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Short Hollywood Legends

Updated on July 20, 2014

April 22, 2012

HUMPHREY BOGART

5' 8"

Bogie was nominated for three Academy Awards as Best Actor in a Leading Role in the Caine Mutiny in 1954, The African Queen in 1951 and Casablanca 1942. He won for the African Queen.

Bogie was one of the tough guys in his early films and progressed to a leading man later on. More notable films were They Drive by Night 1940, The Maltese Falcon 1941, To Have and Have Not 1944, The Big Sleep 1946, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948, Key Largo 1948, The Caine Mutiny 1954 and Sabrina 1954.

Humphrey Bogart was born on December 25, 1899 in New York City and died on January 14, 1957 in Los Angeles. I find it extremely unique that the man considered the most famous actor in silent film history, Charles Chaplin died on Christmas Day and the man considered the most famous actor in sound film history, Humphrey Bogart, was born on Christmas Day. Out with the old, in with the new.

GEORGE RAFT

5' 7"

Raft was just as tough in real life as on the screen. He was remembered for flipping a coin in one of his earlier films which became a trademark. He was almost right up there with Cagney and Edward G. Robinson except for the fact that he continually turned down great roles that would make someone else a star.

George was known to have friends in the mob and ties to gambling. His only award for his work was to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His more popular films include Scarface 1932, The Glass Key 1935, Each Dawn I die 1939, They Drive by Night 1940, Johnny Angel 1945 and Some Like It Hot 1959.

George Raft was born on September 26, 1901 in New York City and died on November 24, 1980 in Los Angeles.

JAMES DEAN

5' 8"

Dean only made three films, but was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in two of them, East of Eden 1955 and Giant 1956. He was the very first actor to be nominated posthumously for Eden and would second that distinction again the following year for Giant. His third film was Rebel Without a Cause in 1955.

James Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana and died on September 30, 1955 in Cholame, California.

ALAN LADD

5' 6 1/4"

Ladd won a Golden Glove Award for World Favorite Male in 1954 and was nominated for the same award in 1955.

Ladd had those boy next door good looks and the distinguishable blond hair to set him apart from others in the business. His more prominent films included The Glass Key 1942, The Blue Dahlia 1946, The Great Gatsby 1949, Shane 1953, The McConnell Story 1955, Boy on a Dolphin 1957 and The Carpetbaggers, his final film in 1964.

Alan Ladd was born on September 3, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and died on January 29, 1964 in Palm Springs, California.

GENE KELLY

5' 7"

Kelly was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1945's Anchors Aweigh and received an Honorary Award by the Academy in 1952 for his body of work. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985 from the American Film Institute.

Some of his films include The Three Musketeers 1948, An American in Paris 1951, Singing in the Rain 1952 and Inherit the Wind 1960.

Gene Kelly was born on August 23, 1912 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and died on February 2, 1996 in Beverly Hills, California.



JOHN GARFIELD

5' 7"

Garfield was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his very first film, Four Daughters 1938. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Body and Soul 1947.

Other films of notice were Daughters Courageous 1939, Four Wives 1939, The Sea Wolf 1941, Destination Tokyo 1943, The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946 and Gentlemen's Agreement 1947.

John Garfield was born on March 4, 1913 in New York City and died on May 21, 1952 in New York City.

SAMMY DAVIS JR.

5' 5"

I said in my tribute to Mickey Rooney in a previous article that Davis was the second best all-around entertainer of all time next to Rooney. The man could act, sing, dance, play instruments, do comedy, drama and one more thing that Mickey could not do, impressions of famous people and he was phenomenal at it.

He never received nominations for Oscars, but I remember a scene from a television movie he made that has remained with me all these years. He was the sole black soldier in his company and all the white guys constantly gave him a hard time. One day, one of the soldiers threw a dummy grenade into the middle of a circle of the men which included Sammy hoping for a huge laugh as Sammy ran scared. Instead, Sammy fell on top of the grenade as he continued to yell, "Run, run!" Needless to say, the men were not proud of themselves and Sammy became their best friend.

Memorable films include, Porgy and Bess 1959, Ocean's Eleven 1960, Robin and the 7 Hoods 1964 and Sweet Charity 1969.

Sammy Davis, Jr. was born on December 8, 1925 in Harlem, New York and died on May 16, 1990 in Beverly Hills.

JAMES CAGNEY

5' 6 1/2"

Cagney was nominated for an Academy Award three times winning once for Yankee Doodle Dandy in 1942. His other nominations were for Angels With Dirty Faces in 1938 and Love Me or Leave Me in 1955. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1974.

Other films of importance include The Roaring Twenties 1939, City for Conquest 1940, The Strawberry Blonde 1941, White Heat 1949 (his best role), Mr. Roberts 1955 and Man of a Thousand Faces 1957.

James Cagney was born on July 17, 1999 in New York City and died on March 30, 1986 in Stanfordville, New York.

MICKEY ROONEY

5' 2"

Mickey was given an Oscar labeled the "Juvenile Award" by the Academy in 1939. He won an Honorary Award from the Academy for 50 years of versatility in 1983. He was nominated for an Academy Award four times, twice for supporting roles in The Bold and the Brave 1956 and The Black Stallion 1979 as well as twice for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Babes in Arms 1939 and The Human Comedy 1943.

There were so many films it is hard to list just a few, but the following were the most distinguished, Manhattan Melodrama 1934, Captain's Courageous 1937, all 16 of the Andy Hardy films starting in 1937, Boy's Town 1938, National Velvet 1944, The Big Wheel 1949, Baby Face Nelson 1957, Requiem For a Heavyweight 1962 and the man is still filming as we speak.

Mickey Rooney was born on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York.

PETER SELLERS

5' 8"

Sellers was nominated for three Academy Awards, one for a short subject and the other two for Best Actor in a Leading Role including Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 and Being There 1979 (an incredible role).

Other films of note include all the Pink Panther films, What's New Pussycat 1965, Casino Royale 1967 and his final film, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu 1980.

Peter Sellers was born on September 8, 1925 in Southsea, Hampshire, England and died on July 24, 1980 in Lambeth, London, England.

CLAUDE RAINS

5' 6 1/2"

Rains was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939, Casablanca 1942, Mr. Skeffington, 1944 and Notorious 1946.

Other notable films are The Invisible Man 1933, Four Daughters 1938, Daughters Courageous 1939, Four Wives 1939, Four Mothers 1941, Here Comes Mr. Jordan 1941, Phantom of the Opera 1943, Angel on My Shoulder 1946 and Deception 1946.

Claude Rains was born on November 10, 1889 in Camberwell, London, England and died on May 30, 1967 in Laconia, New Hampshire.

CHARLES CHAPLIN

5' 5"

Chaplin won an Honorary Academy Award in 1929 for versatility and genius for acting, writing, producing and directing The Circus. He also won an Honorary Academy Award in 1972. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Great Dictator 1940 and he won the Oscar for Best Music and Original Score for Limelight 1952 even though it was not released until 1972.

Films of noteworthy include The Kid 1921, City Lights 1931and Modern Times 1936,

Charles Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in Walworth, London, England and died on Christmas Day 1977 in Vevey, Switzerland.

FRANK SINATRA

5' 7"

Sinatra won an Honorary Academy Award for The House I Live In 1945. He won the Academy's Humanitarian Award in 1971. He won his only Academy Award for Supporting Role in From Here to Eternity in 1953 and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Man With the Golden Arm in 1955.

Films of importance include Suddenly 1954, Young at Heart 1954, Guys and Dolls 1955, The Tender Trap 1955, High Society 1956, The Joker is Wild 1957, Pal Joey 1957, Some Came Running 1958, Never So Few 1959, Ocean's Eleven 1960, The Manchurian Candidate 1962, Von Ryan's Express 1965 and Tony Rome 1967.

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey and died on May 14, 1998 in Los Angeles.



EDWARD G. ROBINSON

5' 7"

Surprisingly, this tremendously skilled actor only received one Academy Award and it was an Honorary Award for being such a great human being in general.

His films of great importance include Little Caesar 1931, The Last Gangster 1937, Brother Orchid 1940, A Dispatch From Reuter's 1940, The Sea Wolf 1941, Larceny, Inc 1942, Double Indemnity 1944, All My Sons 1948, Key Largo 1948, Two Weeks in Another Town 1962 and The Cincinnati Kid 1965.

Edward G. Robinson was born on December 12, 1893 in Bucharest, Romania and died on January 26, 1973 in Hollywood.

AL PACINO

5' 7"

Pacino was nominated 8 times for an Academy Award with one win for Scent of a Woman in 1992. His other nominated roles were in The Godfather I 1972 (my favorite film of all time), Serpico 1973, Godfather II 1973 (my second), Dog Day Afternoon 1975, And Justice For All 1979, Dick Tracy 1990 and Glengary Glen Ross 1992.

Other films worth mentioning are The Panic in Needle Park 1971, Scarface 1983, Heat 1995 and The Devil's Advocate 1997.

Al Pacino was born on April 25, 1940 in New York City.



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    • discovery2020 profile image
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      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Always enjoy your comments, Alecia. Thanks.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I didn't know there were this many actors who actually were shorter than than standard tall dark and handsome. I wonder if Mickey Rooney would even have made it in this era of film stars. But I think back then it was more about talent than looks or stature. Great, interesting hub!

    • discovery2020 profile image
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      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      You should see Mickey Rooney in person. I stood face to face in the 70's shaking his hand and exchanging a little conversation and was overwhelmed at his 5' 2" stature.

    • M A Williams profile image

      Mike 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Yes, good idea excluding 5'9". It's not like 5'8" is super short, it's just that someone like Bogart looks like he would be tall in stature. 5' 5" for Chaplin is really short.

    • discovery2020 profile image
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      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your comment.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      I started to include 5' 9" which would have added men such as Marlon Brando and Spencer Tracy, but consider that the start of medium height. Thanks for your comments.

    • M A Williams profile image

      Mike 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Interesting hub, most surprised about Bogart, Sinatra and Chaplin.

    • leros003 profile image

      leros003 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I had no clue most of them were under 5'9"! As a person who is 6'0" and still considered barely tall, that is amazing to learn!