How tall is Ron Ely

Ron Ely's Height

6ft 4 ½ (194.3 cm)

American actor best known for roles in 1960's TV series Tarzan and film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. During the 60's he was described as both 6ft 4 and 5.

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Average Guess (3 Votes)
6ft 4.67in (194.7cm)
Tall In The Saddle said on 23/Feb/20
@Ian C

Yes, movie stars in themselves interest me also. Their personalities and exploits off camera often being just as compelling and sometimes even more fascinating than their portrayals on screen. It seems the golden era of Hollywood at least, by it's own demanding nature and mechanisms, filtered many individuals of broad attributes, application, tenacity and determination, a colourful life and experiences already preceding their rise to stardom.
Then you sometimes have the irony of onscreen portrayals vs real life. Despite his celluloid efforts and gung ho attitude off screen, John Wayne didn't actually serve while James Stewart did, as a bomber pilot who flew 20 missions no less. Spoiler alert, while Wayne may've shot Liberty Valance, it was James Stewart who did so much more in real life whilst still, as you said, maintaining himself as Hollywood's Mr Nice Guy.
It's weird but while Wayne did so many movies with John Ford and the two spent a lot of time off screen being manly men, drinking, hunting and what not, apparently Ford constantly jibed Wayne about his lack of military service. On the set of the Quiet Man, it is claimed that Ford repeatedly highlighted Victor Mclaglen's own prior military service in contrast to Wayne. Even so, it is said Wayne worshipped Ford, so go figure. Wayne wasn't so enamoured with the director John Huston who was known to bully his actors, including Bogart, and it is alleged that Huston tried same with Wayne and that Wayne punched out Huston in quick time. True or not, I couldn't tell you.
Ian C. said on 23/Feb/20
I am fascinated by movie stars, Tall, and not just because of their appeal in their movies, but because of their real personalities. Imagine being the star of a movie. A movie is a major industrial enterprise, like erecting a bridge, or launching a new consumer project. Movies frequently cost 100 million dollars to make. If you are the star of such a movie, it may well be that it couldn't have been bankrolled unless you had agreed to make it. Imagine how it would affect your ego if you and your face and your personality and their appeal were the financial basis of an enterprise requiring millions of dollars and the efforts of a hundred accomplished people.

And you can be a movie star even if you have a terrible flaw. Bronson was an mean, angry man who barged through life scaring and insulting people. Marvin, although considerably more friendly and humane, was an incurable alcoholic. But both were phenomenally gifted. Both arose from the obscurity of bit parts to major stardom, which requires extraordinary talent.

Other movie stars are normal, decent people. Everyone who met James Stewart or Jack Lemmon, for example, liked them. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose physical gifts might have predisposed him to arrogant, is said to be perfectly likable in every way. Decent people do not cease to be decent when they become movie stars. Nasty people, like Charles Bronson, just get worse.
Tall In The Saddle said on 20/Feb/20
Yes Ian, from what I've read re Bronson, I personally agree with your profile on him, a nice, succinct summation of the man.
And you can see it first hand in Dick Cavett's '72 interview (poor Dick) and read it second hand in Roger Ebert's corroborating 74' article detailing his own interview with Bronsan.
As you said, it seems Bronsan mainly played himself in his most favoured, signature characters, whatever "himself" truly was. In real life, I think he clearly cloaked himself in protective layers and invoked measures (that we view as "hostile" like curt responses, avoidance of subjects etc.') to lay low and deter interactions with people or, at the least, warn off people from delving too deep. That is, unless he himself was prepared to open up and voluntarily impart details of himself, which it seems he did from time to time.
He rejected discussion of the deeper meanings and motives behind his acting, he made it clear that he viewed himself as just a product, there to read the lines and take the money.
I would have to guess that there was a lot more to Bronsan than he let on, perhaps only revealed to a select few. Somewhat a sad person, evidentially carrying legacies of early age solitude, traumas and mistrust. He apparently drew, painted, exhibited and sold under an alias but I haven't checked his work.
Re Lee Marvin's height. Without hyper-analytical comparisons and the offering of a perfectly calibrated estimate to 1/8th of an inch, evening low of course (lol), I get the personal feel of Lee being perhaps in the 6'1.5" to 6'2" range, could be wrong though. Yes, I've seen the Marine photo of Lee, around 17 to 18 yo I think, no meat on the bones. Conversely, see photos of Sean Connery in the Navy (service ages 16 to 19) and it seems from an early age, Big Tam was always just that, big. Connery had huge fists also, exemplified when he held up same to Dustin Hoffman in the FAMILY BUSINESS.

Estimates can sometimes be tough given all the obvious variables in play. As I have found in the case of Big Clint W., I can see 6'5" max. sometimes for him but then, in the Dirt. Doz. line up which is a better ref. than most IMO, I see better than that, a good 6'5.5", particularly since Clint can be reasonably compared against both Jim Brown and Donald Sutherland who are standing in close proximity.
Ian C. said on 17/Feb/20
There are many, many stories, Tall, about Charles Bronson's constant misanthropic hostility to just about everyone. He was sullen and angry most of the time, and went around scaring everybody which, ironically, was a character trait that contributed to his success as a movie star. My guess is he didn't show up for the photo shoot because he was just too contemptuous of his fellow actors to participate, and that everybody there was relieved by his absence.

Lee Marvin was an habitual drunkard, and I'll bet he was pretty well lit when that photo was taken. He had to sip whiskey all day when he was working, otherwise he would lapse into a state of agonizing withdrawal.

It's hard to pin down Marvin's height, but I think he was about six foot two and a half. His large head and his basso profundo voice made him seem bigger and stronger than he was. You can google up a picture of him as a young man in the Marines, standing shirtless, when he was surprisingly thin.
Tall In The Saddle said on 16/Feb/20
@Ian C

Got to say Ian, just IMO, I think the angle is deceptive as far as Marvin is concerned. If you will, within the frame of the shot, Marvin's feet appear that bit higher than Sutherland's. Lee is listed as 6'1.5" and Sutherland 6'3.5". I did find a pic on google search of Lee standing beside 6'2" Jim Brown who looks a bit taller so 6'1.5" looks about right for Lee. I tried to click in and link it but it wouldn't load.

You're right about Chuck. I didn't notice that before. Good spot. The Dirty Eleven. Maybe he was on the crapper? Lee's head does appear huge and unfortunately for him I can't put that down to angle. It's a straight up BIG celebrity head. Polar opposite of Walker's.

Funny, I just read that Lee often turned up drunk on set and Bronson was on the verge of punching him out because of it. Maybe the best thing for Chuck was to not appear in the same photo lest he belt Lee.
Ian C. said on 16/Feb/20
This picture of the Dirty Dozen that Tall In the Saddle has posted is pretty interesting. For one thing, I can't find Charles Bronson in the picture. Odd.

Also, look how big Lee Marvin is. He seems pretty close in height to Donald Sutherland (six foot four), and he has the largest head.
Tall In The Saddle said on 15/Feb/20
@Ian C
Don't get me wrong. I didn't post the pic to specifically argue against 6'6". I actually think the DIRTY DOZEN pic holds Clint up in one of his best lights. No heel advantage and can be reasonably compared to 6'2" Brown and 6'3.5" Sutherland in equal footwear. While perhaps not looking quite 6'6", he looks closer to it than in other pics I've seen and perhaps deserves no less than 6'5.5" based on the DD pic alone. However, it is just one pic and you have seen a lot more of Clint than me.
Ian C. said on 15/Feb/20
Y'know, Tall, I think you might have me here, because in that cast photo from The Dirty Dozen, Walker looks less than six foot six.

Incidentally, Jim Brown was one of the strongest human beings who have ever walked the Earth. I doubt if there was anything of a physical nature that Walker did that Brown couldn't have done much better, including lifting heavy weights. Watch his NFL highlight reel on YouTube, and it usually takes three men to tackle him.
Tall In The Saddle said on 14/Feb/20
@Ian C

Interesting. I'd like to see the episode of CHEYENNE with Buddy Baer who was very much a legit 6'6.5". His older brother Max Baer Snr was 6'2.5" but Buddy still towered him.

I've got as far as confirming it as 1957 E014S02 BIG GHOST BASIN. Just have to find it on YouTube now.

Personally, without express scrutiny, I always casually took Jim Garner as a 6'1" to 6'1.5" type of guy, pretty much on par with James Coburn.

As to weight, I'm going to guess Big Clint to have been around 250lbs to 260lbs, particularly if Jim Brown's listed playing weight of 232 lbs is correct. Here's a unique shot of the cast from the DIRTY DOZEN, Click Here. It would be good if all movies could manage similar full cast photos where possible. Clint makes Brown look almost skinny by comparison.

Also, if you're interested, I've linked a 1953 THIS IS YOUR LIFE episode to the Victor McLaglen page with Old Vic of course as the guest in question. Very rare and it's a relatively recent up load to YouTube.
Ian C.. said on 11/Feb/20
Fair points, Tall, but I have seen two seasons of Cheyenne on dvd, and that guy was just huge. He appears in an episode of Cheyenne with Buddy Baer (six six and a half) and he's pretty close. I'm a fan of Bronco, which was the Warners western that was made to fill the gap when Walker quit for a year over a contract dispute. Bronco starred Ty Hardin, who was about six foot one and half. Anyway, it was quite common for Hardin to be in a scene with at least one taller actor. That never happened to Walker.

Also, I'm pretty sure that James Garner in youth was very close to six foot three. Garner was in four episodes of Cheyenne with Walker, and Walker just dwarfed him. If Walker wasn't six foot six, he was within a quarter of an inch of it.

Ron Ely was a very big man. He couldn't have been less than two hundred and ten pounds. In Night of the Grizzly, Ely and another actor attack Walker. Ely wasn't big enough, at six foot four and half, to credibly fight Walker on his own.
Tall In The Saddle said on 8/Feb/20
@Ian C
I think people always find a reason to inflate, including those who are a legit 6'5". That's just how it is with height. There was an article early in Walker's career which interestingly described him as 6'4.5". Anyway, Walker was all about being big and claiming 1" extra wouldn't have hurt the image. I checked the scene with Ely and Walker, not perfect to judge by and Walker has an edge at the angle filmed but certainly not by 1.5". Walker also conceded that 6'6" listed James Arness was taller by 1" and there's a pic which seems to indicate that Arness was at least that much taller if not more. In balance, Arness also claimed a height of 6'7" at times. Then there was Clint's ever faithful cowboy boots with a huge heel to muddy the waters. In SNOWBEAST, Clint only looked equal to 6'5" Bo Svenson at best and at other times a tad shorter. However, in THE DIRTY DOZEN, I will say Clint does appear closer to 6'6" as compared to the likes of Jim Brown and Sutherland in apparently equal footwear. Whatever Clint was I would say he's dropping a good 2" to Ely in the photo I linked. That's quite a height loss if one believes that Clint once held a 1.5" height adv. over Ely whilst also allowing some height loss for Ely himself. There's another pic online of Clint in big boots standing beside Tom Selleck and Clint is a bit shorter.
I never took note of the size of Clint's head. Even an averaged sized head would look small atop that body.
Ian C. said on 8/Feb/20
I'm pretty sure, Tall, that Clint Walker really was six foot six. There would be no point in a six foot five inch man adding another inch. Interestingly, Walker had a small head. You see him with other actors in the same shot, and his body dwarfs everybody else's but their heads are bigger than his.

You can see Ely and Walker in a scene together in Night of the Grizzly. Walker is certainly taller than Ely, and must outweigh him by twenty-five pounds. Walker made a Tarzan actor look average.
Tall In The Saddle said on 23/Jan/20
I've seen ELY in TV series with the likes of Clint Walker and Lyle Waggoner and do you think you would get ONE SCENE for a reasonable comparison? Of course not. There are some shots at distance but they require some extrapolation for estimations. It's as if they knew a site like this would exist one day and in future potential they chose to make things difficult. LOL.

Anyway, I've long suspected that Clint Walker wasn't a full 6'5". Be still Clint fans, Clint was a great guy but I just don't think he was tall as advertised. However, I will say Walker is paradox, sometimes I see maybe 6'5", sometimes I don't and Clint almost ALWAYS wore those big heeled boots though his footwear in the DIRTY DOZEN appeared military standard and equal to other cast members and he appears to rock a decent 6'5" but NEVER 6'6".

I would make the call and say ELY was taller than Clint at peak and reserve that ELY might've been a bit taller than given credit for, that credit usually being 6'4.5". Interestingly, in later years with Walker about 11 years ELY's senior, this photo indicates a clear height advantage to ELY. Obviously height loss has to be factored but the difference appears beyond the allowed margin. I can't speak for ELY's footwear but I am pretty sure Clint would be wearing the same old well heeled boots as always, in line with the rest of his cowboy garb.

Click Here

IMO, probably the most natural and believably applied physique for the role of Tarzan would be that of Olympic Swimming Medal winner Johnny Weissmuller and deliberate or not, Johnny played it raw, as if literally honed in the jungle or at least, having had no acting lessons to corrupt his au natural treatment. In terms of physique, of course I mean the young version of Weissmuller, not the later version who, when life in the jungle paid off handsomely and evidential middle aged spread kicked in, cleverly donned a pith helmet and safari suit and called himself Jungle Jim. Too easy. The Tarzan Transition Tack to retirement.

Ha ha. Back in the old days no pressure to get ripped to shreds for a role, just suck the gut in as and when and as far as possible and wear concealing clothing if necessary.

CAPE FEAR. As to sucking in the gut, I'll still take the forboding menace of the gut sucking, hooded eyed, T square shaped Mitchum over a ripped De Niro any day. Who on earth could crack an egg single handed and as violently as Mitchum did? Gordon Ramsay, eat your hear out, the yokes on you.

And, it's a fact that in REAL LIFE Mitchum made short work of a guy who ACTUALLY fought Rocky Marciano. Dude was not to be messed with. Seriously.

Could Adam West and George Reeves still get away with the obvious paunches they carried back in the day whilst wearing their undies on the outside? Would they be body shamed by today's audiences? I tend to think the function of Batman's utility belt was more akin to that of control briefs and if that was the belt's true purpose then it was a big fail. And by the way, you can't buy Shark Repellent anywhere, not even on Ebay, lord knows I've searched and searched. False advertising. Otherwise, it would be more than handy when trying to ward off rubber sharks which can be problem from time to time.

And one last thing, while Adam West could unashamedly walk around with obvious Bat Fat, his female nemesis Cat Woman was afforded no such luxury, as proven by the sleek and sexy forms of Newmar, Meriwether and Kitt. Purrrfect! Battle Royale anyone?
Ian C. said on 28/Nov/19
Ely is one of those people who looks as if he has been assembled from two different men. Short legs and a long torso. Also a little too thin to be Tarzan.

The best movie Tarzan physically (but inept as an actor) was Mike Henry. Henry was a journeyman linebacker in the NFL and, in order to play Tarzan, he was required to lose twenty pounds. Watch Henry move in any of his three appearances as Tarzan, and you can get a quick, powerful impression of just how strong and fast professional football players are. Guy weighed about two hundred pounds, and he could have caught a good runner like Tom Cruise while running backwards. And, in today's NFL, Henry in his prime would have been too small.
Tall In The Saddle said on 30/Oct/19
Nothing against Ron Ely but was never a fan of the "modern day" Tarzan series - for me, as Connery is to Bond, Weissmuller is to Tarzan.

I admit that I never realised Ely was so tall - later realising he was def. between 6'4" and 6'5" if not actually the latter height. Sad to hear the tragic news re his wife and son - how do you deal with such horror - particularly when you yourself are in your 80s and disabled in some measure?
Chaz said on 12/Mar/15
No shorter than 6'4'' Woody Strode so at least that height,
AlexMahone said on 12/Mar/15
Here it is the late Ron Ely in Matt Houston:

Click Here

He was here 45 years old and 3-4cm taller than Lee Horsley. They wear both cowboy boots and the ground is the same.
AlexMahone said on 11/Mar/15
Thanks to added him Rob! He was huge in his 40s as well. He was clearly taller in the TV Series "Matt Houston" than strong 6'3 Lee Horsley. So this 194cm is spot on....
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 11/Mar/15
He could look 6ft4 or 6ft5

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