How tall was Orson Welles

Orson Welles Height

6ft 0 (182.9 cm)

American actor and director best remembered for movies such as Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, The Third Man, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai and Chimes at Midnight. In a book by Simon Callow he mentioned "The physical examination (which records his height at 72 inches, three and a half inches shorter than his usual reported height, and his weight as 218 lbs: 15 1/2 stones)", but noting some scoliosis of the spine and flat feet.

Orson Welles 1937
Carl Van Vechten / Public domain

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Add a Comment113 comments

Average Guess (29 Votes)
6ft 0.47in (184.1cm)
Tall Sam said on 20/Sep/20
I feel fairly certain that a young Welles would look and measure taller than someone like Ryan Gosling or Denzel Washington. I think physicals can be imperfect, even if I wouldn't claim anywhere near 6'3.5", I think there's a good chance he'd measure near 6'1" with another examination.
Johnny 181-182 cm said on 1/Aug/20
@Rob Do you think he wore lifts in Citizen Kane? He looked huge, he was taller than everyone in the film! Anyways Citizen Kane is an extremely well made movie. Seemed way ahead of its time.
Editor Rob
You never know back then, though I wouldn't have thought he did!
Duffer 5ft 11 said on 15/Jul/19
My goodness, his performance in "Touch of Evil" (1958) was truly ace..!! I think Orson was close to 6'1" in his "Kane" days, but a strong 6' when he piled on all the weight in his mid 40's. Truly first rate actor.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 4/Jul/18
183.5-184cm then but no less
Tall Sam said on 12/Apr/18
Being goofy here in wigs with Jimmy Stewart & Dean Martin, definitely a good couple inches on Martin even with weight gain.
Click Here
Jake: 1.84 m- 1.85 m said on 26/Mar/18
Still think Orson was a strong 6ft. I believe 6ft 0.25in might be a good listing. Your thoughts, Rob? He's a hero of mine, incidentally.
JJAK said on 7/Oct/17
He was actually about 3 inches taller than Dean at over 60 years old a very big man indeed.
Easily the biggest looking 6 footer even with his massive wide shoulders and thick midsection.
Sadly I have never seen his classic movies only his many voice overs and the aforementioned roast he was in with deano.
But that and photos he was over 6 likely closer to his claim of 6 1 .5 before weight and age.
What a great booming voice and natural charisma. "He did bag Rita Hayworth"
Jake: 1.84 m - 1.85 m said on 25/Aug/17
A bit over 6ft at his peak is likely.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 22/Aug/17
I entered Orson Welles’ presence. One didn’t walk into his office, one entered his presence.

"He was just an inch shy of my six-feet-four and his weight was in the neighborhood of 340 or so pounds. He had his suits made with straight up and down lines to the jacket, sort of boxy, but they didn’t really hide his girth. He was all charm. Smiling me to a chair, shaking my hand like we were long lost brothers, telling me how much he’d enjoyed my work. I had finally met my hero."
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 6/Aug/17
He looked across a wide range. His large personality added to it a lot I think.
Cfk said on 20/Apr/17
Seems the same height as 179 dean Martin if you google it.
Jake: 1.84 m- 1.85 m said on 2/Apr/17
Agreed, very tall 6 footer. A bit above that mark is distinctly possible.
Sam said on 25/Mar/17
Rob, don't you think he can seem a little too tall for somebody just six feet even? You almost never see Welles get towered and it's easy to see how he can pull off a near 6'1" look a lot of the time.
Sam said on 21/Mar/17
Of the six foot flat listings out there, he has to be one of the tallest looking.
w/ John Huston: Click Here
w/ Joseph Cotten: Click Here
w/ Cotten & Rita Hayworth: Click Here
w/ Edward G. Robinson & Loretta Young: Click Here
w/ Tyrone Power: Click Here
w/ James Stewart & James Cagney: Click Here
w/ Jeff Chandler: Click Here
I still think that you should consider 6'0.25"-6'0.5" peak for Welles, Rob. I've had a measurement of 195 cm during an afternoon physical and the much shorter tech wrote my height down as 193 cm (I think I tried to argue it mildly then shrugged it off), so physicals are not foolproof. I think there's enough evidence that Welles could stand 184 cm barefoot at his peak or other folks are shorter than what we thought.
grizz said on 16/Mar/17
@Rob, can flat feet lower your (potential) height? I had no idea.
Mr S said on 7/Feb/17
Not doubting the listing as he was measured at a medical at this height, but it just goes to show how people can appear bigger/smaller than they actually are. Watched Citizen Kane last night and he is/was the tallest, most imposing six footer I have ever seen.
Simpo said on 30/Nov/16
I think he was just a massive guy who was a six footer,maybe slightly over.known to wear tall shoes so appeared taller in movies sometimes.naturally large tall man although not super tall like 6'2 or 6' at big 6'1 is interesting
Jake: 1.84 m- 1.85 m said on 10/Oct/16
Rob, do you think a hair over 6ft is the best overall estimate for Welles? Maybe around about 184 cm.
Editor Rob: it's certainly arguable.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 8/Oct/16
6ft up 6ft5 is what he was described as standing...
jwwjr said on 25/Aug/16
I still say as Welles said in the interview book "My lunches with Orson Welles".He was 6ft1and half. 2 inches over Dean Martin .and Dean wore lifts.the same as Joe Cotton in Third Man.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 16/Jun/16
Tallest, most imposing 6ft guy I've ever seen.
Sam said on 26/May/16
IDK, I wouldn't totally rule out that he wore lifts at times but I've read a number of books on Welles and his films and have only heard about lift-wearing during Kane on here from commentors. Welles was in a number of films with Joe Cotten and I don't buy he was wearing lifts in everything they did together, I don't see more than an inch between, usually 0.5-1 inches difference seems apparent. I think he generally looks around six feet flat next to Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil but he maybe doesn't stand his best at that point with his recently added bulk (aided by additional padding). Basically, I think 6'0.25"-6'0.5" is a fairer conservation peak listing for Welles.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 7/May/16
He's been described as high as 6ft4 which really does baffle me
kevin said on 20/Apr/16
i think he was a lil over 6ft too, in later years with all the weight he sure looked less
Tom said on 19/Apr/16
Remember that Welles wore lifts in Citizen Kane. And in The Third Man they used crazy angles so when Welles is next to Cotten it's seen at an angle making it difficult to accurately gauge heights. From what I've read, Welles was AWOL during some of the location filming so Director Carol Reed doubled him in long shots. Reed was quite tall, probably 6-2.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/16
@Rob, in some scenes in Touch of Evil Heston could look 2.5 inches taller. There's one scene indoors and it did look between 2 and 3 inches. In some others sceens about 2 inches. But I jsut passed it off as Heston possibly being nearer 6'3". I've seen a lot of Heston's films and think he was taller than 6'2" flat and 189 pretty much is spot on. So there is a chance Welles could have been just 6' flat, but most comparisons I've seen, like with Cotten I concluded he was about 184. Sometimes he looked a bit too big to only be 6' flat, but not impossible he sometimes wore lifts to look more imposing.
Tom said on 18/Apr/16
Welles was probably close to 6-1 peak before he packed on the pounds. Carrying that kind of weight had to compress his spine. He looked barely taller than Dean Martin when he guested on his variety show. By then he looked 5-11. Claims of 6-3 and 6-4 are downright silly. Welles was obviously shorter than 6-3 Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil. But he was more than twice as wide.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/16
Rob, Welles at 6' flat means everybody else needs a downgrade! As Sam says he was looked no more than an inch shorter than Cotten, often barely anything in it. Cotten overall looked around 6'1.5. I've long thought 6'0.5 for Welles would be spot on. I could buy 6'0.25, but 6' flat seems stark, much like 185 for Flynn. Perhaps it's because we've for so long taken if for granted that they were taller it seems a bit shocking!
Editor Rob: it's hard to argue a height/weight from a medical, but of course he could have been put down as 6ft and was a bit over it.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 17/Apr/16
His passport had him at 6ft3...explain that
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 17/Apr/16
I've seen a few 6ft4 reports for Welles...
Sam said on 5/Apr/16
If he really never exceeded six foot even, then it gives credence to those who said in the past that he occasionally wore lifts, as he could look no more than a half inch shorter than Joseph Cotten and not much under 6'3" Curd Jurgens.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 31/Jan/16
He was approximately 300lbs at the time of his death
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 26/Jan/16
I think this is too low
MIKESOWELL said on 24/Dec/15
It is very humbling to say the least to see that Orson Welles was actually six feet in height. I have heard him described as six foot four and even six foot five by people who knew him. In his later years, he was so massive that it seemed plausable.
Jake: 1.84 m- 1.85 m said on 16/Nov/15
Despite him being an iconic figure in all of cinematic history, he was a tall actor, and came across as a quite an imposing figure in many of his films. I watched 'the Lady from Shanghai' last night and he appeared a strong 6ft guy. Good, intriguing listing this, as tall a 6ft is possible I'd say. A very strong 1.83 m guy potentially. Incredible film that too, perhaps my favourite of his. A superbly written, unique work with some truly bizarre (in an incredibly good way) sequences such as the abandoned amusement park scene towards the end.
AJ said on 30/Oct/15
He's a tall looking 6'. Maybe a fraction over.
Sam said on 22/Oct/15
I thought that Callow measurement was at a young age, but I actually think it was mentioned in the context of his journey to Ireland around the age of 20. I still feel like there's a good chance of his being near 6'1" with good posture at his peak.
Bill said on 9/Oct/15
Simon Callow's first Orson bio volume, THE ROAD TO XANADU, mentions Welles was measured at 72"--and 217 pounds--during a 1941 physical. However, Welles' daughter Christopher reproduces a later passport, which lists him at 6'3" (but Welles himself perhaps supplied this information?)...In the latest biography of John Huston, Jeffrey Meyers quotes Huston's military physical as listing Huston at 6'1"...and Huston generally looks taller than Welles in pictures of them together. Six-feet peak for Welles seems reasonable.
[Editor Rob: yes, I found the quote, it also mentioned scoliosis]
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 16/Aug/15
6ft1 is a safe bet but no less
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 22/May/15
I still think Heston was 190cm
Sam said on 16/Apr/15
According to Burt Lancaster's biography, Carol Reed was a couple inches taller than the 6'1" Lancaster...however, he does look more 6'2" in photos not 6'3".
Steve said on 15/Apr/15
Welles was obviously two inches shorter than 6'2" Carol Reed. Click Here
Steve said on 12/Apr/15
Welles looking considerably shorter than 6'2" John Huston.

Click Here
Steve said on 12/Apr/15
Look what I found! Click Here

Heston is stooped slightly. I see a three inch difference. Check out the difference in hight of their shoulders.
Arch Stanton said on 11/Apr/15
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover says on 14/Nov/14
Rob, is a fraction over 6ft1 possible?

He's a hard guy to pin down. He could look anywhere from 6ft to 6ft3!
[Editor Rob: not impossible for that.]

Fraction under more likely, see him with Heston in Touch of Evil!
Gonzalo said on 10/Apr/15
My mum saw him in the fifties or sixties when he visited Spain. My mum is tall, around 1`70, and she said Welles was very big. I think Welles was at least 1`83 and probably around 1`85
Steve said on 4/Apr/15
I doubt Orson's peak height was anymore than 6' even. As he got heavier, he lost height. On a Dean Martin Show where he appeared and did magic tricks he appeared to be an inch taller than Dean who couldn't have been any taller than 5'10". And in that show, Dean doest appear to be wearing lifts.

Watching Citizen Kane I noticed Welles wore what appeared to be lifts to make him tower over the entire cast.

In Touch of Evil there are no wide shots of Heston and Welles together so I think they cheated by either using camera angles or a platform for Welles to stand on to make him close to Heston's height.
Sam said on 1/Dec/14
Some pictures of Welles young and bearded off-screen he looks like he belongs as a chubby-faced member of a dressy alt rock band or something LOL...certainly a reacher in terms of looks with Rita Hayworth.
Sam said on 21/Nov/14
I agree he can be hard to pin down. With 6'1.5" Joseph Cotten, Welles is usually just edged out but at times there looks to be hardly any difference. 6'3" or 6'3.5" sounds fictional even though he can seem mountainous in movies like The VIPs or Catch-22 after he got heavy, but I'd say Simon Callow's claim that Welles was only 6'0" seems just as off. However, in Touch of Evil, there's no way he was over 6'1", he looked a pretty solid 2 inches under 6'2.5" Charlton Heston.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 14/Nov/14
Rob, is a fraction over 6ft1 possible?

He's a hard guy to pin down. He could look anywhere from 6ft to 6ft3!
[Editor Rob: not impossible for that.]
jwwjr. said on 3/Nov/14
In the book My lunches with Orson Welles which is a series of interviews with Welles . Orson says he's 6ft2 in. possibly little less and use to be 6ft 3and half.That interview was in the early 80's.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 10/Oct/14
Height listings range from 6ft to 6ft4...
Sam said on 21/Apr/14
Rob, could you add The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai and Chimes at Midnight to the top? Arch, do you agree that Chimes at Midnight is Welles's best latter day performance and movie (i.e. post-Touch of Evil; which is his second-best ever IMO)? Actually, I've never seen The V.I.Ps, is it good?
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/14
He looked huge in The V.I.Ps, like 6'3" and 350 pounds or something but I think he had on a lot of coats and padding which made him look even bigger, but I guess the actors around him were short. I wonder if he inspired Robbie Coltrane in portraying a Russian, very much like him.

The Magnificent Ambersons was arguably the best out of those you mentioned Sam.
Sam said on 7/Apr/14
Yes, all masterpieces. But in The Third Man, he's just an actor. Other movies he directed like The Magnificent Ambersons The Lady in Shanghai, Chimes at Midnight and his Shakespeare films are somewhere in the pretty-good-to-almost-great range; Mr. Ardakin, The Trail, F for Fake are flawed but interesting.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Jan/14
Jake, pause at 46 and 62 minutes in Touch of Evil, Heston and Welles are stood right next to each other and I think 1.5 inch difference looks right.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Jan/14
@Jake I disagree on 2.5 inches. I think Welles at 185 and Heston at 189 looks accurate in Touch of Evil, only at times Heston can look 2 inches taller. Camera angle in a lot of scenes distorts the height difference I think and Heston can occasionally seem near 3 inches tall but more 1.5-2 inches.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Jan/14
@Jake I disagree on 2.5 inches. I think Welles at 185 and Heston at 189 looks accurate in Touch of Evil, only at times Heston can look 2 inches taller.
Arch Stanton said on 4/Jan/14
Citizen Kane is a strange one. First time I saw it I wasn't overly impressed but I watched it again and this time magic happened and I thought it was quite brilliant, understanding the film better and its devices and hidden meanings. Still not quite as good as Sunset Boulevard at least in plot but the jigsaw-like way in which the film is assembled has more than grown on me and I know consider it one of the best films but I still think it's a bit overrated in the critical world. 2001 Space Odyssey is another one I didn't rate first time I viewed but in seeing it again I think it's a good contender for best film ever made at least in terms of "mind expansion" and a trip out of the ordinary; the psychedelic space entry to Jupiter and the singing dying computer was just sheer brilliance. Welles generally looked similar to Joseph Cotten to me, a bit shorter, I think he really looked a proper 6'1 peak. I've been meaning to watch Treasure Island sometime..
jwwjr said on 23/Nov/13
On the dean martin show about 1966 ,Jimmy Stewart and Dean were in a musical number. Orson looked about an inch or a little more taller than Dean. Not sure if Dean was wearing his lifts.So for Orson, just about 6 ft. in the 60's seems right.
Fruit said on 26/Aug/13
His last passport (reproduced in his daughter's book) lists his height at 6'3".
JimMorrison said on 23/Aug/13
Looked close to 6-2 peak. Was a legit TALL guy. About as tall as Cotten.
Sam said on 14/May/13
As listed works for Welles. He frequently co-starred with Joseph Cotten and a weak inch between them seems accurate. He lost a little height I think a bit early due his weight and really looked a bit over 2 inches shorter than Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil.
Arch Stanton said on 11/May/13
Yeah they said in Citizen Kane that he was a "big man" but a lot of the scenes were shot with a low camera angle looking up, so could make him seem bigger than he really was.
Arch Stanton said on 11/May/13
Watching Citizen Kane right now, I got it on DVD and he looks easily 6'1" and can look 6'2" at times.
Arch Stanton said on 4/Dec/12
184cm range I think.
Tommy said on 9/Feb/12
Remember how wrong measurements can be. John Goodman said he was measured at 6', when he was actually 6'2. As for Orson, I'd put him around 6'1, as he did look an inch shorter than Cotton, who is listed at 6'2.
Mayfair said on 28/Jan/12
In 1941 was apparently measured at 6 foot and 218lbs.
Sam said on 12/Jan/12
Although he could look only 6 feet even, I do believe Orson Welles was really in the 6'1" range at this peak
guyfrommars said on 11/Jan/12
Here's Welles with 5'6" director Pier Paolo Pasolini: Click Here

Pasolini has both camera and ground advantage, yet Welles towers over him.
Martyr said on 15/Oct/11
Looked 6' next to Charlton Heston in Touch Of Evil. I would say 6'1 1/2 at peak though
clown said on 5/Aug/11
Watching The Third Man, Welles seem to have the slightest edge over Cotton, at least in close-ups. If Cotton is 6'2", and he sure looks it in the many of the film's wide shots, then Welles is over 6'2"
adam 2 said on 11/Apr/11
Jurgens was closer to 6-4.
Mr. Kaplan said on 6/Nov/10
Cotten had the edge on him and was 6'2". Welles was 6'1".
adam said on 28/Jun/09
Funny story, Frank! Cotten was a very underrated actor by the way. He was excellent in THE THIRD MAN, CITIZEN KANE and SHADOW OF A DOUBT. He was another stick who always looked taller than what he was because of his slim frame.
Frank2 said on 28/Jun/09
Some of it was done using camera angles, ramps and boards. That was when we never saw both men's feet. And that famous up-angle showing the two men, where Welles forced RKO to dig him a pit in the stage floor, doesn't show height differences very well, but it does show Welles' lifts.

Welles and Cotten were not the same height. In THE THIRD MAN it's clear that Cotten is an inch taller. I met Cotten when he lived in a condo complex that a friend of mine lived in called the Shoreham Towers off the Sunset Strip. By that time he was a pretty old man and yet he was still well over six feet while Welles was my height back when I worked with him in the 1970s.

Here's a funny story about Welles and me. The first day I met him was when I went down to Stage 12 at Universal, the largest stage on the lot, where they had built the house for IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS. I spotted Welles seated on what appeared to be a barrel smoking a huge stinky Havana. I walked up, introduced myself shaking his rather sweaty hand informing him he was my hero. At one point soon into the conversation, I inquired as to what happened with THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, a film he had been working on for many years. I had seen a clip of it when the AFI honored him. Suddenly, he stood up showing me he was my full height, bellowed so loud everyone on the stage could hear him yelling, "The goddamn Iranians f---ed me! They stole the f----ing negative!" Donald Wrye, the director ran over to see what all the commotion was, only to learn what I had asked and he ordered me off the stage saying it would take him hours to calm down Welles. He also told me never to return to the set unless I wanted to get fired. Well, a few days later, I did venture back onto the set and watched Welles work. He was amazing. All his dialogue was printed up on huge cue cards that Barney McNulty held for him just off camera. Welles was the best actor at cheating this way. At one point in a long take, Welles (playing Potter) informs Marlo (playing Jimmy Stewart's part) that he owns the town Bedford Falls and everything and everyone in it. It went sort of like: "Look at that street. That's my street. Look at those cars. They're my cars. Look at those buildings. They're my buildings.....wrong cue card Barney!"
adam said on 28/Jun/09
But Frank2.

Welles looked about two inches taller than Cotten. So Cotten was 6-3 in shoes. Then Welles had to be around 6-5 in shoes! Meaning he had to wear elevator shoes that gave him FOUR inches. I dont think that was the case really... I believe that Welles wore lifts but they had to be around the same height. If Orson really was an inch shorter, then he had to wear Frankenstein shoes to look that tall.

Also in THE THIRD MAN they are about the same height.
Frank2 said on 27/Jun/09
The test he did for RKO which I have a copy of on DVD shows on the slate that he was 6'1". In CITIZEN KANE he wore lifts to make himself appear to tower over everyone and to look taller than 6'2" Joseph Cotten.

I worked with Welles on a dreadful TV remake of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE that Marlo Thomas starred in. By then he was exactly my height or 5'11". It was hard for him to remain standing for long. I think at the time he weighed at least 400 lbs.
adam said on 27/Jun/09
I believe that Welles could have been 6-1
adam said on 8/Sep/08
Yep, 6-1 peak. He looked extremelly large towards the end. Over 350 easily. At that time he must have lost a lot of height. Even though I just saw some radio thing (which was in the 70s I think) on youtube and he still looked tall even though he was pretty fat. Definitely 6-1 to 6-2 peak.
Matt said on 2/Jan/08
I read a couple of biographies of Welles (including the spanker from Simon Callow), and both make mention of his height. Or to be more specific, what other people thought of his height. There is no question that he was perceived as a tall man by many of his peers, which would lead me to think he was probably nearer 6'1", perhaps even 6'2", than 6 feet.

I guess Welles is one of those guys who is incredibly difficult to pin down, not least because of his bulk. Even in his younger days he carried a fair bit of heft (like in The Third Man) which has a tendency to obscure our sense of proportion. Compare that to Joseph Cotten, who was rake thin and always appeared very tall and very gangly. I'll settle on Welles being 6'1.5" in his young days, and way down to 5'11" in his older days.
sam said on 3/Oct/07
I've rewatched Citizen Kane and, despite Frank2's claims, numerous shots show Orson Welles' and Joseph Cotten's shoes simulatenously and every shot like this shoes regular dress shoes for Welles. There are numerous tilted shots that can make the closer person look considerably larger, and usually this favored Welles. In the least tilted shots, Welles and Cotten look the same height with NORMAL footwear.
fushizzledizzle said on 21/Jul/07
sam, Of course Orson Welles starred in the Godfather!!! He played the second clerk in the hotel scene where Harvey Keitel's character was wacked by Joe Pesci's character remember?
sam said on 21/Feb/07
Um, are you referencing that Welles was considered for the title part in The Godfather, Franco? Unless you think Welles is Marlon Brando, in which case you're probably beyond help...
Franco said on 20/Feb/07
i dunno he starred in the godfather and he looked pretty short, shorter than 6 even.
Mario said on 4/Aug/06
Sorry about the link, I was also doing research on Guinness and I did paste the wrong link. People can watch for themself Orson on Gettyimages.
For me he doesn't look any shorter than 6 ft 1 and it doesn't seem that I'm going change my mind about him.
Frank2 said on 3/Aug/06
On Stallone's thread we were discussing doubles for famous people. This guy looks so much like Orson it's amazing to say the least!: Click Here
Unfortunately, he lacks Orson's vocal tonal quality.
Frank2. said on 3/Aug/06
Mario, you'd better do some more research. That link shows Alec Guinness!

Anyway, my eyes don't lie. Orson was no more than 6'. By the late 1960's he was 5'11". Carrying around 400+ pounds doesn't do wonders for one's spine. I'm surprised he didn't pack down even more. Bob Hope was never what I would call heavy yet he lost about four inches in height.
Mario said on 3/Aug/06
I have done some more research and he doesn't look 5 ft 11 to 6 feet. 6 ft 1 to 6 ft 2 seems to be more accurate.
Click Here
Frank2. said on 3/Aug/06
No need to be sorry. How he looked on film means nothing. I go by how he looked when I met him going way back. He was never more than 6' and later in life was about 5'11". He and I were eye-to-eye the same height in the 1970's. And official heights are usually bogus. RKO listed him at being 6'1". It's printed on the large slate they used when they shot some tests of him. I've seen the tests.
Mario said on 2/Aug/06
Sorry Frank, but Orson did always look 6 ft 1 to 6 ft 2 in his movie's. Not to mention that his official height was 6 ft 1.5. The pictures that you have posted are at the favour of others.
Frank2 said on 5/May/06
Orson and Edward G. Robinson who was about 5'4.5":
Click Here

Welles with 5'9" Bud Cort and director Gary Graver who's about 5'11": Click Here

Welles with 5'5" Rita Hayworth who was wearing three inch high heels: Click Here

Orson with 5'11" Oliver Reed: Click Here
Some people believe Reed was 5'10" including an actor friend of mine who worked with him back in the 1980's.

And for what it's worth I see the IMDb now lists Welles as being 6'1.5". They did have him at one time being over 6'3".

Frank2 said on 5/May/06
Many people? Name them. I've told you what I know to be true from personally meeting him as well as working with him. Can you claim you met him? I told you my mom worked with him and said he was about 6'. Do you know anyone that close to you that worked with him? I told you that RKO put 6'1" on his test, but it's come out that his records clearly show he was 6'. What 'foolproof' method are you using to fool us into believing you? My methods may not be fullproof, but they're damned close!
Frank2 said on 28/Apr/06
"And an encounter with a aged 65 + Orson Welles doesn't say nothing."
Doesn't say anything.
Picture said on 28/Apr/06
I'm starting doubt about all those encounters with old-stars.
And an encounter with a aged 65 + Orson Welles doesn't say nothing. People who where tall in there younger days, ussualy lose more height.

It's obvious that he was 6 ft 1.5
Frank2 is also the first guy who mentions lifts for for this guy.

Then agian there also poeple who don't realiste how tall a 6 ft 1 men was at his time. Cary Grant, James Stewart, Clark Cable and Orson Welles where giants in there time, and they don't have any reason to lie...
Frank2 said on 27/Apr/06
I think it's possible he was 6'1" back when he did Citizen Kane. I say possible, not definite. He did wear lifts in that film to boost himself above 6'2" Joe Cotton. But when he got older and fatter he lost height and ended up being no more than 5'11".
sam said on 27/Apr/06
So what do you believe, Frank? That Orson Welles was 6'1"?
Frank2 said on 26/Apr/06
I guess you never met him.
Frank2 said on 26/Apr/06
And I'm telling you what I know to be true. And I don't always diminish people's heights. I get crap when I stand up for actors such as Steve McQueen who I knew to be at least 5'10", not a shrimpy 5'7" like some people insist he was, people who by the way never met him. It seems that some people just love to argue for argument's sake. That what drives them. I'm seeking the damned truth. You call it negative, I call it clarity. Tell me, did you ever meet Welles? Do you know people who knew him? Welles leased offices at my dad's studio in Hollywood back in the late 1940's. My mom worked with him in radio, my dad knew him and I later saw him on several occasions, even spoke with him. Welles was never more than 6'1" and that's stretching things since that's what RKO said. His own medical records showed he was six feet even.
Frank2 said on 25/Apr/06
Being sure of one's opinion doesn't equate to them being negative.

Look, my mom worked with Orson in radio and she claims he was six feet. I met him on a 1977 TV movie that I worked on and by then he was 5'11". RKO claimed he was 6'1" and his medical records claim he was 6'. All I can tell you is what I know to be true. If you feel he was 6'3" then fine. I'm tired of arguing.
Frank2 said on 25/Apr/06
Negative? Please explain.

The first link doesn't work. The second link which is from Touch of Evil shows that Welles was a couple of inches shorter than Heston, but in that film they built up Welles on purpose. They padded him and used ramps on the set to increase his height. I know all about the film having known the people who worked on it. And I met Welles and he was my height. In fact when I first walked up to him he looked shorter than me and then when he stood up straight he became about 5'11". He was never, ever 6'2". He wore lifts in Citizen Kane to appear taller than Joseph Cotton who was 6'2". What's negative about that? It's only the truth.
Frank2 said on 24/Apr/06
Hollywood never subrtacted inches from an actor so when RKO listed Welles as being 6'1" they most likely added an inch. He was never 6'2".
Frank2 said on 22/Apr/06
Orson with 5'11" Oliver Reed: Click Here
The photo is slightly tilted. When properly aligned you'll notice that Orson is about an inch taller that Reed. Orson had a really bad case of fallen arches or flat feet so wearing lifts was almost impossible for him to do with suffering from severe foot pain.

Here's Welles with 5'4" Akim Tamiroff and 5'8" Gregory Ratoff: Click Here
The film is Black Magic which supposedly Ratoff directed, but has more of Orson's style than anything Ratoff could come up with. It tells the story of Cagliostro, a powerful hypnotist who operated during the reign of France's King Louis XV. The film is a minor masterpiece.

Ratoff with 6' Hugh Marlowe: Click Here

Frank2 said on 22/Apr/06
Check this out: Click Here
I think Orson had a little too much wine while doing this commercial!
Mikex said on 22/Apr/06
If there is a genuine medical record then the height is unlikely to be incorrect, so 6ft it is then. Welle's was noted for mythmaking with regards to his own persona. The huge by the standards of the day 6'3'' physique was one of these myths.
Frank2 said on 22/Apr/06
Never 6'3". RKO shot tests with him and I've seen them. The slate clearly reads 6'1". My mom worked with him in radio and told me he was about 6'. I worked with him on a dreadful TV movie in the 1970's and by then he was my height or 5'11". He was enormous as far as weight goes.
Gonzalo said on 3/Apr/06
I`ve found this in IMDB. It`s interesting:

Was possibly not as tall as is often reported. According to Simon Callow in the excellent biography "Orson Welles: The Road To Xanadu," medical records exist from a Welles physical in 1941. His weight is listed as 218, and his height at 72" - 6 feet even. Biographers Charles Higham and Frank Brady describe Welles as being 6'2", though they never provide a source. Biographer Barbara Leaming often comments on his height, but never gives an exact measurement. An early Current Biography article on Welles describes him as being "tall and chubby," while a later one gives the obviously incorrect 6'3-1/2" height. If you average all the figures and based on his size compared to other actors, he probably in fact stood a little over 6 feet tall (6'1" to 6'2").

Gonzalo said on 30/Mar/06
My mother so him in Madrid in the fifties and she says he was very big. I have asked her several times about how tall she thinks he was and she couldn´t tell me. She insists on the fact that he was tall, but specially big. My mum is tall (5`7) and is used to be around tall people. I assumed that Welles was around 6`1, my brother´s height. I ask her yesterday if Welles was as tall as my mother´s brother (1`90 cm) and she said he wasn´t that tall.
She alwyas uses the same words: era muy grande, muy ancho (very big and wide)
Anonymous said on 4/Mar/06
the pics with geilgud, welles and richardson are hard to judge, as geilgud is the only one standing up straight, richardson is reading his script and welles is half turned to face geilgud. judging by shoulder level though, richardson is slightly smaller than welles and slightly taller than geilgud
Frank2 said on 4/Mar/06
No! No! No!!! Orson was never six-four, six-three or even six-two. He was just slightly over six feet when he was young. RKO listed him as six-one on their publicity sheets as well as on a still they made of him. And he wore lifts in Citizen Kane to make himself appear taller than six-two Joseph Cotten. I worked with Orson on the dreadful 1977 Universal TV movie It Happened One Christmas and by then he was no more than five-eleven. And by then he weighed over 400 lbs! Sir Ralph Richardson was NEVER six-three. When he was young he was about six feet even and by the time he was old he had shrunk to about five-ten. I attended a screening of one of his films back in the seventies and he was there. He looked no more than five-ten at that time. John Huston was about six-two. He weighed so little that he always looked taller.
Cycklops said on 6/Jan/06
Medical physicals give your stadiometer height, which is always one to two inches shorter than what you 'pass for' in the normal world.

People who are "Six-Foot-One" according to themselves and others are really 6'0" (or 5'11", or 5'11.5") in reality...and the stadiometer reports that reality height.

So if Welles was 6-foot at his medical physical, he was effectively a 6-1 or 6-2 person in the normal world with the rest of us fibbers.
Issheuhboy said on 19/Nov/05
Here's a bit of imdb, which seems quite factual for them:

"Was possibly not as tall as is often reported. According to Simon Callow in the excellent biography "Orson Welles: The Road To Xanadu," medical records exist from a Welles physical in 1941. His weight is listed as 218, and his height at 72" - 6 feet even. Biographers Charles Higham and Frank Brady describe Welles as being 6'2", though they never provide a source. Biographer Barbara Leaming often comments on his height, but never gives an exact measurement. An early Current Biography article on Welles describes him as being "tall and chubby," while a later one gives the obviously incorrect 6'3-1/2" height. If you average all the figures and based on his size compared to other actors, he probably in fact stood a little over 6 feet tall (6'1" to 6'2")."

[Editor Rob: he could have easily pulled off looking bigger...he did look tall last time i saw touch of evil...but I mean, here he is off-camera with 5ft 11 Gielguid. Suggest nothing close to 6ft 3, although although Ralph Richardson to his right, whom I'm unsure of ;) Ralph and Welles from front angle.

Welles is due a downgrade, but I'm stil unsure enough on this guy's actual height. Maybe the Callow mention isn't far from the truth...

Speaking of Simon Callow...he himself claims he's 5ft 9 on his cv.]
sam said on 8/Jun/05
There are so many conflicting opinions on Welles height. I've read, variously, that he stood 6' feet even, 6'1", 6'1 1/2", 6'2 1/2", 6'3", and 6'3 1/2". Apparently, he's a very tough guy to pin down. I think he was definitely more than 6' feet or 6'1". In 'Touch of Evil' he looked a couple inches shorter than Charlton Heston to me, but he was slouchy (possibly due to his heaviness and the fat suit he was wearing) whereas 6'3" Heston was ramrod straight the whole time. In several movies besides the solidly 6'2" actor Joseph Cotten, Orson seemed pretty much eye to eye with him. But then in a photo I saw where Orson was standing up straight next to 6'4" director John Huston (both, I think, were barefooted in the photo), the two men looked fairly close in height (Welles looked barely an inch shorter). From what I've seen, Orson Welles could have been anywhere from 6'1 1/2" to 6'3 1/2"!

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