Wzrost człowieka
29 March 2017

Masculinity is not measured in centimeters… Short actors, singers, athletes and scientists

By Alan Rybczynski

To our detriment, society often preconceives tall people as having the most desirable qualities. According to stereotypes, a tall man is associated with intelligence, creativity, physical strength, professional and personal success. I will try to dispel these myths with 27 examples of men proving otherwise.

It is not necessary to be a big person to be noticed and appreciated by the whole world. Nor is it necessary to be a bodybuilder and lift huge barbells. Winning a fight with an athlete taller than yourself is also possible.

I have selected some of the interesting examples below.

1. Nelson Paul Anka (168 cm)

Canadian pop singer and songwriter known for such hits as: “Put Your Head on My Shoulder”, “Lonely Boy”, “Diana”, “Oh! Carol”

2. Bruno Mars (165 cm)

American singer of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent, music producer and songwriter. Known for such hits as: “The Lazy Song”, “Just The Way You Are”, “It Will Rain”, and “Locked Out Of Heaven”.

3. Liroy

Polish rapper, music producer, entrepreneur and politician. Known for, among others: “Scyzoryk”, “Hello – Do You Feel It?”, “Jump Up”. Many photos with attractive women taller than him can be found online.

4. Bono (168 cm)

Irish musician, philanthropist, and leader of the rock band U2. “With Or Without You,” “One,” “Beautiful Day.”

5. Jamie Cullum (164 cm)

English pop/jazz pianist, singer and songwriter. According to the BBC, he is the most popular British jazz musician in history, both in terms of total number of albums sold (which has already exceeded 4 million copies) and in terms of circulation per album (his CD Twentysomething has sold over 2.5 million copies). He married the 16 cm taller Sophie Dahl.

6. Frederic Chopin (170 cm)

Polish composer and pianist, considered one of the most important Romantic composers, and one of the most important Polish composers in history. He was one of the most famous pianists of his time, often called the poet of the piano.

7. Louis Armstrong (168 cm)

American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He was noted for his style of trumpet playing and jazz vocalism, to which he introduced scat singing. Widely known for “What a Wonderful World”, among other songs.

8. Albert Einstein (171.5 cm according to passport)

German physicist of Jewish descent, one of the greatest physicist-theorists of the 20th century, creator of the general and special theory of relativity. Winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. He published over 450 papers, including over 300 scientific papers.

9. Alexei Leonov (163 cm)

Soviet cosmonaut, pilot general-major, two-time Hero of the Soviet Union (1965, 1975), Cosmonaut Aviator of the USSR. First man to go into open space.

10. Lionel Messi (169 cm)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 15: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona holds the Ballon d’Or trophy prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie at Camp Nou on January 15, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Argentine footballer who plays mainly in the forward position for Barcelona and the Argentine national team, of which he is captain. He is the top scorer in the history of the club.
At the age of 21, Messi was nominated for the Golden Ball and the FIFA Footballer of the Year. In 2009, he won both of these awards, and in the following three years he reached for the newly created FIFA Golden Ball. In 2011, he won the title of European Footballer of the Year according to UEFA. Messi is the fourth footballer in history, after Johan Cruijff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten, to win three Golden Balls, and the second besides Platini to do so in a row. Because of his short stature and playing style, he is often compared to Diego Maradona, who himself called him his “successor”.

11. Naim Süleymanoğlu (147 cm)

Turkish weightlifter. He was ranked #1 on a list of the top 10 barbell lifters of all time published in 1997 in the professional magazine World Weightlifting. He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996), a seven-time world champion, and a six-time European champion. During his career he broke world records 46 times, the first one at the age of 16. Because of his short height (147 cm) he was nicknamed Pocket Hercules.

12. Franco Columbu (165 cm)

Bodybuilder, strongman, power triathlete and actor of Italian descent. He has appeared in the films: “The Terminator”, “Conan the Barbarian”, and “The Fugitive”.

13. Lionel Giroux (130 cm)

Former Canadian wrestler.

14. Bruce Lee (171 cm)

American actor and martial arts master of Chinese descent. He studied drama at the University of Washington and the additional subjects of philosophy and psychology. He created the Jeet Kune Do fighting style. An icon of action cinema, known for such films as: “Enter the Dragon”, “Way of the Dragon”, “The Big Boss”, “Furious Fists”, “The Death Game”.

15. Adam Malysz (170 cm)

Photo by Cezary Piwowarski

Polish ski jumper, Olympic medalist, the most successful athlete in the history of individual world championship ski jumping competitions, the best Polish athlete of the first decade of the 21st century, rally driver.

16. Andrzej Lepper (171 cm)

Polish politician, trade unionist and entrepreneur.

17. Yasir Arafat (157 cm)

Palestinian politician and leader, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, Man of the Year 1993 according to Time magazine along with Nelson Mandela, Frederik de Klerk and Yitzhak Rabin.

18. Nicolas Sarkozy (165 cm)

French politician, President of the French Republic, MP and Member of the European Parliament.

19. Silvio Berlusconi (165 cm)

Italian politician and prime minister of Italy.

20. Napoleon Bonaparte (168 cm)

French military officer, First Consul of the French Republic 1799-1804, Emperor of the French from 1804-1815, President (1802-1805) and King of Italy (1805-1814).

21. Mahatma Gandhi (164 cm)

One of the founders of modern Indian statehood, promoting pacifism. He was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year.

22. Pablo Picasso (163 cm)

Spanish painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker, poet and playwright. Considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Co-founder of Cubism.

23. Seth Green (160 cm)


American actor, screenwriter, television and film director and producer. He married the taller than himself Clare Grant. His partner was also the taller Candace Bailey.



24. Jacek Braciak (163 cm)

Polish actor known for “Abduction of Agatha”, “Edi”, “Drogówka”, the series: “Agatha’s Law”, “I to mam szczęście”, “Straight to the Heart”. His current partner is actress Maja Hirsch, 15 cm taller than him, with whom he has a daughter.

25. Dustin Hoffman (167 cm)

Dustin Hoffman arriving at the Last Chance Harvey Premiere, Odeon West End, Leicester Square, London
3rd June 2009 image by Marc Larkin/LFI.

American actor, film director and producer, two-time Academy Award winner. Known for “Meet My Parents,” “Rain Man,” “The Graduate,” “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” “The Dreamer,” among others.

26. Al Pacino (170 cm)

American actor known for “The Godfather,” “The Devil’s Advocate,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Scarface,” among others.

27. Francis Capra (168 cm)

American actor known for “Bronx Law,” “Free the Orca 2,” “Veronica Mars,” “The Wizard of Kazaam,” among others.


In some cases, height may actually be lower than officially stated. I used Wikipedia, among others, and height data from IMDB.