cough,which post nasal drip from the sinus infection set off when it blasted into her throat and chest. That usually triggers sinus infection coughs.But when Annette took some Robitusin to calm her hacking sinus infection cough,it calmed the sweetheart's hacking sinus infection cough.It also calmed the sinus infection because when Annette's sinus infection cough stopped,so did the post nasal drip. (Annette had a bad head cold triggering the cough,but the post nasal drip made Annette cough harder.)
gregory lehmann said on 14/May/11
My boyhood idol. He stood 6'7',brother in law Dennis' height.I miss him.
Anonymous said on 23/Apr/08
I have to say Merlin looked 6'3" on Little House on the Prairie. That is unless Micheal was wearing some kind of lifts...then he may of been 6'5". None the less, this guy was still huge.
Anonymous said on 20/Feb/08
Olsen is in "the undefeated",he plays "little George" a funny surname because they make a point in the movie of how big he is,he looks clearly taller than both Hudson and Wayne,he looks closer to 6'7" in this movie.
Ludjke said on 18/Sep/06
Merlin is 6'3", and always has been. I've seen him beside Landon and he's definitely no taller.
CC-Tron said on 13/Sep/06
He didn't look quite 6'5 on Little House on the Prarie. He looked 6'3 standing next to Michael Landon.

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