How tall is Richard Burton

Richard Burton's Height

5ft 9 ½ (176.5 cm)

Welsh Actor best remembered for films such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Becket, Cleopatra, The Taming of the Shrew, Look Back in Anger, The Robe, Alexander the Great, The Night of the Iguana, 1984 and Anne of the Thousand Days. In an edition of a 1962 Lima News, Richard said: "And I'm too old. I'm now 36 And I look about 5-foot-2 I'm 5-10 but I look smaller It's because I'm so wide or my head's, too big or something"

Richard Burton - The Robe

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Add a Comment149 comments

Average Guess (20 Votes)
5ft 8.64in (174.3cm)
M.P.R.Stephenson. said on 20/Jun/20
5ft 8ins. Proportionally he looks even shorter, about 7 1/2 'heads',( any artist will tell you what that means ) but, he admitted to having a large head, so 5ft 8ins or 8 1/2 tops .
Arch Stanton said on 6/May/20
Richard could often look like a solid 5 ft 10-11 guy, but 177-8 range I think is accurate, if he was taller than Louise Fletcher he was certainly wearing lifts or box tricks.
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 3/May/20
⭐ Just for the record, Linda Blair was 18 at the time this film was made (1977) and not 17, as I incorrectly stated.

Until I read comments on this page, I had no idea that Richard Burton's father was so short! (5ft - 5ft2).
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 3/May/20
Richard looked taller than Louise Fletcher in 'Exorcist II - The Heretic'. I'd have guessed his height to be nearly 6ft, honest I would!

17-year-old, 5ft2 Linda Blair was wearing high heels with platforms virtually throughout, and Richard still looked huge next to her. In the final scene, you see Linda in flats, and only when you don't get the opportunity to compare Louise Fletcher with Richard does she actually wear heels. Yes, in the closing scene, Linda looks tiny compared to Mr Burton.

I'm wondering if, for theatrical effect only, Mr Burton wore lifts during the making of the film, so that he could look taller than Louise Fletcher, 5ft10.

I caught around half of the film 'The Medusa Touch' last week and was so impressed that I simply HAD to buy a copy. I thought that while I'm about it, I might as well get myself a DVD of 'The Exorcist II', which I saw at the pictures when I was 16. I understood it far better this time round. I've never actually seen the second Exorcist offering on TV.

The late, great Richard Burton gets 5ft9.5. 🕯️

Wow! Those piercing green eyes! I bet they helped him get many a role, including the central character in 'The Medusa Touch'.
Hong said on 14/Oct/19
There is a good pic of Burton and Lee Marvin together, look at the heels on Burton.
Editor Rob
This heel is very big indeed.
Mon said on 16/Sep/19
A weird one. My feeling was he was bigger, but there is an impromptu shot with Lee Marvin in which you can see insane boot heels. Not lifts but Frankenstein boot.
diavolo said on 28/Nov/18
Looked about an inch shorter than 5'10" Louise Fletcher in The Exorcist II. 5'9" is probably right for Burton.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/17
No way was Burton under 5'9, crazy estimates.
Annouk said on 1/Mar/17
Like someone else who posted here, I saw him in Equus on Broadway. He had amazing presence on stage, and because of that, he looked fairly tall. But my cousin and I waited outside the stage door to catch a glimpse of him when he came out. I was shocked at how small he was. I'd say 5'6", maybe 5'7'. I am 5'8 1/2" and was wearing heels. I definitely looked slightly down at him when he passed by, just feet away. Extraordinary because, as I said, he had a really big presence on stage, and a magnificent voice.
James said on 25/Nov/16
You can't really estimate Burton's height from watching "Cleopatra" because he was wearing lifts in the film. Rex Harrison gave his height as six foot.
Just my thoughts said on 22/Nov/16
Just watched Cleopatra for the first time, googleing long ass movie. Good though. Anyway, he looked about 5-6 inches taller than Elizabeth Taylor but no more than that. I'd guess he's probably over an inch shorter than his 5'10 claim. There's no way Rex Harrison is 6'1", what a joke
James said on 29/Oct/16
Burton only weighed nine stone so he was hardly well built.
Halawishus said on 18/Sep/16
I have to say 5'7 or 5'8. Look at him standing with Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Liz was 5'2. No way he i s 8 inches taller than her!
James said on 22/Jun/16
That photograph was taken in 1953 when Burton's father would have been about 78.
Arch Stanton said on 19/Jun/16
Yes, you can see that he was nothing over 5 ft Click Here !!!
Arch Stanton said on 19/Jun/16
Saved by a tall mother then it seems, but still lucky to get to almost 5'10 with a dad that short. How unusual for a mother to be a full head taller than the father!! His father was borderline dwarf.
James said on 23/May/16
Graham Jenkins said his father was five foot.
littlesue said on 22/May/16
Have a pic of his Mom and Dad together, the Dad comes up to the Mother's shoulders, she must have been around 5ft 9 and built like a Russian Shot putter so Burton got his height and build off her
Arch Stanton said on 21/May/16
Click Here Leaning big time there and still a good six inches taller, his father really had to have been no more than 5 ft 2!!.
Editor Rob: he was probably 5ft range
Arch Stanton said on 21/May/16
Rob, check out how short his father was Click Here !! He looks like 4 ft 10 there, but further away. Still I doubt he was much over 5 ft!! Very short, for his generation Richard ended up a decent height so probably had a taller mother.
Arch Stanton said on 21/May/16
His father was a tiny little bloke, no more than 5 ft 2. Must have had a taller mother to end up the height he did!
James Deckard said on 29/Apr/16
I am watching The Spy Who Came In From The Cold now on Film 4+1 (in the UK). In the scene where Burton's Leamas is shackled to the floor, he is clearly wearing some sort of weird boot - looks similar to boots with hidden height hidden inside. I am surprised he needs to wear lifts in a scene where he is only filmed on the floor but there it is - maybe for reasons of continuity or he wore them all the time during filming or whatever.
Tom said on 19/Nov/15
Burton wore lifts in "The Robe" so he would look more in line with co-star Victor Mature. Burton had bow legs as he himself acknowledged.
Nero said on 18/Nov/15
I have watched 6-8 of his movies. He never looks small against taller men and towers over most average size men in his scenes. However the average size of a Welshman or Englishman in the 50-60's would've been 5'7 - 5'8". In the Robe he was cast with Michael Rennie and Victor Mature both tall men 6'1 - 6"3 range and he looks 3-4 inches shorter at the most. If you have ever seen him in his picture at the beach - google 'richard burton at the beach photo' he does not have a 57" - 5"8 build proportions. He has longish muscular thighs. His torso is not that long but he has wide shoulders which give him a well built appearance. At the very least he is 5"9. In the book "And God Created Burton" it says he is 5'9" when he was still at school. I would say he grew to be 5"10".
Larry said on 8/Sep/15
Burton was 5'8". His built up shoes made him look 5'10" in movies.
Mark Anthony said on 5/Aug/15
Always a big fan,I saw Burton on Broadway when he was doing "Equus". After the play, a bunch of us were milling around the outside of the theater and Burton came out. He passed right by me as he was making his way through- nobody between us, 3 feet away or less. I am between 5'8-5'9 and he was my size and wearing black shoes with a good sized heel. I noticed as I was very surprised, thinking Burton was 6'and I looked at his shoes. I have read bios that put him up to 6'1. I put him at 5'8.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 9/Jul/15
Arch: I don't think they ever met. But McQueen looked a solid 5ft10 for most of his career so I'd imagine may have had a slight edge over Burton.
Arch Stanton said on 7/Jul/15
Burton and Mcqueen never did a film together did they? I'd be interested to see how they fared together, I'd bet on them being the same height.
Arch Stanton said on 7/Jul/15
Rob, do you think a full 5 ft 10 is still possible?
5'9.5 is the very lowest I can see him as, he always looked a decent 5 ft 10 on screen to me, but it's possible he often had on "shoes" to make him seem taller.
In most films he really gives a 5 ft 10-11 sort of impression, above average,
Arch Stanton said on 1/Jul/15
The question though Sue is if he wore lifts or not at times though..
littlesue said on 16/Jun/15
Arch, heels were not very high in the 60's fashion, they would probably only added an inch or so.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Jun/15
See Werner walking with Julie Christie here Click Here I think she has on decent heels too. Now he pulls off looking 5'9" range to me if you consider her in heels. If he was just 5 ft 7 range he'd be barely taller than her in heels.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Jun/15
Mmm, Werner might have wore lifts himself to look 5'9 range.
If you really look at him here Click Here he gives if anyting a 5'7" range impression.
Now there's no chance he was just an inch taller than Signoret, so Hollywood tricks had to have been at play making him look inches taller. He really looked average height in Fahrenheit 451 with Julie Christie though and I saw him walking about a fair bit and I thought he looked a strong 5'9. Perhaps he was nearer 5 ft 8 then and wore lifts.
Arch Stanton said on 14/Jun/15
Obituary here Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 14/Jun/15
Rob, he had to have worn lifts in a good number of his films too. He can look nearer 5 ft 11 at times.
I was going to request Oskar Werner, best known for films like Fahrenheit 451, Ship of Fools and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I was going to say he looked around 5'9.5". Then I saw him with Burton, check out 1 hr 38 Click Here Now there's absolutely no chance he's the same height as Burton, if anything he looks weak 5 ft 8 there but if Burton is in lifts hmmm. But he was a few inches taller than a heeled Signoret in Ship of Fools, I really thought he looked 5'9" range in other films. Werner is definitely worth adding.
Arch Stanton said on 3/Jun/15
Just saw Desert Rats. Outstanding performance by him. Amazing that he was only about 25 when they made it but still had the command of a 40 something year old guy. Looked about 35 even at that age!
Arch Stanton said on 1/Jun/15
Rob can you add a photo? Difficult to see him under 5 ft 10 in films like The VIPs and The Sandpiper. He can even look tallish at times, perhaps it was lifts.
casandra said on 4/Feb/15
judge by photos of burton next to liz taylor who was five two he would be about five eight in his bare feet
James said on 14/Oct/14
How tall was Stanley Baker? It would be easy to work out Burton's exact height if we compared him with his fellow Welshman and drinking partner.
John said on 29/Sep/14
Arch, if you look at moviemarket.com there's a picture of Burton wearing a red suit with shoes that have huge heels.
[Editor Rob: this Photo]
John said on 28/Sep/14
The special shoes Burton wore gave him an extra 2-3 inches. So O'Toole could have been 6'1" and Burton may have appeared close to six foot in the movie.
Arch Stanton said on 28/Sep/14
Burton could often look a strong 5'10 guy but I wasn't aware that he was a lift wearer.
Arch Stanton said on 28/Sep/14
O'Toole looked pretty much the exact same height as Timothy Dalton in The Lion in Winter who was a measured 6'1.75 barefoot by the Bond tailors. 187 is not impossible but I really think he looked a proper 6'2" a lot, in fact he could look 6'2.5".
John said on 28/Sep/14
Peter O'Toole was just under 6'1".
Alex said on 28/Sep/14
O'Toole seemed like a strong 6'1. Didn't look that much taller than Sharif, really.
AlexMahone said on 28/Sep/14
Peter O'Toole was his prime a strong 6'2 (188cm). In "The Night of the Generals" (1967) stands face to face the french actor Philippe Noiret who played inspector Morand. Noiret height was 6'1 (185cm) and O'Toole was 3-4cm taller, so the 188cm in his prime arguable.
jtm said on 27/Sep/14
Bobby says on 24/Sep/14
O'Toole was never 6'3".

i doubt he was even 6'2.
Bobby said on 24/Sep/14
O'Toole was never 6'3".
ivor said on 22/Jul/14
In Becket, when Burton stood side by side with Peter O'Toole, there was only an inch between them, yet O'Toole is (was) 6ft 3". So 5ft 10" Burton must have been wearing 4" lifts throughout the movie.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/14
Even the Bond films and sci-fi films of that period had kinky looking actors and dodgy music LOL.
Arch Stanton said on 18/Apr/14
I have yup. creepy in it wasn't he? What is it about films shot between 1975 and 1982 and the seedy factor though LOL. The decor, fashion and hairstyles always looks kinky or creepy to me hehe. Look at Dustin Hoffman's films from that period for instance hehe.
littlesue said on 17/Apr/14
Arch you should read 'Furious Love' its a book based on the Taylor/Burton romance and the Melvyn Bragg biog of him. Have you seen The Medusa Touch? slammed when it came out but has become a bit of a cult classic.
Anon said on 17/Apr/14
He enjoys edging out 5-7(?) Barry Foster, face to face in the Wild Geese.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Apr/14
Click Here An interesting insight into his alcohol problems.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Apr/14
You're not missing anything with "Lifeboat" either!! There's only so much you can do on a small boat in 2 hours! The highlight is probably Tallulah Bankhead's voice! In my opinion Hitchcock's second worst film after Jamaica Inn. The Life of Pi is the best "lost boat at sea" movie I've seen I think. Those are the only two of Hitchcock's films I haven't liked so far. Look Back in Anger is well worth a watch for Burton's performance Rob, it's on y-utube I think.

Yes Sam, on occasions in films he seemed groggy and lacking in energy compared to other times. His energy seemed to wane at times during films which affected his overall performance. He could be full of energy one minute and then in others look like he could barely stand and would rather have a kip and curl up somewhere. He spent half of Sea Wife asleep on a boat too!
Sam said on 17/Apr/14
Arch, you said "later on he really looked very lethargic and half asleep"...you mean fall-down drunk or hungover, right? In quite an amusing scene in Where Eagles Dare, Clint Eastwood clearly struggles to climb a rock wall set while Burton scales the wall effortless, that was because Burton was inebriated and put on a lift to get up the wall that was hidden with special-effects while Eastwood was actually climbing the set.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Apr/14
You're not missing anything with Sea Wife don't worry LOL. Even more pointless than Hitchcock's Lifeboat!
[Editor Rob: I have lifeboat sitting on my shelf, my shelfs have too many unwatched films...I pretty much manage 1 movie and 1 episode of a show per day, that's my lot. Then throw in odd bit of sport and youtube clips.

And an hour or 3 of 'Create and Craft tv' while I update the site :( Jenny wants that on, not me :)]
Arch Stanton said on 17/Apr/14
I'm really into Burton at the moment. About to watch Sea Wife, a little known film he did in the 50s with Joan Collins, who no doubt he slept with! It's hard to believe he never won an Oscar and didn't appear in many prominent Hollywood films. Perhaps it was because he didn't really care and his alcoholism but for me he was a much better actor than most American film actors of his period. I think both him and Liz were underrated as actors largely because of their larger than life media personality and celebrity status. I saw BUtterfield the other day and thought Liz was great. The more I see her you know Sue I'm seeing more 5'2.5-5'3" max than 5'4" actually. I think you might be right. I think Rob's spot on with Burton though.
Arch Stanton said on 17/Apr/14
Thanks Rob. Oh yeah, that could be the reason Liz :-) Yeah Woolf was terrifically well-acted and certainly Liz's best performance I believe, but Burton's best performance IMO was in Look Back in Anger Liz which he should definitely have won an Oscar for.
Brad said on 17/Apr/14
My father met him a number of times and always said he was "wide chested" with "wide open eyes". As listed.
littlesue said on 16/Apr/14
Well Arch is was on his Honeymoon with Liz Taylor so that was probably why he loked tired, lol. Brilliant actor, his performance in Virginia Wolf one of the best I have ever seen from a male, shame he missed out on an Oscar but Liz got hers
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/14
Rob can you add best remembered for films such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Becket, Cleopatra, The Taming of the Shrew, Look Back in Anger, The Robe, Alexander the Great, The Night of the Iguana, 1984, and Anne of the Thousand Days?

One of the most talented actors I've seen in films but his performance and energy noticeably changed a lot during films. I wonder if it was related to his alcoholism. In The Night of the Iguana for instance his acting near the beginning when he has a nervous breakdown as the priest ranting at the congregation was terrific, Oscar-worthy, but later on he really looked very lethargic and half asleep. I suppose the heat of Mexico didn't help. I wouldn't feel sleepy around Ava Gardner put it that way!
Arch Stanton said on 15/Apr/14
He had to have been near 5'10". He looked about 4 inches taller than Deborah Kerr in the Night of the Iguana.They show his shoes in the film and they look perfectly normal. I'd say 177cm is probably spot on.
Zediah said on 12/Mar/14
He claimed 5'10.5" in his diaries and a 1977 interview.
john said on 15/Feb/14
Maybe 5ft 8in by 1984. He always wore shoe lifts in films. 1.73m to 1.75m maximum.
James said on 27/Dec/13
Burton looked a lot shorter than Stanley Baker, who must have been six foot.
David said on 29/Nov/13
O'Toole was 6'1" and he still looked about three inches taller than Burton in that terrible film "Becket".
David said on 29/Nov/13
Penny Junor's 1986 biography said Burton was "about 5 foot 9", but always wore elevator shoes on and off screen.

I expect the publicity stills from "The Wild Geese" were shot to make the other three stars appear in line with Burton.
Ciaran said on 28/Nov/13
"Becket" was filmed in a certain way so that Burton, who was more famous than O'Toole, would not look too short by comparison.

Roger Moore was six foot, not six foot one or two as some sources claimed. There's a photograph of him with Sean Connery and Michael Caine where he looks at least two inches shorter.
FM said on 22/Nov/13
Plus, look at this pic from The Wild Geese - he is with 6'2ish Roger Moore and Richard Harris and holds his own. Even with shoes that would give him a couple of inches, he'd still have to of been 5'10" or pretty darn close to it.

Click Here
FM said on 22/Nov/13
He looks pretty close to 6'2" Peter O'Toole in Becket:
Click Here

Even if he wore lifts, he looks close to 6'0", at least. So 5'9.5" or 5'10" even sounds spot on.
Andy Seward said on 20/Nov/13
Burton was certainly not five foot ten, except when wearing elevator shoes perhaps. Five foot eight was his real height.
Scotty said on 14/Nov/13
@Rob skip to 3:15, Burton talks about his height and claims to be "exactly five feet ten and a half inches" I think your estimate or 5'10" flat is more likely though.

Click Here
John said on 23/Oct/13
You have to remember Pleasance and Seagal were wearing ordinary shoes, unlike Burton who always had his specially made with lifts. Camera angles were also used to make him appear taller in films.
Arch Stanton said on 22/Sep/13
He actually looks tallish in Virgina Wolff, like 5'11-6' but seeing him next to Segal I#d guess 5'10" ish.
kinglear said on 25/Aug/13
5' 9" flat or around there is a good estimate. Most stars in his era wore elevator shoes.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 12/Jul/13
I think he was about 5ft10

Underrated actor
RobT said on 29/Jun/13
Burton wore built up shoes in real life and in all his films, so you can't tell by how tall he looked in movies.
Knowitall said on 20/Apr/13
Burton was the same height as George Segal in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

I doubt Burton was under five ten. He always looked a solid five ten.
sbu said on 18/Apr/13
Burton did look 5'10" range, in Look back in anger he looked a good 3-4 in taller than 5'6" Donald Pleasence and usually towered Liz Taylor. I would say 5'9.5" is fair, I don't think he would be any lower than 5'9" and 5'10" could be a possibility.
Liz Look said on 30/Mar/13
Eva Garbor said he was 5'6" tall!
Sbu said on 29/Dec/12
@Rob: How come you downgraded him? I thought you had Burton listed as 5'10" until recently.
[Editor Rob: I think he's been about this mark for a while]
Bernadette barnes said on 6/Dec/11
I think that you are a good height because I am 5.2
James said on 24/Jul/11
Burton always wore built up shoes, 5'10" was probably his height with the extra help.
littlesue said on 17/Jul/11
Just reading the latest book on Taylor and Burton and his brother Graham says he was often used as a standin for Burton in films, he said that they looked similar and had similar builds but he says Richard was 5ft 10.5 to his 5ft 8.5
buff said on 12/Feb/11
Taylor may have been 5'7 in heels. I saw her with Burton at a premiere of the Sandpiper in Hollywood. She was shorter by several inches, but, some of the male stars do wear lifts.
guyfrommars said on 14/Jan/11
Mark: I thought Alain Delon was 5'8.5" or a weak 5'9".
Vibram said on 3/Jun/09
Check the youtube video of Richard on Parkinson show 1973 part 1: watch?v=bCdT0RlYf90. With really silly-looking footwear; around 3", he is still shorter than Parkinson (5ft10) who's in regular 1.5" shoes. Burton was 48 in 1973, so wouldn't of lost any age-related height. I would say he's 5ft7.... no more.
ivo raev said on 16/Oct/08
i think alain delon is no taller than 176.5cm
Caesar said on 21/Aug/08
Richard says on 6/Oct/07
Watching "Where Eagles Dare' just now, my guess is that he was about 5'6" (my height). Maybe 5'8. Maybe 5'4". Many star actors today (no names) are surprisingly short. On film it doesn't matter. In fact, shorter proportions actually work better on camera, in terms of overall 'look', perhaps explaining prevalence of shorter performers in movies. Of course, cultural conventions are that stars are 'tall', hence their (and their publicists') preference for lifts, Cubans, fake biogs, and so on.

That's simply not true. In fact, for a long time, Hollywood stars were much taller than average height. The leading men in the 1940s-1960s, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Peter O'Toole, Orson Welles, Clark Gable, Anthony Perkins, Anthony Quinn and many others were all over 6'0. Men like Humphrey Bogart and Marlon Brando were the exceptions, and even they were average height for the time (5'8-5'9). Yes, in the 1970s guys like Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino came up, but even so, I think it was more that height requirements became less important in Hollywood from that point on. There's no evidence the "average celebrity" is shorter than anyone else. They simply don't tower everyone else and people are shocked that "stars" are so "normal", not giants.
michail said on 27/Jun/08
hello rob!how tall is french actor alain delon,or belmondo

[Editor Rob: not sure on delon.]
Shaun said on 24/Jun/08
Alain Delon is 5'8".
Mark said on 12/Jun/08
In the movie "The Assassination of Trotsky" he was roughly identical in height to his "assassin" Alain Delon, who is an uncomfirmed 5'10. Burton appeared very average in height in this movie, certainly not short. 5'9ish seems logical.
Shaun said on 27/Feb/08
I've just measured my height today. I'm 1.71m in the morning (I used to think that I was around 1.70.5m but obviously I'm not) and 1.69.4m at the end of the day. A loss of about a cm and a half. So I'm Five-seven and a quarter. I always say Five-seven (1.70.18m) if you take my median height.
Richard Burton was around 1.71-1.72.7m, FIVE FEET SEVEN AND A QUARTER TO FIVE FEET EIGHT EXACTLY, NO MORE, NO LESS. He was never Five-nine or Ten. He wasn't short for a man in the 1960-70s (the average being Five-eight compared to Five-nine and a half to Ten today) but he certainly wasn't tall.
Richard said on 6/Oct/07
Watching "Where Eagles Dare' just now, my guess is that he was about 5'6" (my height). Maybe 5'8. Maybe 5'4". Many star actors today (no names) are surprisingly short. On film it doesn't matter. In fact, shorter proportions actually work better on camera, in terms of overall 'look', perhaps explaining prevalence of shorter performers in movies. Of course, cultural conventions are that stars are 'tall', hence their (and their publicists') preference for lifts, Cubans, fake biogs, and so on.
KIRK said on 3/May/07
BURTON LOOKED 5FT 9 OR 10 IN THE FILM WHERE EAGLES DARE AND WAS NEVER THAT SHORT LIKE SOME PEOPLE MADE OUT.
Josh said on 25/Apr/07
Burton probarbly was only round 5ft 8 in height.
He appeared to look taller in some films but that was mainly footwear and lifts. Ive also read somewhere that his exact height was only 5ft 7.5.
John said on 17/Mar/07
If Elizabeth was only 5'2" then Burton can't have been any more than about 5'7".
al said on 9/Mar/07
burton was around the 5ft 9 mark and he looked that height through most of his career.
josh emery said on 24/Feb/07
I think richards height was around 5ft 9 inches as he only kooked a touch shorter than james mason in the desert rats
Roger Field said on 12/Sep/06
I met Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in LA in 1965 in the foyer of a theater where Harry Secombe had been playing, obviously a friend of their's. Richard was
a little taller than I was. I am almost 5'9" without shoes.
Editor Rob said on 8/Sep/06
Lima News 1962:
"And I'm too old. I'm now 36 And I look about 5-foot-2 I'm 5-10 but I look smaller It's because I'm so wide or my head's, too big or something"
Drooperdoo said on 5/Jun/06
Frank, that "over-the-shoulder" shot in movies is famous for distorting heights. They use that for Tom Cruise and Chuck Norris all the time. Try finding a full body-length side-by-side of Ustinov and Burton--one where we can see their shoes, too. So far the full-body shot of Burton next to Lucille Ball is the most telling. And he isn't coming off as too tall.
Frank2 said on 3/Jun/06
Ustinov and Burton: Click Here
Peter was about an inch shorter than me. I saw the two men together and they were roughly the same height.

Peter with his publicist: Click Here

Peter clowning on the set of The Egyptian: Click Here
That's little Tommy Rettig with Peter. Rettig would later go on to star in the TV series Lassie. The palace set was built on the old Fox back lot, now Century City. Right behind it was Sligon's Castle built for Prince Valiant.

Tommy and Jean Simmons on the set of The Egyptian: Click Here
Way in the background can be seen the slanted sky backing scaffold that was behind the huge Serson special effects water tank where miniature ships floated while being photographed to look normal sized. The tank was named after Fred Serson who had been Head of Visual Effects at Fox. When the lot was razed in 1961, they built a brand new one out at Fox's 3,000 acre ranch located in Malibu Canyon. The place is now a park and the newer tank and sky backing are long gone. It was out there that they filmed all the miniatures for Tora Tora Tora as well as the liner in the original Poseidon Adventure.

Here's the Seaview from the feature version of Voyage to the Bottom in the Serson tank seen behind Jean Simmons: Click Here

Frank2 said on 2/Jun/06
Still doesn't look two inches to me. They look like Cuban heels that are about an inch and a half in height. Lucy is wearing two inch heels.
Drooperdoo said on 2/Jun/06
Man, in that photo Richinkle posted of Lucy and Burton side by side, you really get the impression of how close they are in height. It's proof like that that makes me realize why he referred to himself as short, and why his mentor said he was too short to be an actor. Seriously! Look at him next to Lucy in that picture. In bare-feet, I'm guessing he'd barely be an inch taller than her!!!
richinkle said on 1/Jun/06
Here is a slightly better photo of the shoe in question. Ball and Burton's shoes have almost the same heel size, and therefore cancel each other out.
Click Here
Frank2 said on 1/Jun/06
And my questimate is based on watching her for 40+ years, seeing her many times in the flesh and reading a couple of bios listing her at 5'6". SO THERE!!!!
richinkle said on 1/Jun/06
Burton is definitely wearing 2" heels (they might even be higher). I'll post another picture later that shows them.
Drooperdoo, perhaps you should tune into the Lucille Ball page on here to see how long the discussion of her height has been going on between Frank and me. I contend she's 5'-7" to 5'-7 1/2", Frank met her and thinks she's 5'-6". In any event, this is not based on her publicist's account, but my own observations after watching her for 40+ years. My guestimate was confirmed in her autobiography "Love, Lucy", and by her daughter, Lucie Arnaz, herself a 5'-9"+ woman.
Frank2 said on 1/Jun/06
Well, Drooperdoo, I agree that Lucy wasn't 5'7". She was 5'6". But had Burton only been 5'9" in shoes I'd have noticed it. That wasn't the case.
Drooperdoo said on 1/Jun/06
Richinkle, once again, you're making the mistake of assigning Lucy a height of 5'7'' barefoot. She wasn't (despite the claims of her publicists). She was probably about 5'5''. In heels, she'd be 5'7''. Same thing with Burton. He's probably about 5'9''--in shoes. I'm 5'9'' in shoes. Out of my shoes, however, I hover between 5'7.5'' and 5'8''.
Frank2 said on 1/Jun/06
They don't look like two inch heels to me.
richinkle said on 31/May/06
Click Here
Photo from a 1970 episode of "Here's Lucy" that I referred to below. Lucy is 59, Richard is 45, Liz is 38 years old. Lucy and Richard are wearing about 2" heels, and appear to be about 2" apart in height. This was consistent in all their scenes together. Liz is wearing much higher heels, 3"-3 1/2", and appears about 4" shorter than Lucy and 6" shorter than her husband. My conclusion:
Richard: 5'-9 to 5'-9 1/2"
Lucy: 5'-7"+
Liz: 5'-2"
Drooperdoo said on 31/May/06
Frank2, I didn't read it in an article, I saw it on TV where he was addressing an audience. He spoke at length about how his mentor said he was too short to be an actor, and how it comforted him to know that Bogart and Cagney were short. If they could do it [he reasoned] he could do it. That's significant. What 5'10'' man--as you're alleging he is--lumps himself in with shrimp actors like Jimmy Cagney?
Frank2 said on 31/May/06
He never called himself short to my knowledge. As I said, he was on the old Dick Cavett TV Show and when asked how tall he was he said 5'10". Show me in writting where he made the comment he was short and I mean in legit articles with quotes attributed to him.

As for short comments by others....well, most people don't know what they're talking about.

And Sam, where did you read 5'9" listed as Burton's official height? From his doctor? Or from the IMDb? FYI Fox had him listed at 6'. I do know that one since I checked when I worked there and was able to look at old publicity records. They had just about everyone under six feet listed at six feet including Robert Wagner, Clifton Webb, Burton, Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, etc.
Drooperdoo said on 30/May/06
Frank2, not to rile you or get you angry: But please explain for us why Burton called himself short, and why several people who knew him and worked with him called him short. I mean, if he's really 5'10'' why all the persistent short comments--even from himself? What's your theory?
sam said on 29/May/06
Frank, 5'9" was Burton's actual measured height, so you can't argue with that.
Frank2 said on 29/May/06
When I saw Burton he wasn't standing up as straight as possible. Like me he was relaxed. And he didn't look 5'9". He looked 5'10". He was about the same height as Peter Ustinov who I worked with closely for several days and Peter was also about 5'10".
Drooperdoo said on 29/May/06
Frank, it proves that someone who's 5'7.5'' can legitimately look 5'9'' in ordinary shoes. I don't doubt that you assumed Burton was 5'9''. But you didn't see him in his bare feet. There's a reason he referred to himself as short, a reason why his mentor said he was too short to be an actor. You have to take those remarks into account and stop dismissing them--as if 5'11'' people get called short routinely. They don't. Yet Burton did. (A fact you keep trying to ignore.)
Frank2 said on 29/May/06
What does that prove?
Drooperdoo said on 25/May/06
Frank, I just did an experiment. I'm about 5'7.5''. In the morning, if I stretch and stand as straight as possible, I'm 5'8''. (My wife has measured me at the 5'8'' height.) But by mid-day, I'm back down to 5'7.5.'' That's in bare feet. In an experiment, I measured myself in standard shoes. [No lifts.] I'm exactly 5'9'' in shoes. If you want I can send you photos to prove what I'm saying.
Frank2 said on 22/May/06
Look, Burton wasn't 5'7". I don't know where you ever came up with that height. He told Dick Cavett that he was about 5'10". When I saw him he didn't appear to be wearing huge lifts which he'd have needed to in order to boost himself by three inches. And the shots of Burton next to Liz when she's wearing heels doesn't show just two inches in height difference. Now he might have been 5'9" and wore lifts that boosted him in shoes to 5'11" which was how tall he looked. I'm about six feet in shoes.

Liz and Richard: Click Here
I assume she's wearing high heels.

Another shot this one from The Sandpiper: Click Here

How is it that Burton seems taller than Robert Goulet in this photo?: Click Here
Goulet claims to be 6', but in reality is just about 5'10".

Here's Goulet with 5'9" singer John Gary: Click Here

Goulet with 5'11" President Bush: Click Here

Here's Goulet looking shorter than 5'10" Orson Bean: Click Here
And I'm certain Bean lost some height by the time of this photo. After all, he's now in his late seventies.

Goulet with 6' 2" Harvey Fierstein: Click Here
Maybe Bob is standing on his tiptoes.

I don't know, Fierstein looks more than two inches shorter than 6'4" John Lithgow: Click Here

Burton with 6'4" Clint Eastwood: Click Here

Here's Burton from that film with his female co-star Ingrid Pitt: Click Here
It looks like he's wearing lifts. But can you blame him having to be next to Clint Eastwood?

Clint with Ingrid Pitt: Click Here

[Editor Rob: speaking of Pitt, I saw her this year...unsure if she's actually shrunk much or not, in any case I thought she looked near 5ft 4. Although she didn't bother doing any photo op mind you. Actually, she was doing one of those Q+a things, got annoyed at the lack of questions from the shy british public, thought the audience seemed 'bored' and kind of wandered off. Her speech sounded slurred, I don't know if she had been ill or something...]
Drooperdoo said on 22/May/06
Frank, I said that Burton was two inches taller than Liz when she was in high-heels. Stop distorting my position. In flats, she seems 5 inches shorter; in high heels, she seems a mere few inches shorter. She's 5'2'' in bare feet. 5'2''. So 5'2'' + 5 = 5'7''-- which is why I suspect that Burton's real height is 5'7'' or 5'7.5'' which would be 5'8.5'' in shoes. No wonder people who see him in shoes, assume he's 5'9''. It's not a stretch. The problem is: I measure people in bare feet. I don't give them credit for thick shoe-soles.
Drooperdoo said on 21/May/06
Frank, the 5'2'' Taylor is wearing high-heels in "Cleopatra," elevating her to a hypothetical 5'5''. Burton is about two inches taller than her in her heels. Re-examine that picture. He's nowhere near 5 inches taller than her in her heels. 5 inches is almost half a foot. No one seeing that picture would say he's "half a foot" taller than her. He's barely a few inches taller--placing his height at about 5'7'' or 5'8''.

[Editor Rob: Burton Taylor and Alf Ramsey. She has a Little Heel I don't know hard to say, 2 inch...although not sure about burton shoes...actually looking at all the pics of burton/taylor I would start to agree she is shorter...

Anyway, Alf was in his 50's and probably near his playing height of 5ft 8...incidentally here he is with Jack Charlton who I saw earlier this year, although nowadays he wasn't quite his playing height 6ft 2 mind you...lost a little that guy.]
Frank2 said on 21/May/06
If you only see two inches then you need glasses! Do us all a favor. Pull out a tape measure and look at how long an inch really is. Or two inches for that matter. OK. Done it? If you have then you'll notice that an inch isn't that long. In fact it's no longer that the length of an average index finger from its tip to the first bendable joint. Burton is clearly at least five inches taller in that shot where their backs are to the camera. Measure the distance between their shoulders. With the photo taken on the set of Cleopatra, Burton is again at least five inches taller and Liz is wearing what look to be high heels. Notice the pointed toe protruding from her gown? If you don't believe me, draw a line across and you'll see that Liz comes up to his eye level. Are you saying that Burton's eye level to the top of his head is only two inches? Come on!! I mean this is just plain silly!
Drooperdoo said on 21/May/06
Frank, you've convince he that Burton wore lifts. Consider the shot of him and Liz from the rear as they head for an airplane. Burton is scarcely two inches taller than the diminutive Taylor. Likewise, when he's wearing sandals in that pic you posted from "Cleopatra". Then there a sudden jump in his height for a third picture, where the couple are at an event. He suddenly goes from an inch or two taller than her (in her heels) to about five inches taller. Something's fishy there.
Frank2 said on 20/May/06
Well, he wasn't 5'7" when I saw him. And he didn't appear to be wearing huge lifts that would have stood out.

Burton with 5'11" John Gielgud: Click Here

Burton and 5'2" Liz Taylor: Click Here

Burton and Taylor: Click Here

I doubt those are lifts in his sandals: Click Here(I)

Here's 5'10" George Segal next to Burton: Click Here(I)

Anyone know how tall producer Ilya Salkind is?: Click Here(I)

Finally, when Burton was a guest on the old Dick Cavett TV show and Cavett asked him how tall he was which Cavett being so short liked to do, Burton said, "I'm about 5'10". A few weeks later when Kirk Douglas appeared and Cavett inquired as to how tall he was, Kirk told him he was about 5'11" which prompted Cavette to remark, "Well, that makes you taller than Richard Burton." In reality Douglas was no more than about 5'8" and always wore huge lifts.
Drooperdoo said on 20/May/06
Here's a website with a picture of Burton with his father. Burton's dad was a mere 5' tall. Look at Burton standing next to his dad. Burton is leaning over, but imagine him standing straight: Would he look a full 9 inches taller than his dad? --Be honest. (I think he's lucky to be seven inches taller.) Click Here
Drooperdoo said on 20/May/06
Frank, I saw Burton in an interview when he referred to himself as short several times and he himself placed himself in the James Cagney/Humphrey Bogart height range. Likewise, other actors in interviews referred to his shortness. I think it's possible that he wore lifts. A 5'7'' man in shoes would naturally be 5'7.5'' or 5'8''. In lifts he would appear to be 5'9.5'' or 5'10''. I've seen Burton in movies where he looks short, and newspaper photos where he's at events and looks shorter than the rest of the men. I sincerely take him at his own word: He was BELOW average height. That's from his own lips.
Frank2 said on 19/May/06
Well, I agree with you about Lucille Ball. I met her many times and she wasn't 5'7". But trying to make people understand this is like me banging my head against a brick wall. Bogie was only 5'7". As for Burton, I did see him in the flesh and he looks to be about 5'10". He was about an inch shorter than me and I'm 5'11". He was about the same height as Peter Ustinov who I worked with on the god-awful Hammersmith is Out which also starred Liz Taylor. Perhaps Burton was wearing lifts when I saw him, but seeing him in various roles he still looked about 5'10". In The V.I.P.s he wasn't that much shorter than 5'11" Louis Jourdan who the idiotic IMDb lists as being 6'1". In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf he was about the same height as George Segal and I'm about an inch taller than Segal as you can see from the photo of me with him on his thread.
Drooperdoo said on 18/May/06
It's funny, reading the comments here, and seeing people passively accept the listed heights of celebrities. For instance, Lucille Ball was NOT 5'7''. That's her publicist height. Yet you go on the [erroneous] assumption that her listed height is her real height, and use that as a yard-stick to measure others. Same thing with those claiming Bogart was 5'8''. That was his phony Hollywood height. (It's inconceivable that Burton was 5'10'' and everyone called him short--including himself.) 5'8'' was average height. If he was 5'10'', it's inconceivable that--before he was famous--everyone said he was too short to be an actor. So his shortness wasn't based on being surrounded by giants. It was based on comparisons from everyday people. No one two inches taller than the average is referred to as "short". No one. But Burton CONSISTENTLY was.
Glenn said on 17/Apr/06
Yeah,Finney is looking 5-9 now.never met him or another favorite of mine,Michael Cain.who I believe is 6-2.shame,both are are always under my nose in NYC,and I keep missing them.
Frank2 said on 17/Apr/06
Finney was about 5'10" when he was young. Now, who knows?
richinkle said on 17/Apr/06
In a 1970 "Here's Lucy" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Lucy and Richard are in many scenes together, both wearing about 2" heels. Burton was a consistent 2 to 2 1/2" taller than Ball, who was slightly over 5'-7" at this point in her life (nearly 60 years old). That would put him at about 5'-9 1/2", exactly what you show. Elizabeth Taylor is in a scene with Lucy and the top of her head is at Lucy's eye level,or about 4" shorter, and Taylors heels are about 1" TO 1 1/2" higher. That would put her somewhere between 5'-2" and 5'-3". I have a couple of stills from these scenes that I sent to Rob several weeks ago.
Glenn said on 17/Apr/06
I always wanted to know that.he never appeared tall or short.5-10 makes sense Frank.whats your take on Albert Finney? he can look between 5-9 and 5-11,and his listings are all over the place.
Frank2 said on 15/Apr/06
Burton was 5'10".
larry said on 8/Apr/06
OK, saw CLEOPATRA a month ago & my daughter has this VERY LONNNGGG movie (at least SEEMS that way) on DVD. Mr. Burton only looks about an inch less than Rex Harrison. Something doesn't add up here! :-) Guess I should look at Rex's listing!
Babyboomer said on 7/Apr/06
Watched "Night of The Iguana" tonight. Burton looks a solid 5'10" there and I'd say 180 pounds or so.
larry said on 31/Mar/06
I'd like to get Frank2's take on Mr. Burton? He certainly LOOKED 5'9" or 10" in all of his movies. Bogart was a tad above 5'8". So was Spencer Tracy. When an actor is in enough movies AND their height doesn't bob up and down (won't mention WHO I mean by that) it's pretty easy to compare.
Drooperdoo said on 21/Dec/05
Check out this photo analysis. It starts with Elizabeth Taylor. She was married to both Richard Burton and Eddie Fisher. Fisher, on this website is listed at 5'4''. Here's a pic showing that Taylor is shorter than Fisher [and not the 5'6'' her publicists claim]. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Nov-26-Fri-2004/photos/countdown.jpg Now compare her true height [of about 5'2'' or 5'3'' to this body shot of her walking with Richard Burton. http://www.camlucphotos.com/exhibition/images/02891.jpg Taylor's in high heels, probably elevating her to 5'5'' or 5'6''--which places Burton at 5'7''.
Drooperdoo said on 12/Dec/05
Bogart was never 5'8''. 5'6'' is more like it. His publicist claims 5'8''. And Spencer Tracey was likewise never 5'10''. You should be smarted than to believe publicists and "official websites". (Likewise Burton was never 5'9''.)
Drooperdoo said on 2/Dec/05
McFly, No. Burton was referred to as short his whole life. His mentor told him he was too short to go into acting. [This was he was a young man.] A slew of other actors and actresses referred to him as short throughout his life, and I saw him in a documentary where he relates how it was being short--all years before he ever appeared in a movie with Eastwood. So your theory doesn't exactly match reality. [In fact, he said he thought he could get away in Hollywood because of other short heroes of his like Cagney and Bogart.] So he placed himself in their height-range.
Drooperdoo said on 1/Dec/05
5'9 was two inches ABOVE national height "average" when Burton grew up. His own father was only 5' tall. It seems inconceivable that so many people--including himself--would refer to him as "short" if he was 2 inches taller than average.
Drooperdoo said on 22/Nov/05
Yes, Burton described himself as 5'7'' when he was 15 years-old. But maybe he stopped growing then. I did. (Coincidentally, I also stopped growing at 5'7''.) Burton's dad was only 5' tall. It's not like the guy had "tall genes".
Drooperdoo said on 22/Nov/05
Burton described himself as 5'7'' . . . with a size-8 shoe, in diaries that were just given to a university. Here. Read nore. http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/tm_objectid=16352911&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=burton-diaries-given-to-university-name_page.html

[Editor Rob: this was when he was a teenager, but interesting nonetheless!]
John said on 10/Nov/05
Burton was exactly a head taller than his father, as you can see from photographs of them walking together in 1953. His father, a Welsh miner, was exactly five feet tall, and since a head is about nine inches in length that proves Rich was indeed 5'9".
Shaun said on 27/Oct/05
I have the DVD of 'Where Eagles dare'. This movie was filmed in 1968 and released in '69. In the making of the film Burton admits that he is short and stocky and 6'4" Clint Eastwood is tall and thin. 5'9" is hardly short especially for a man in the 1960s, so he was around 5'7". Burton was known to wear platforms on stage and behind the camera. As a man of 1.70.5cm tall I believe Burton was around my height and looked a couple of inches taller because of his footwear.
Robert said on 24/Oct/05
Burton was definitely 5'9" because he was the same height as Peter Firth in "Equus".
Shaun said on 11/Oct/05
In the 1978 movie 'The wild Geese' Burton looks much shorter than Richard Harris and Roger Moore (both around 6'1".) Julie Andrews has also admitted that he lacked height when she appeared on Larry King. I would say on evidence Burton was around 5'7" and no taller than 5'8".

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

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

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