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Hollywood Actors Who Are Shorter Than You Realize

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Movies do an amazing job of suspending reality for viewers in all sorts of ways. They make it appear that Tom Cruise is really jumping out of a plane, or that he’s taller than his co-star Cameron Diaz. Using a variety of camera angles, tricks, and even platform shoes, movie crews ensure that shorter actors get an extra lift and their heights aren’t the focal point.

Without these techniques, fans would notice that the actors playing Harry and Hermione in the Harry Potter films are actually the same height in reality. With the cameras off, you’ll be in for quite a surprise when you find out which male actors in Hollywood are much smaller in person than they seem on-screen…

Jack Black – 5′ 6″

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Jack Black, born under the name Thomas Jacob Black, has proven that he has a variety of talents, working as an actor, comedian, musician, and songwriter. Known for his roles in films like School of Rock and Shallow Hal, and for his popular ’90s band Tenacious D, he has carved out a place for himself in a few facets of the entertainment industry. 

Black didn’t let his smaller stature slow him down from becoming a big success in Hollywood, as he’s played a variety of comedic roles over the years, as well as a few serious ones. While only 5’6″, he ironically portrayed a giant in the film adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels.

Seth Green – 5′ 4″

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Seth Green has been in the entertainment world for years, working as an actor, writer and producer. He was the creative talent behind the Adult Swim animated series Robot Chicken. He has also appeared in films such as Rat Race, Can’t Hardly Wait, Radio Days, the Austin Powers franchise, and The Lego Batman Movie. 

Setting his sights beyond his short frame comes naturally for Green. He also went for the gold when he proposed to wife Clare Grant, who is several inches taller than him, standing at a height of 5’7″. The two say they bonded over a shared love of comics and fast food.

 Johnny Galecki – 5′ 5″

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Johnny Galecki’s penchant for telling tall tales as a child paved the way for an eventual career in entertainment. He dropped out of school after graduating from the 8th grade. To this day, he proudly proclaims that he attended high school for the span of “only one day.”

This pint-sized talent became one of the highest-paid television actors in history, netting almost a million dollars an episode as the character of Leonard Hofstadter on the hit show The Big Bang Theory. He takes pride in his Belgian lineage, even if it comes with a smaller size.

Jet Li – 5′ 6″

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Photo: Pinterest.com/Rachel K

Jet Li was born in Beijing, China, and for most of his childhood, his family lived in poverty. It was his study of Wushu that led to other opportunities for himself and his family. His natural martial arts ability earned the attention of renowned coaches, who took Li under their tutelage.

Li’s martial arts prowess paved the way for a successful career in film, starring in movies such as The One, and Lethal Weapon 4. Li uses his smaller size to his advantage when performing and training. He now divides his time between China and Hollywood, taking on opportunities that contribute to his international success.

Danny DeVito – 4′ 10″

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Danny DeVito is a celebrated actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He first earned household recognition with his critically-acclaimed role as rude taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma on the hit television series, Taxi. He would go on to show his versatile acting prowess in a variety of roles, including playing The Penguin in Batman Returns.

DeVito is one of the shortest Hollywood actors on this list, at a height of 4’10”. He once felt that he had to compensate for his height with a big personality, but this has served him well as he’s carved out a place for himself in Hollywood. Audiences today may know him from the sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Jonah Hill – 5′ 7″

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Jonah Hill first burst onto the entertainment scene as the lovable misfit character in films such as Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. After starring in many more comedies, he found that he wanted to expand beyond that genre, breaking into more dramatic roles, as a means of inspiring personal and professional growth.

Many may not note his height, but will instead notice his impressive weight loss. Hill has given some credit for his slim figure to 21 Jump Street co-star Channing Tatum, who told him to eat less and work out with a personal trainer. Seeking counseling from a nutritionist as well, he has maintained a thin figure for several years now.

 Michael J. Fox – 5′ 4″

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Michael J. Fox is a celebrated actor, film producer, and author. He first rose to prominence by portraying the lovable Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties. But he is probably best known for playing Marty McFly in the Back To The Future movies. His smaller frame was never an impediment to scoring big roles and procuring Hollywood success.

These days, Fox packs a punch with his advocacy surrounding Parkinson’s Disease. Being diagnosed with the disease at age 29, he launched a foundation that has since raised close to $1 billion for research and innovative practices that would potentially cure this debilitating condition.

Elijah Wood – 5′ 6″

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Elijah Wood had done a lot of work as a child actor throughout the ’90s, starring in films such as North, The Good Son, and Flipper. But it was his portrayal of Frodo Baggins in the The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy that made him an icon for fantasy fans around the world. 

As one of the shorter actors in Hollywood, Wood claims that he is often mistaken for another short actor. He proudly proclaims that he has at least an inch of height on Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed the title character in the Harry Potter film series. It turns out that both protagonists of these hugely popular film series turned out not to be very tall.

David Faustino – 5′ 3″

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David Faustino is a radio personality, rapper and actor. He is best known for his role as Bud Bundy on the popular ’90s sitcom Married….With Children. He has also done a great deal of voiceover work for Nickelodeon characters on the shows The Legend Of Korra and Helia.

Since Faustino started out on Married…With Children at the young age of thirteen, his height didn’t stand out as much, even as he aged. It might have presented issues for some, but he has used his small stature to his advantage. He even references his small size in the name of his rap persona Lil’ Gweed.

Humphrey Bogart – 5′ 8″

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Humphrey Bogart, otherwise known as “Bogie,” was an American actor known for some classic Hollywood performances back in the 1930s and 1940s. His career started on Broadway, then evolved to movies, where he’d star in films such as Up The River, The Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca, making him one of the biggest movie stars of his day. 

Despite his smaller stature in real life, Bogart always seemed to carry a bigger presence. However, the actor was reportedly so self-conscious about his height that when filming Casablanca, he was concerned that his co-star, Ingrid Bergman, would be perceived as being taller than him. In one scene, Bergman was told to slouch while sitting on the couch, and extra pillows were given to Bogart to give him more height.

Dustin Hoffman – 5′ 6″

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Dustin Hoffman is an American filmmaker and actor known for his versatile portrayals of characters. He has played comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny, the hero in Marathon Man, as well as the titular villain in Hook. He dreamed of a career in music before setting his sights on acting, training at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Despite his size, Hoffman has considered himself lucky to have landed some of the most iconic roles in cinematic history. From The Graduate to Rain Man, his large screen presence and memorable performances mean that his height are the last thing audiences are thinking about.

Joe Pesci – 5′ 4″

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Joe Pesci is a retired musician, but is best known as an actor who often plays tough, volatile characters throughout his film career, especially in mobster movies. Collaborating with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the movie Goodfellas. 

At 5’4″, Pesci is proof that you don’t have to be tall to certainly be intimidating, as one of his famous Goodfellas lines of “how am I funny?” is simultaneously hilarious, yet terrifying. True to form, he celebrated his height when winning an Oscar with one of the shortest acceptance speeches in Oscar history.

James McAvoy – 5′ 7″

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James McAvoy is a Scottish actor who made his on-screen debut as a teen in The Near Room. His performances were mostly limited to occasional television appearances until 2003, when he landed a leading role in the film, The Bollywood Queen. Since then, he’s become a Hollywood mainstay.

His self-proclaimed short stature and pale complexion haven’t prevented him from getting leading man roles, such as portraying Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class and its sequels. McAvoy has certainly made audiences take notice of his wide acting range, especially when he played someone with over a dozen personalities in the movie Split. 

Kevin Hart – 5′ 2″

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Kevin Hart is a giant of a comic who knows how to use the art of self-deprecation masterfully. He regularly cracks jokes about his small height, standing slightly over five feet tall. But he has certainly used his size to his advantage, whether it’s as a huge standup comedian or Hollywood actor. 

While starting out as a comedian primarily, he found his way into the acting world as well. He has gone on to star in a number of bigger films including Central Intelligence, The Secret Life of Pets, and the recent Jumanji films. Going from selling out arenas getting huge laughs, he has certainly become a huge star in Hollywood as well.

Daniel Radcliffe – 5′ 5″

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Daniel Radcliffe emerged onto the acting scene as a child actor in one of the most famous movie franchises in history. After all, playing the boy wizard Harry Potter was surely prone to bring some name recognition. While fans of popular books are often upset about the on-screen adaptations, Harry Potter loyalists agree that he was perfect for the role. 

Radcliffe’s height also made him the perfect choice for Harry. Rupert Grint, who played Harry’s best friend Ron Weasley, is not too tall himself, standing at a pretty average 5’8″. However, having Ron be taller than Harry is a crucial detail fans were happy the movies got right.

Joe Rogan 5′ 8″

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Joe Rogan is a comedian, actor, UFC color commentator, and podcaster. He began his comedy career doing stand-up in the Boston area. Setting his sights higher, he moved to Los Angeles in 1994 and signed deals on television shows Hardball and NewsRadio.

He now combines passions for ultimate fighting and commentary with his extremely popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which has been in the spotlight in 2022 over some of the guests he’s had on. His work behind the mic makes people forget that his powerful voice is wielded by just a 5’8″ frame.

Al Pacino – 5′ 6″

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Al Pacino is one of those actors whose legendary acting and commanding screen presence make audiences take notice of every scene he’s in. As one of the most celebrated leading men in Hollywood, he has enjoyed a prolific career with memorable performances for decades.

Standing at just 5’6″, his height almost cost him the iconic role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Paramount producers originally wanted someone more like Robert Redford, who is four inches taller, but director Francis Ford Coppola insisted that Pacino was the right man for the job. The rest was history.

Simon Helberg – 5′ 7″

Simon Helberg
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Simon Helberg may stand at only 5′ 7″, but his big appearance on the Hollywood circuit is something that fans have celebrated since his debut as part of the Derek and Simon duo. The two navigated a pilot deal with HBO in 2005, and this led to other lucrative opportunities.

Helberg is certainly most well-known for his role as geeky, yet lovable physicist Howard Wolowitz on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Showing up in more films, his transition from small screen to big screen is evidence that good things can happen to “the little guy” too.

Kiefer Sutherland – 5′ 8 1/2″

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Kiefer Sutherland has had a long enough acting career in showbiz that he is certainly known more than just the son of Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland. He is best known for his role as special agent Jack Bauer on the high-speed drama 24, which provided a weekly adrenaline rush for viewers for eight seasons.

While Sutherland’s protagonist of Bauer was very much the hero who ranks up among other Hollywood action stars, audiences may be surprised to find out that the Canadian actor himself is slightly below average height. When you’ve saved the world and the lives of the President a few times, nobody really pays attention to how tall you are.

Martin Scorsese – 5′ 4″

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While actors are certainly the ones who usually get the spotlight in Hollywood, the people who stand behind the camera might be even more vital to the movie industry. Director Martin Scorsese is regarded as one of the most unique and successful visionaries, and stands at less than five-and-a-half feet tall. 

Though Scorsese is pretty small in stature, he is definitely a creative powerhouse, putting everything he’s got into any project he works on. His collaborations with great actors in showbiz have led to some of the most legendary movies in Hollywood history.

Bruno Mars – 5′ 5″

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Peter Gene Hernandez is not an actor, but is one of the most famous entertainers of the last decade. You are much more likely to know him by the name Bruno Mars. He is proof that height doesn’t matter when you have the right talent and swagger. Mars is one of the most popular musicians performing today.

A short man with big dreams in the music industry is certainly something to celebrate. His buttery voice and show-stopping dance have captivated audiences far and wide. He even managed to dazzle the crowd with his moves and tunes at the Super Bowl in 2014.

Ken Jeong – 5′ 4″

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Funnyman Ken Jeong is one of those big personalities that gets audience’s attention, regardless of his short stature. Even more impressive is that Jeong holds a medical degree, having served as a medical physician before his switch to acting in the entertainment industry.

His breakout role as a doctor in the movie Knocked Up ended up igniting his desire for a career change. After a week off from seeing patients, he figured it was entertainment-or-bust. His short frame is power-packed with talent and natural charisma that has delighted audiences worldwide. 

Martin Freeman – 5′ 7″

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Martin Freeman is an English actor who is highly decorated for his work in film and television. Among his many credits, he has received an Emmy Award, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and he has been nominated for a Golden Globe. Audiences will likely know him from playing Dr. Watson on the BBC series Sherlock.

With many of his quality performances being hailed in interviews, Freeman is thankful that his shorter stature hasn’t been among the talking points. It did however help with him being cast as Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings’ prequel, The Hobbit.  He frequently defends short folks everywhere with the quote, “Just because something’s big, it doesn’t make it better.”

Zach Galifianakis – 5′ 7″

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Zach Galifianakis burst onto the comedy scene with a debut on Boston Common before moving on to guest appearances on Saturday Night Live and getting a standup special on Comedy Central Presents. He then moved on to larger roles in comedies, stealing the show in the hit movie The Hangover, and its sequels. 

This 5’7″ actor is more than just the slapstick funny guy in movies. Audiences have also become fond of  his popular web series entitled Between Two Ferns, where he’s interviewed several notable guests, including Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Willis, Paul Rudd, and even a former President. 

Jonathan Taylor Thomas – 5′ 5″

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Jonathan Taylor Thomas began his television and film career in 1990, where he played the role of Kevin Brady on The Bradys. While that show was short-lived, he went on to score an iconic role on the hit television sitcom Home Improvement as one of Tim Allen’s sons.

Perhaps it was his 5’5″ stature that made him a perfect cast member for the role of Randy, the Taylors’ middle child on the popular show. He would remain on the show until 1998, when he decided to leave acting altogether to focus on a pursuit of academics. 

Aziz Ansari – 5′ 6″

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Aziz Ansari is a standup comedian, actor, producer, and writer. Aside for his very successful standup comedy career, he is also known for his role as Tom Haverford on the hit NBC sitcom, Parks And Recreation. His efforts as a creator of the show Master of None have earned him several awards as well.

GQ has praised Ansari for his good fashion sense, which fit well with his character of Tom Haverford. The magazine applauded him for attaining “a win for short men worldwide.” Ansari’s height seem to add to his characters, though audiences are often focused on his smile and stellar sense of style.

Richard Dreyfuss – 5′ 5″

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Richard Dreyfuss has given the world iconic performances on the big screen for over five decades. His notable films include Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and American Graffiti. He has certainly proven that he has the acting range whether his roles are comedic or dramatic.

Despite being less than five-and-a-half-feet tall, Dreyfuss celebrates all aspects of himself that make him who he is. He proudly states that his height isn’t his only distinctive feature. He is an open advocate of mental health and wellness, and he campaigns on behalf of those with bipolar disorder. 

 Dave Franco – 5′ 7″

dave franco
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Dave Franco began his acting career with small roles in films such as Superbad and Charlie St. Cloud. More significant acting work came his way when he landed a starring role on the last season of the medical comedy series Scrubs and a breakthrough role in the comedy, 21 Jump Street.

While he bears a striking resemblance to older brother James, Dave is four inches shorter than his well-known sibling, at 5’7″. After starring in the 2013 zombie movie Warm Bodies, he was asked how he’d do in a zombie apocalypse. He said that since he’d use his short stature as an advantage, hiding up high, with the bigger guys being down below.

Tom Cruise – 5′ 7″

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Tom Cruise has been one of the most recognizable faces on movie screens for nearly four decades. He is a certified movie star with films that have grossed over $4 billion in North America alone, solidifying him as one of the highest-paid actors of all time.

It’s been said that Cruise’s height of 5’7″ is really a fallacy, and that he’s actually closer to 5’5″. Rumors have floated around that he wears lifted boots to appear taller than he really is. But even if that’s true, he certainly has made a name for himself as one of the biggest stars of his generation.

Charlie Chaplin – 5′ 5″

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Charlie Chaplin recognized the advantage of his diminutive height when crafting his character for the silent film era. He became an icon through the development of his persona, the Tramp, and managed to have an illustrious career for an astounding 75 years.

The comedic actor said that he considered his small stature to be a blessing. He knew that audiences would sympathize with a small, vulnerable character rather than a large presence on-screen, and he played the part of lovable, laughable everyman to perfection.

Prince – 5′ 2″

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Prince Rogers Nelson, otherwise known as Prince, was an American singer, instrumentalist, performer, and actor. His flamboyant style and unbelievable vocal range set him apart from others and carved out a distinctive place in the music industry, making him a legend before and after his death.

Prince put on a giant show, despite his small frame. With custom-designed apparel and boots to match, he very much didn’t care what people thought. Many questioned the singer on why he chose to wear heels, and he replied, “I don’t wear heels for my height. I wear them because the women like ’em.”

Scott Caan – 5′ 5″

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Scott Caan recently starred as Detective Sergeant Danno Williams in the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He has also enjoyed moderate success as a rapper and hip-hop artist with a group called The Whooliganz.

Caan’s height doesn’t hold him back from any project he wishes to take on. He generally prefers films that are of the action genre, having co-starred with A-listers such as Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and the much of the cast of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Tom Hollander – 5′ 5″

Tom Hollander
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Thomas Hollander is an English actor who got his start in the theater, winning the Ian Charleson Award for a performance in The Way Of The World. He has also starred in films such as Pirates Of The Caribbean, In The Loop, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Hollander is not the shortest gent on this list, but at 5’5″, his height hasn’t been an impediment to his success. He has never considered himself short, and it was only after entering the entertainment industry that he received reminders on the daily.

Toby Jones – 5′ 5″

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Toby Jones made his film debut in the period drama Orlando in 1992. He went on to earn critical acclaim for a leading role as Truman Capote in the movie Infamous. He is also won fans over for his vocal performance of the elf known as Dobby in the Harry Potter film series.

Despite his shorter frame, Jones has proven that he’s a formidable force in the film industry. With a list of dozens of successful films on his acting resume, he has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in television, film, and theater.

Giancarlo Esposito – 5′ 8″

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Giancarlo Esposito is an Italian American actor best known for his portrayal of drug dealer Gus Fring on the award-winning series Breaking Bad. He won the Critic’s Choice Television Award For Best Supporting Actor and three Primetime Emmy nominations for his work.

Esposito’s height is not something he considers a limitation. His energy and excitable nature helps to create a larger-than-life persona onscreen that his fans find most engaging. He has reprised the role of Gus Fring on the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. He has also played a memorable villain on Disney’s The Mandalorian

Emilio Estevez – 5′ 7″

Emilio Estevez
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Some may say that Emilio Estevez was given a leg up when it comes to landing roles in film and television, but he has risen to fame and fortune on his own merit. This American actor and producer has a famous brother and father in actors Charlie and Martin Sheen.

Estevez may be the product of some talented genetics, but this gene pool didn’t include height, unfortunately. He stands at 5’7″, and is taller than his father Martin, yet he is every bit as engaging as his taller costars in films such as The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, and Young Guns, and The Mighty Ducks movies. 

BD Wong – 5′ 5″

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Bradley Darryl Wong is a multitalented actor, producer, and musician, known well for his work on Broadway as well as in the film industry. He is one of the few performers to boast a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and Theater World Award for the same role in Madame Butterfly.

The actor has set his sights now on television and film roles, including recurring performances on the popular Law & Order series, as well as the Jurassic World movie franchise. He is also an open and outspoken advocate for casting equality involving Asian-American actors.

Nathan McMullen – 5′ 4″

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Nathan McMullen got an impressive start on the comedic circuit at the age of 15, being named “Young Comic Of The Year” by Liverpool Echo. With his confidence bolstered, he enrolled in acting classes at Liverpool Community College with dreams of making it big.

McMullen laughingly refers to himself as a “man child.” His smaller size fits perfectly in his current roles in Misfits as well as his role of Wolf, an elf on Dr. Who. It’s likely that audiences should see more success from McMullen in his future endeavors.

Alan Ladd – 5′ 6″

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Alan Ladd was an American actor, producer, and filmmaker who would find success in westerns, making movies in that genre in the 1940s and 1950s. He was often paired up with actress Veronica Lake in films such as This Gun For Hire and The Blue Dahlia.

His 5’6″ frame wasn’t always a natural fit for the traditional tough guy roles he was cast in. Ladd would sometimes need to stand on boxes to appear taller than his female co-stars. When boxes couldn’t be found, his female co-stars had to compensate by sitting or wearing flats.

Jonathan Lipnicki – 5′ 7″

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Jonathan Lipnicki got his big break in Hollywood at a very young age. When he was just 5 years old, he would star opposite Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger in the 1996 hit movie Jerry McGuire, yet his film career and stature have grown since that award-winning movie. 

Lipnicki proudly stands at 5’7″ and happens to be in the minority of child actors who were able to successfully transition to roles in adulthood. He continues taking theater classes to improve his craft, using roles such as It Follows and The Resident to hone his acting skills. He most recently starred in the 2016 film Loserville.