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Reaching for the Stars: 33 Short Actors in Hollywood

Making a name for yourself is always hard, particularly in an industry full of talented people such as Hollywood. In fact, many risk everything just for a shot at stardom, only to fade into obscurity shortly after.

However, the talent of a great actor is recognized every time, no matter their physical appearance. And while being tall has always been a golden standard of Hollywood, sometimes, it pays to be short. So, let’s check out 33 short actors who managed to succeed regardless of their not-so-impressive height.

33. Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

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Billy Crystal is a popular actor, writer, comedian, and director who made his acting breakthrough on the TV series Soap in the 80s. As a matter of fact, his character was the first openly gay character on television.

Besides his TV series, Billy is also famous for being a regular guest on Saturday Night Live, where he first said his famous “You look mahvelous” line.

When it comes to height, Billy Crystal is only 5 feet and 7 inches tall. And while that might sound impressive, it is nowhere near the stunning 6 feet, 5 inches of Dwayne Johnson. Nevertheless, height was never a problem for Billy Crystal, who made it big despite his size.

32. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

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No one can deny that Tom Cruise is one of the most famous and highest-paid actors working today. His career took off after starring in box-office hits such as Top Gun, The Color of Money, and Rain Man. By the 90s, he was one of the wealthiest actors in the world, almost surpassing Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson.

Height-wise, Tom Cruise is 5 feet 7 inches tall, just like Bill Crystal. Yet, there are rumors that he is much shorter, and wears special shoes to look taller. Even so, Tom Cruise is one of the most loved actors today, proving that height is never a deciding factor for one’s talent.

31. Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg

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Jesse Eisenberg started his acting career all the way back in high school. And while he played all sorts of roles, he is most known for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Other notable movies in which he played important characters include Zombieland, Adventureland, and Now You See Me.

Although Jesse Eisenberg is only 5 foot 7 inches, he is still one of the most recognizable faces of Hollywood. Actually, he is one of the five actors born in the 1980s who were nominated for an Academy Award. Therefore, it’s safe to say that height was never a problem for Jesse Eisenberg.

30. Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis

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Zach Galifianakis is a famous actor and comedian who is best known for playing a variety of supporting roles in many popular comedy movies. However, his most notable role was in the critically acclaimed Hangover movie series, where he played an eccentric character.

Other than acting, Zach Galifianakis is the host of an interview-style web series, Between Two Ferns. As a matter of fact, one of his guests was Barack Obama, the former President of the United States.

In the matter of height, Zach Galifianakis is only 5 foot 7 inches. And while some would hate to have that height, Zach is proud and jokes about it during his comedy routines.

29. James McAvoy

James McAvoy

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James McAvoy is a Scottish actor who has an affinity for both stage and film roles. In fact, he regularly performs on stage in London’s West End. When it comes to movies, the actor has played in popular movies such as Atonement and the X-men franchise.

What’s fascinating about McAvoy is that originally his goal was to become a missionary or a naval officer in order to travel the world. But thanks to acting, he gets to live his dream as most of his roles take him across the globe.

Despite the fact that McAvoy has an impressive physique, he is only 5 foot 7 inches tall. Fortunately, that never stopped him from pursuing his dreams and playing any character, regardless of his height limitations.

28. Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill

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Jonah Hill is an actor and comedian who started his career with a role in I Heart Huckabee thanks to some help from Dustin Hoffman. Yet, his most famous role was in the teen movie Superbad, playing a nerdy and awkward teenager.

His talent was fully recognized when he received two Academy Award nominations, making him one of the three actors born after 1980 to receive such nominations.

Even though Jonah Hill is only 5 foot 7 inches tall, he is not sensitive about his height. Instead, he stated that it’s his weight that he is not happy about, which prompted him to start following a weight loss program.

27. Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller

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Ben Stiller is one of the most famous actors, producers, directors, writers, and comedians in Hollywood. Being the son of actors and comedians, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, meant that Ben has always had a special inclination towards Hollywood.

As a result, he quickly became a household name, with comedy movies like Meet the Parents, Night at the Museum, Meet the Fockers, and many more under his belt.

When it comes to height, Ben Stiller is 5 foot 7 inches tall. However, he always used his smaller stature as a character trait and would often make fun of it during his movies and comedy shows.

26. Dave Franco

Dave Franco

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Dave Franco is an actor famous for his roles in the 21 Jump Street movie and the Scrubs TV series. Despite the fact that he is the younger brother of the successful actor James Franco, Dave has always worked hard and never used his brother’s fame to obtain a role.

Thanks to his talent, he appeared in movies like Warm Bodies, Fright Night, and the Now You See Me franchise. But just like his brother, Dave has recently switched to a directorial position, releasing his first movie, The Rental, in 2020.

In regard to height, Dave is only 5 foot 7 inches tall, making him the shorter of the two brothers. Even so, his ambition and dedication only pushed him forward, showing that being short is rarely a drawback.

25. Al Pacino

Al Pacino

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Al Pacino is an iconic Hollywood actor popular for his extensive acting career. While he first started as a stage actor in the 60s and 70s, he quickly moved into films, where he played supporting roles.

But his most famous role was in the movie The Godfather, which turned him into a Hollywood star. Afterward, he continued to play troubled characters throughout the 70s in movies like Serpico, Scarface, and Dog Day Afternoon.

Interestingly enough, Al Pacino almost lost his role in The Godfather due to his 5 foot 7 inch height. In fact, the film’s producers wanted a taller actor, calling Al Pacino a midget. However, director Ford Coppola was the one that stood up for Al Pacino and secured him the role that made him truly a Hollywood star.

24. Jet Li

Jet Li

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Jet Li is one of the most popular Chinese actors, famous for movies such as Once Upon a Time in China and Tai Chi Master. What makes Jet Li so unique and interesting is his martial arts background, having won five gold medals as a national champion for China.

Thanks to his breakout hit, Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li has cemented his place in Hollywood and is now a beloved face of the industry.

With a height of only 5 feet 6 ¼ inches, Jet Li makes this list as one of the shortest actors in Hollywood. But despite his modest height, Li never refused a challenge and is still one of the most successful Hollywood actors.

23. Elijah Wood

Elijah Wood

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Elijah Wood began his career as a child actor, starring in movies like Paradise, Radio Flyer, and North. However, it was only thanks to his portrayal of Frodo Baggins in the famous film series, Lord of the Rings, that he became a household name in Hollywood.

Besides acting, Elijah Wood is also a music fan, owning thousands of music CDs and establishing his own music label, Simians, in 2005.

In spite of only being 5 foot 6 inches, Elijah Wood is still one of the most famous actors alive. And while people often mistake him for fellow actor Daniel Radcliffe, Elijah Wood has never let anything stand in his way to success.

22. Jack Black

Jack Black

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Jack Black is a singer, comedian, and actor, known for playing all sorts of immature and funny characters. His most notable movies include School of Rock, Jumanji, Tropic Thunder, and Shallow Hal. Apart from acting, Jack Black is also a musician, being a member of the two-person Tenacious D band.

Although Jack is only 5 feet 6 inches tall, he never stayed away from movies where his co-stars were taller. As a matter of fact, he joined the much taller Nicole Kidman in the movie Margot at the Wedding. And while his co-stars in the School of Rock music were shorter than him, it’s important to mention that they were kids.

21. Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

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Martin Sheen is a veteran actor who comes from an acting family. More specifically, his brother and his three sons are all either actors, directors, or both. With a legacy of over 65 feature films, Martin Sheen is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood.

While acting is his main passion, Martin is also a well-known activist for liberal causes and has been arrested almost 70 times.

In terms of height, Martin Sheen is much shorter than his brother, with 5 feet 6 inches. But just like many other short actors, height was not a problem for the talented Martin as he went on to become a wealthy and successful actor.

20. Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

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Let’s be honest — few people are as talented as veteran actor Dustin Hoffman. Known for playing challenging roles, this Hollywood legend has surpassed anyone’s expectations throughout the years.

From portraying a severely autistic man in Rain Man to pretending to be a woman in Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman’s career is not only interesting but extremely diverse. However, due to his perfectionist attitude, Dustin Hoffman is a challenging co-worker, with many actors criticizing his style.

Ultimately, Dustin Hoffman is a prime example of how physical appearance is less important than pure talent. In fact, his modest height of 5 foot 5 ¾ inches was never an issue, as he still managed to amaze the audience with each of his performances.

19. Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

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Daniel Radcliffe is a British actor who started his acting career by performing in his school’s plays. Shortly after, he joined the cast of David Copperfield where he played a younger version of the main protagonist. When he became a teenager, Daniel Radcliffe was chosen as the hero of the Harry Potter movie series, which turned him into the famous actor he is today.

Even though he is only 5 foot 5 inches tall, Radcliffe is one of the most loved actors in Hollywood. And with more movies on the way, it’s clear that height was never an obstacle for this brilliant actor.

18. Woody Allen

Woody Allen

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Woody Allen is another veteran actor, director, writer, and comedian who is famous for his roles in romantic comedies like Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, and Purple Rose of Cairo. Generally speaking, Woody Allen plays characters who are insecure and neurotic, usually writers.

Besides acting, he also writes and directs his own movies, making him one of the most versatile personalities in Hollywood. For his talent, Woody Allen has won countless Academy Awards and was nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar 16 times.

Thanks to his hilarious and charming personality, Woody Allen’s height of only 5 foot 5 inches was never a real hurdle on his path to stardom. In fact, he quite often jokes about his height, with one of his famous quotes stating that he failed to make the chess team because of his short stature.

17. Scott Caan

Scott Caan

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Scott Caan, the son of the renowned actor James Caan, is a director, actor, photographer, and hip-hop singer. He has appeared in movies such as Gone in 60 Seconds, Friends With Money, and Into the Blue.

However, his most notable role was in the remake of the Hawaii 5-0 TV series, where he played Danno. As a director, Scott Caan was responsible for the film Dallas 362.

Height-wise, Scott Caan is 5 foot 5 inches tall, meaning that he is on the shorter side of Hollywood. But regardless of his size, no one can argue against Scott Caan’s talent and passion.

16. Jackie Earle Haley

Jackie Earle Haley

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Jackie Earle Haley is an actor who began his career at the tender age of 5. In his teens, he had already played in a few teen movies like Breaking Away and The Bad News Bears. Even though he took a break from acting shortly after, he came back in 2006 and has since appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Watchmen, and many more noteworthy movies.

As you would have guessed, Jackie Earle Haley isn’t the tallest actor in Hollywood. As a matter of fact, he is only 5 foot 5 inches, but that never stopped him from playing menacing characters like Freddy Krueger.

15. Nathan Lane

Nathan Lane

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Nathan Lane is a comedic actor who gained popularity due to his unique personality and acting technique. Simply put, Nathan often plays characters that are odd, high-energy, or eccentric. In fact, it was thanks to his performance in movies like The Bird Cage and The Producers that he became one of the most loved actors in Hollywood.

At first glance, Nathan Lane might look like an average-sized Hollywood star, but he is actually a bit short. And although being 5 foot 5 inches tall doesn’t make him the shortest actor, he is still worth a mention on this list.

14. Breckin Meyer

Breckin Meyer

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Breckin Meyer is an actor famous for his role in films like Can’t Hardly Wait, Child’s Play, and 54. Aside from acting, Breckin is also the founder of a production company that he runs together with his fellow actors, Ryan Phillipe, and Seth Green.

And while his main passions are acting and producing, Breckin has an affinity for music, as he is a drummer in the punk band The Street Walkin’ Cheetahs.

When it comes to stature, Breckin Meyer is only 5 foot 5 inches tall. Fortunately, that wasn’t an obstacle and his dedication helped him become a successful actor and musician.

13. Danny Trejo

Danny Trejo

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Danny Trejo is a famous actor, known for acting in movies such as Machete, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Besides acting, he is also a successful boxer, having won many lightweight and welterweight titles.

Yet, before becoming an actor, Danny Trejo served 11 years in prison for drug and robbery charges. Fortunately, thanks to the AA 12-step program, he turned his life around and joined the thriving Hollywood scene.

Despite his impressive physique and menacing face, Danny Trejo is only 5 foot 5 inches tall. Nevertheless, he is still a wealthy actor and is usually the go-to choice for playing villains and anti-hero characters.

12. David Spade

David Spade

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David Spade is another writer, actor, and comedian who has made his debut on Saturday Night Live. However, he had to end his six-year run with SNL in order to pursue an acting career in films. Fortunately, that paid off, as David Spade is now a household name, having played dozens of roles throughout his career.

Although David Spade is 5 foot 5 inches tall, he is one of the funniest actors and comedians in Hollywood. As a matter of fact, he usually portrays sarcastic characters, where he makes the most out of his not-so-impressive height.

11. Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart

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Kevin Hart is a popular actor known for his role in movies like Ride Along, The Upside, and Central Intelligence. What makes Kevin Hart so interesting is the fact that he was a full-time comedian before switching to acting. Nowadays, besides acting and an occasional comedy show, Kevin Hart also produces all sorts of movies and TV series.

While Kevin Hart is famous for his roles and comedy shows, he is also known for his smaller stature. More specifically, he is 5 feet 4 ½ inches, making him one of the shortest yet most successful actors.

10. Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox

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Michael J. Fox is a Canadian actor who began his career as a child actor, getting his first role in a TV series at the young age of 10. While his breakthrough role was in a TV series called Family Ties, Michael J. Fox is most known for his role as Marty McFly, in the Back to the Future movies.

Unfortunately, Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease and is now focused on doing charity acts such as establishing a foundation for research into the disease.

Height-wise, Michael J. Fox is just 5 feet 4 inches tall, yet that never stopped him from pursuing some of the most interesting and complex roles in Hollywood, including acting for many years despite his illness. And while Fox is no longer an active actor, his legacy will never fade away.

9. Tom Holland

Tom Holland

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Tom Holland is a British actor who began his career at the age of 14 as a child actor in the BBC TV movie John Diamond. After graduation, Holland pursued his career and quickly built a reputation for playing troubled and difficult characters. In fact, you might know Tom Holland for his roles in movies like Pride and Prejudice, Dr. Thorne, and Gosford Park.

Just like all the other actors on this list, Tom Holland made the most of his 5 foot 4 inch stature. And even though he is not the tallest actor in Hollywood, he is clearly one of the top earners, proving that height is usually not a problem.

8. Seth Green

Seth Green

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Seth Green is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, portraying fan-favorite characters in movies like Austin Powers, The Italian Job, Can’t Hardly Wait, and many more.

However, he is also a producer and director, with a series of movies such as Changeland under his belt. Additionally, Seth Green is a recurring cast member of Family Guy, as he is the voice of Chris Griffin. Last but not least, he is a writer, director, producer, and even voice actor for the famous Robot Chicken franchise.

With only 5 foot 4 inches, Seth Green is another short yet extremely successful actor that is still thriving. And while he is not the shortest in the industry, he is surely one of the most beloved Hollywood personalities.

7. Joe Pesci

Joe Pesci

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Joe Pesci is a veteran actor, known for playing mobsters and tough guys in movies like Goodfellas, Casino, and My Cousin Vinnie. Like many other people on this list, his career began when he was a child, as his first appearance was on the TV series Star Time Kids.

But by far, his most famous role is playing Harry Lime, one of the antagonists in the Home Alone series. However, acting is not his only passion, as Joe Pesci also loves music and even plays the guitar.

Despite the fact that he is only 5 foot 4 inches tall, Joe Pesci never shied away from playing complex and tough characters. And though he isn’t as active as before, nobody can forget his portrayal of iconic characters like Tommy DeVito.

6. Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

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Patton Oswalt is an acclaimed actor, screenwriter, and comedian, best known for his role on the TV series Kings of Queens. Other than that, he is also famous for having his own comedy specials on Comedy Central and HBO.

When it comes to movies, Patton Oswalt usually plays nerdy characters, which works perfectly with his witty and sarcastic personality. More recently, Patton Oswalt has joined the cast of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. where he voices the main character.

If you are familiar with Patton Oswalt, you might not be surprised to learn that he is 5 foot 3 inches tall. Nonetheless, some would argue that his height is what helped him portray many fan-favorite characters so accurately and uniquely.

5. Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider

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Rob Schneider started his long-lasting comedy career by doing opening acts for famous comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. However, that wasn’t enough for the ambitious Rob Schneider and he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live shortly after he started to gain popularity.

But what truly made him famous were his roles in comedies such as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, and Men Behaving Badly. Besides his acting and comedy endeavors, Rob Schneider is also a successful writer and director, with multiple movies and TV series under his belt.

In regard to height, Rob Schneider is only 5 foot 3 inches tall. Even so, his height didn’t stop him from reaching for the stars and becoming one of the most popular comedians and actors alive.

4. David Faustino

David Faustino

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David Faustino is a writer, actor, and singer, who became famous for his role on the TV series Married with Children. In addition to that show, he also appeared in movies such as Robodoc, Pucked, and many more.

Thanks to his skills as a voice actor, he was cast in The Legend of Korra as the voice of Mako. Speaking of voice, David Faustino also performed as a rapper under the Lil’Gweed pseudonym.

Although he isn’t the shortest actor on this list, David Faustino makes it due to his modest height of 5 foot 3 inches. It’s also worth noting that some people believe his stage name, Lil’Gweed, is a reference to his shorter stature.

3. Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

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Danny DeVito is a veteran of Hollywood, with an impressive career that includes acting, directing, and even producing movies and TV series. His breakthrough role was on the popular TV series Taxi, where he played one of the most despised characters in TV history, a dispatcher named Louie DePalma.

When it comes to movies, Danny DeVito is known for portraying comedic characters in movies like Throw Momma from the Train, Romancing the Stone, and Ruthless People. Currently, he is a recurring cast member of the sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, one of the longest-running live TV shows.

Unfortunately, as a result of suffering from Fairbank’s disease, Danny DeVito is only 4 foot 10 inches tall. And while that would stop many from pursuing an acting career, it only made Danny DeVito try harder.

2. Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage

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Peter Dinklage is an actor who made a name for himself despite his size. In fact, his first role in the movie Living in Oblivion was that of an actor annoyed with the lack of roles for actors with dwarfism.

Since then, he has joined the cast of popular movies, like Death at a Funeral, Elf, and The Station Agent. In addition, Peter Dinklage has also appeared in multiple TV series, including Life as We Know It and Entourage. But his most famous role by far was that of Tyrion Lannister in the popular Game of Thrones TV series.

Due to his dwarfism, Peter Dinklage is only 4 foot 4 inches tall. However, his talent and dedication surpass that of many others, and that’s why he is one of the most beloved Hollywood actors, regardless of his size.

1. Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis

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Warwick Davis is a famous comedian and actor, mostly known for playing in over 45 movies and TV series. He made his acting debut in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, where he played an Ewok.

Afterward, he managed to grab roles in all sorts of movies, including comedies, dramas, and even thrillers. Before he knew it, he was already a fan favorite of Hollywood, playing in blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter, Narnia, and Willow.

Warwick Davis, like Peter Dinklage, has dwarfism and is only 3 feet 6 inches tall. And even though that would be a problem for many people, Warwick Davis has made the most out of his situation, usually portraying short yet witty characters.

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