How tall is Will Sampson

Will Sampson's Height

6ft 5in (195.6 cm)

US Actor from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His son said in a 2000 interview (chicago times) "My father was 6-feet-7, so I looked up to him in every way", in 1976 courier times had been described "6ft 5, 250lbs".

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Average Guess (6 Votes)
6ft 5.54in (197cm)
Jason said on 9/Mar/17
@Charlie, Will had a few inches on Richard Harris and Paul in Orca. Richard was 6ft 1, so I thought Will would have been 6ft 4in.
Charlie said on 7/Mar/17
many of you are makign references to his height in One flew over the Cuckoos nest. Hhe wore a good 3 inch shoe and he had shoe lifts on as well thats why he appeared so tall. Now in Orca he appeared close in height to Richard Harris's friend Paul in the movie. Paul looked the same height as Richard. I'll say Will was around 6 ft 1 if anything. I was surprised how Wills height blended in fine with the male actors in Orca.If he was really 6 ft 5 he would be almost a whole head taller than the other guys. That was not the case in Orca.I'll say 6 ft 1 for Will.
MrTBlack said on 25/Nov/16
I'm going with 6'5.25" do keep in mind though that a lot of people aren't aware of how massive 6'5" actually is.
Sandy Cowell said on 30/Oct/16
What a fantastic and powerful actor in every way! Every single time I see the end of Cuckoo's Nest I feel like punching the air and screaming "Yeah!" And I do!
Will gave a wonderful and soulful performance as the protector of the little girl in 'Poltergeist II.' I don't think he was below 6ft7, and absolutely no way could he have been 6ft5, as I just read in the notes above, unless he wore elevator shoes for his parts, and why would he have to?
Chase Witherspoon said on 22/Oct/16
There's a behind the scenes photo around the web of Harris, Rampling & Will from Orca where he appears 4" taller than Harris who's wearing wellingtons which I reckon places him 194-195 region.
Ice said on 25/Sep/16
He's a example why 6'5 is the best height for a guy
Ian C. said on 9/Jul/16
In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sampson's character is six foot seven, so it would have made sense to give Sampson a little shoe-boost to bring him up to height. But perfect casting, both physically and emotionally.
Ann said on 30/May/16
Wish I could have been able to work with him.
MrTBlack said on 18/Jul/15
Rob, Do you think he's another 6'5.25" guy?
Jason said on 5/Apr/15
What's your thoughts Rob? There are several reports of 6ft 4 including the New York Times in 1976 when he was described as 6ft 4 and 235 lbs. could he have been this low?
[Editor Rob: I wouldn't have thought he looked as short as 6ft 4, generally he looked more than that range.]
Jason said on 1/Apr/15
This is a tricky one, although there are several occasions where he gives the impression of a 6ft 7 or 6ft 8 guy, there are other scenes of films where he has full body shots in flat shoes where he looks 6ft 4 to 6ft 5. Most noticeably in Fishawk and Vegas with Robert Ulrich. Robert Ulrich is a confirmed 6ft 2 barefoot and there is a max 2 inch difference between the two. Robert's eyes come up to the bottom of Will's nose they are stood face to face on flat ground with the same footwear. This leads me to believe that Will was actually as low as 6ft 4, which incidentally several reports put him at the height of his career in the 1970's. With the lifts that he wore and some clever camera angles he often looked 6ft 7 as is character in Cuckoo's Nest was meant to be!
Niggurd said on 19/Feb/15
Will is 6'6. He looked 2 or 3 inches taller than Craig T. Nelson in Poltergeist II and Craig the Coach is listed as 6'3 1/2 (192 cm) which I believe is correct. He also looked 11 inches taller than 5'9 1/2 Jack Nicholson in The Cuckoo's which would make him 6'8 1/2 so he had to be wearing 2-and-a-half inch lifts at the time. So 6'6 sounds fair for this guy.
Tim said on 4/Aug/14
My Dad who was 6'1" met Will at a NCAI convention said he was indeed 6ft 5 if not taller! Indeed one big Brother! Rest in peace!
Chris said on 13/Jul/14
What was the chances of Will being 6ft 4 barefoot?
Arch Stanton said on 8/Mar/14
Believe me this guy in lifts or whatever was pushing 6 ft 8 in Cuckoo's.
Jason said on 16/Jan/14
Sampson was 6ft 4 barefoot I reckon
Sam said on 13/Jan/14
Would have been interesting to see him and compare him to Clint Eastwood in Th Outlaw Josey Wales but Sampson never gets off his horse in their scene together. Sampson was for sure taller but by how much who knows.
mickser said on 22/Sep/13
I met will on a trip to the usa in 1986. I myself am 6'5" and was eye to eye with him. lovely man. r.i.p
jasperwazup said on 6/Sep/13
In the Book One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest Chief Bromden is supposed to be around 7 foot tall. I guess the lifts made him look 6'7''-6'8'' which is getting up to the 7 foot mark
Arch Stanton said on 5/Aug/13
Rob, Click Here It's only 82p with £1.26 postage.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Aug/13
Rob try to get hold of a DVD copy on Amazon or something, you can get it for a few pence I think. Worth getting, I'd like to here your views on how he looked in the film. Clearly bigger than 6'5" in the film, no doubt.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Aug/13
Trust me, the guy was nearer 6'8" than 6'5" in Cuckoo's Nest, he had 3-4 inches inches on Vincent Schiavelli. He definitely looked around 6'8" in that film and looked a virtual giant as oppose to a just very tall 6'5". Obviously he had on lifts which with his build gave off a massive impression but if he was 6'4.5"-6'5" actually in the film he wouldn't have looked so big and would have been a similar height to Schiavelli.
avi said on 28/Jul/13
@Lo sgozzatore says on 16/Jul/13
yeah i just looked at a few pics between the 2 its obvious they gave him some huge boots. so if he was 6'4 he stood over 6'6 int he movie in shoes. i think they gave him 3 inch lifts to make the difference much greater as many have said here.
Click Here
its the only one i can find where you somewhat see Sampson's footwear. seems easy 2 inches to me and we dont know whats inside! maybe another 1 inch or 2 inch lift!
Jason Jeffers said on 25/Jul/13
Will Sampson was actually closer to 6ft 4.5 if you watch scenes towards the end of the film when Will is wearing flat shoes you'll see Nicholson comes up to just below his nose (Nicholson peak 5'9.5). 7 inch difference.some big platform shoes and clever camera angles were used to make him bigger in many shots earlier in film. This was mentioned years ago in a documentary on the film. He also looks 6'4 in several other films where his height was no significance to his character and he probably had normal footwear. (Fishawk for one)
Arch Stanton said on 24/Jul/13
Lo Sgo, yeah I think it's clear he was wearing big shoes to make him look bigger. My eyes aren't deceiving me, without a doubt he looked around 6'8" in Cuckoos.
Arch Stanton said on 24/Jul/13
Rob he also had 2-3 inches on Vincent Schiavelli who I think was 6'4" range (didn't look his listed 6'5.5" in that film but way did he only have 0.5 on Vincent unless he was wearing big lifts to make him look even bigger.
Arch Stanton said on 24/Jul/13
He looks much bigger than this is Cuckoo's Nest, looked 6 ft 8 I thought. He had nearly a foot on Jack Nicholson.
Lo sgozzatore said on 16/Jul/13
Rob, you think he wore boots to appear taller in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? I mean, just look at pics with Jack Nicholson. There's a huge difference... Look close to 6'7, if Nicholson was 177
[Editor Rob: not seen it for a while so can't remember as much]
Jason said on 9/Feb/13
Trent, I'd say 6'4 minimum is possible if you consider Sampson nearly always wore cowboy boots with a larger than average heel.
Trent said on 2/Feb/13
Click Here

He looks around 6.5 inches taller than 5'10 listed comedian Jonathan Winters there. Winters, however, is standing closer to the camera; but then the ground appears to be tilted to Sampson's advantage.

I'd say he could have been ~6'5. 6'7 is definitely too high, but I don't think he could have been as low as the 6'4 some biographers put him at.
Lo sgozzatore said on 16/Dec/12
Well, if Jack Nicholson really was 5'9.5 at his peak, this guy was over 6'6, near 6'7 for sure.
drummer777 said on 9/Dec/12
Will was in Orca as well, very tall...
Jason said on 13/Feb/12
good information Tommy but the height could have been in shoes!
Tommy said on 9/Feb/12
I just found an interview with him where he's described: "Sampson still stands tall (six-feet, 5,5-inches, in fact)." This seems like quite a specific measurement for the interviewer to have made up, and the height of his family members is described, so I think he probably claimed 6'5.5 himself. Whether he was as low is 6'4 is up for questioning.
Tommy said on 9/Feb/12
I found an old newspaper article in the Google archives which describes him as 6'5. It also says that he was already 6'1 by the age of 12, so I assume they asked him his height. I found a few other interviews with him where he's described at 6'5. So 6'5 seems to be what he claimed.

I did find a few descriptions of 6'4, but neither of them were in interviews, so I'd assume they're just guesses. Same for all the 6'7 descriptions.
Sam said on 13/Jan/12
Rob, would you consider splitting the different heights in the quotes here? He really didn't seem as low as 6'5"
Anton said on 12/Jan/12
He absolutely towers everyone in Cuckoo's nest.
I say that 6'6 or 6'7 is his real height.
Cliff Lee said on 17/Dec/11
I met him in 1974. He was Grand Marshall of a local town parade and stopped to grab a beer along the parade route. My brother in law is 6' 5 1/2" and Will was considerably taller than him. I would easily believe 6' 7". He was also a very nice man.
Jason Jeffers said on 25/Aug/11
Audiovideo analyist. For the most precise estimations of all check out Will with Don Francks in Fishhawk. Don is 5ft 9 and he comes up to bottom of Will's nose meaning a max 7 inch difference. They both have flat shoes. In Poltergist Will has near 2-3 inch cowboy boots with a big hat. 6ft 4 is very likely. He was made to look bigger in many films he did, and with clever camers angles this appeared so.
AudioVideo analist said on 20/Aug/11
How could Will Sampson be only 1&1/2 inches taller then Craig T. Nelson? Yes he wore a tall hat in poltergiest 2 but the top of his head was closer to 3in higher. I'm going with a reported height of 6'7" to be a little more accurate
Christian said on 19/Feb/11
I've seen several articles including, The New York Times, and various Biographies describing him as 6ft 4in
SolidSnake said on 9/Feb/11
He looked 2M (6'7') In cuckoo's nest I reckon
Justin said on 14/Oct/07
I can assure you will Sampson was 6'4.5"
christian said on 25/Jun/07
To answer a question mate the only way i know to view that information is type "6ft 4in Sampson in new york times" and this will bring you to a link of "best pictures" if you go into that link it will take you straight to One Flew over cuckoos nest page. Carry on reading and it will surely mention near the end will sampson's height. I personally think 6' 4" is true and he wore lifts to make it look like he had a few more inches along with a few clever camera angles. What do you think?
Christian said on 22/Jun/07
A 1970's New York Times write up on 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' states that Sampson was 6ft 4inch and 235lbs. This can be viewed online
Andy Turner said on 9/May/07
I Knew him personally. He was 6'4.5"
Matt said on 3/Mar/07
He's a giant! At first I thought he was like 6'9, but it's just because he's so big and huge. When you see Nicholson standing next to him in the basketball scenes, you can see he's about up to his chin, meaning no more of a 7 or 8 inch difference (Nicholson is 5'9-5'10). So 6'5 does sound about right, but he really is pretty huge.
Jason Jeffers said on 27/Feb/07
Sorry Mickey Mouse but Will Sampson was 6'5" at the very maximum
bikagyura said on 26/Feb/07
he sure did look a loooot taller than Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest... I think 6ft 7in sounds way closer at hand than 6' 5"... If he was 6' 4" I'm Mickey Mouse
Jay Christian said on 5/Feb/07
Studied Will Sampson and I would say he was bang on 6'4"
chris joseph said on 16/Dec/06
Do you think will sampson could have even been 6'4"?
chris jackson said on 19/Nov/06
If this guy was 6'4" or 6'5" where the hell did 6'9" come from theres a bloody big difference. Personally my money says 6'4.5"
Jason Jeffers said on 7/Nov/06
I'd definately go for 6'4.5" 235lbs does anyone agree on this?
Jason Jeffers said on 25/Oct/06
Although Will Sampson was a very clearly a very tall guy as an avid fan of his I have studied him in all his films and he worked with alot of 5'10" actors including Charles Bronson in The White Buffallo Where there is a very clear shot of the two actors stood shoulder to shoulder on level ground and Charles comes up to the bridge of Will's nose. Now giving the maximum height Charles was ever listed as 5' 11" Will was definately no more than 6' 5". Also the New York Times has him listed as 6' 4" and 235lbs. No desrespect to Tim Sampson or anyone else who had Will down as 6' 7" and above but there is just too much evidence when properly studied to suggest this was a big exaggeration to give him an " extra large indian" status for his first film role for One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
Jason Jeffers said on 25/Oct/06
In One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest there are many scenes towards the end of the film where Jack Nicholson is trying to escape out of window and Jack comes up to will's nose. Jack is a proven 5'9" and a half so Will is no more than 6' 4and a half also earlier on in film Will appears to be wearing very large heals when he rescues Jack from Nurse in corridor.

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

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

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