Models might be famed for their tall, gazelle-like stature; many of the world’s most famous female stars in other fields, though, are actually much shorter than you might expect. Here are 40 of stage, song and screen’s littlest leading ladies…
40. Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara is known for films like The Social Network, Carol and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But while she may be a big star, she’s petite in stature, at just 5’ 3” tall. Interestingly, shortness must run in the family, as Mara’s older sister Kate happens to be exactly the same height.
39. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek is considered one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, but she had to learn to love her small frame. In an interview quoted by The Creative Mind website, she explained, “I am 5’2”, and in Mexico it was very important to be tall. People used to say that the short thing was a deformity.” But she added, “One day, I said, ‘Who decided that it’s better to be tall? Why is it better? Am I less healthy? Am I less capable?’”
38. Reese Witherspoon
Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon often boosts her height with five-inch heels, but when she takes them off, the actress is only 5’1½” tall. In fact, the Legally Blonde star is so petite that her daughter Ava outgrew her, and now measures a full half-inch taller than her famous mom.
37. Eva Longoria
Back in her Desperate Housewives days Eva Longoria was by far the shortest of her castmates on the set of the comedy-drama. That’s hardly surprising, given that she stands at just 5’2” tall. In 2017 Longoria joked about her small stature when posing with her fellow L’Oréal ambassadors at Cannes Film Festival. Writing on Instagram, she wrote, “Just us models. #Wore5InchHeelsAndStillCouldntKeepUp #SeriouslyShort.”
36. Natalie Portman
According to Natalie Portman, her 5’3” frame is what helped her bag her role in Marvel movie smash Thor. In a 2013 appearance on British TV chat show The Graham Norton Show the actress explained, “I was mainly cast in the role because I can make anyone look huge when they stand next to me. I’m extraordinarily short.”
35. Scarlett Johansson
For a while, Scarlett Johansson put her height at 5’4”, but more recently she has admitted that she’s just 5’3”. Whatever the exact measurement may be, the film star has expressed her desire to be slightly taller. She once told InStyle magazine, “a couple of extra inches would be nice.”
34. Sarah Jessica Parker
In TV series Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw is known for her love of designer footwear. A passion for shoes is something the actress and her fictional counterpart apparently share. The actress reportedly preferred heels to boost her 5’4”, but her years in stilettoes have taken their toll on her feet, meaning she might have to give them up soon.
33. Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke made her name as the formidable Mother of Dragons in TV epic Game of Thrones. But what makes her performance all the more impressive is that she commanded the screen standing at just 5’2”. Her co-star Jason Momoa, on the other hand, is an impressive 6’ 4”, though the height difference didn’t seem to affect their chemistry.
32. Lena Dunham
Girls star Lena Dunham is only 5’3” tall. The writer and actress is known for being an advocate of body positivity, even though she has struggled to accept her own appearance at times. That being said, she appeared to embrace her figure in 2017 when she posted a nude selfie on Instagram. In the accompanying caption, she wrote, “I feel deeply comfortable with the idea that this pear-shaped pot of honey is equally good for making people laugh and laying out like a Suicide Girl circa 2004.”
31. Lily-Rose Depp
As a rule, most models are Amazonian in stature, towering over most of us as they sashay down the runway. By contrast, the face of Chanel Lily-Rose Depp is positively dinky, measuring in at 5’3”. In that respect, it seems that the actress takes after her famous mom, Vanessa Paradis, who is exactly the same height.
30. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Dinky star Jennifer Love Hewitt hasn’t let her limited stature keep her down. The tiny Texan has made a big name for herself in TV and film with hit roles in The Ghost Whisperer and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
29. Elliot Page
Elliot Page has gone from indie film darling, starring in films like Hard Candy and Juno, to becoming a bonafide action movie star. And while the Canadian performer packed a punch as Kitty Pryde in X-Men, at just 5’1” he is surely one of the shortest superheroes of all time – as well as having transitioned from being one of Hollywood’s littlest leading ladies to being one of its smallest men.
28. Isla Fisher
Conflicting reports put Isla Fisher’s height at 5’2” or 5’3”. In a 2005 interview with the British newspaper the Sunday Mirror, the Confessions of a Shopaholic actress joked, “I’m only 5’ 2”. I’m circus-freak short.” By contrast, her husband Sacha Baron Cohen towers over her at more than 6 feet tall.
27. Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu has had some pretty rough-and-tumble roles over her years as an actress, including in films such as Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill. But don’t let her tough on-screen personas fool you into thinking she’s a physically imposing presence. That’s because she’s pretty tiny, standing at a height of only 5’3”.
26. Melissa Joan Hart
Starting out as a child star at the tender age of four, we have seen Melissa Joan Hart grow up before our eyes – though not very tall. The Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV star once told Ellen, “People that meet me for the first time always say I thought you were taller… I’m only 5’2”! I’m 5’2” if on a good day.”
25. Sarah Hyland
Sarah Hyland rose to fame playing teenager Haley Dunphy on Modern Family. And even though she’s now a fully grown adult, at 5’2” she could probably still get away with playing characters younger than herself. She is engaged to Bachelor in Paradise star Wells Adams, who is 6’0”.
24. Mary-Kate Olsen
Child star turned fashion icon Mary-Kate Olsen definitely knows how to dress for her tiny build. The actress and businesswoman is one half of the most famous twin-sets in Hollywood, although at 5’2” she’s reported to be just ever so slightly shorter than her sister Ashley.
23. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is one of the biggest music stars on the planet, but not in height. While her personality is larger than life, she measures in at 5’0” exactly. When she first started out, Parton’s petite stature was part of the reason people didn’t take her seriously as an artist. But after more than 50 years in showbusiness, it seems the pint-sized powerhouse has had the last laugh.
22. Mila Kunis
At 5’4” Mila Kunis is pretty averagely sized among American women. Still, in 2010 the actress told Esquire magazine, “My friends call me a hobbit. I come across shorter than I am.” Perhaps the confusion stems from the height difference between Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher, who is a full 10 inches taller than her at 6’2”.
21. Amanda Seyfried
Mean Girls and Mama Mia leading lady Amanda Seyfried is just 5’3” in height. But while she may be small, she’s one tough cookie as a practice of the Soteria Method of self-defense. Showcasing her skills in a video posted to Twitter in 2014, Seyfried said of the discipline, “It doesn’t matter how big you are, how strong you are, what your fitness level is. You just need to outsmart the attacker.”
20. Jada Pinkett-Smith
Given that she’s known for her fiery roles in films such as Set It Off and The Matrix Reloaded, it may surprise you to learn that Jada Pinkett-Smith is only 5’0”. She is by far the smallest member of her famous family. Her husband Will is 6’2”, while their son Jaden is 5’7” and their daughter Willow is 5’5”.
19. Jodie Foster
With an acting career spanning six decades, Jodie Foster is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but stands at just 5’3”. While petite, Foster played the heroine of the movie Silence of the Lambs. In a 1991 interview with The New York Times newspaper, she said of that defining role, “It’s not about steroids and brawn, it’s about using your mind and using your insufficiencies to combat the villain.”
18. Lucy Hale
While some shorter celebrities like to boost their height with a high heel, Lucy Hale apparently isn’t one of them. Even though she’s only 5’2”, the star of TV drama series Pretty Little Liars reportedly prefers to keep things comfortable in flats, most of the time. That being said, she has been known to don stilettoes on weekends and evenings.
17. America Ferrera
Ugly Betty star America Ferrera is only 5’1” and it seems she wasn’t always confident in her looks. In 2017 the actress told Redbook magazine, “I grew up believing a lot of things about myself that I had to unlearn – things that pertain to being a good woman, things about my weight or height.”
16. Chandra Wilson
Actress Chandra Wilson is positively dinky, standing at 5’0”. She is perhaps best known for her role as Miranda Bailey in TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, in which most of her co-stars were taller than her. That being said, her character certainly held her own in the action, as did Wilson on-screen.
15. Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams’ character Arya Stark was a force to be reckoned with in Game of Thrones, despite the fact the actress is only 5’1”. In one memorable scene, Stark went head-to-head with Brienne of Tarth – played by Gwendoline Christie, who is 6’3”. In a video for behind-the-scenes TV show The Game Revealed, Williams said, “To be fighting Gwen, who is far over a foot taller than me, and for her to be fighting someone who is far, far shorter than her – it’s been a massive challenge.”
14. Ashley Olsen
Ashley Olsen may be slightly taller than Mary-Kate, but she’s still only 5’1” herself. It may surprise you to learn that the two sisters are not, in fact, identical twins, which might explain the disparity in their heights. And apparently, that’s not the only difference between them, as Ashley is reportedly right-handed, while Mary-Kate is left-handed.
13. Zoe Kravitz
Zoe Kravitz is just 5’1” tall, but she’s packed some big punches on screen. The singer and actress, who is the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz, has kicked ass in a string of sci-fi action movies such as X-Men: First Class, Mad Max: Fury Road, Divergent, After Earth and Insurgent.
12. Rachel Bilson
Rachel Bilson stands at 5’2” and wouldn’t have it any other way. Indeed, the perfectly petite star of TV show The O.C. told Women’s Health magazine in 2013 that she loves her body. She does, however, wear nude shoes to add a little height, explaining, “They elongate your legs, so you don’t look tiny even if you are.”
11. Hilary Duff
At just 5’2”, Hilary Duff can’t have grown much since her teenage days on the hugely popular Lizzie McGuire, but the actress and singer doesn’t concern herself with her size in any respect. She revealed to Elle in 2015, in fact, “I just tell myself, ‘I’m 5’2”, I’m really fit, killing it in the gym, and doing crazy things.’ I love to work out, but I’m just not that concerned with being the skinniest person.”
10. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is such a larger-than-life character that it’s hard to believe she’s only 5’1”. The pop star is known to wear some super-high heels from time to time, though, making it even harder to tell that Gaga is in fact a tiny Lady indeed.
9. Kristin Chenoweth
She might be just 4’11”, but Kristin Chenoweth’s big voice makes up for it, with the teeny-tiny star giving several award-winning performances on Broadway. And the talented actress and singer revealed that being small definitely has its perks. She confessed to People magazine in 2011, “I shop at GapKids… It’s kind of fun. Being petite is part of who I am.”
8. Adrienne Bailon
Adrienne Bailon doesn’t even stretch to five feet, coming in at an itty bitty 4’11”. The American singer-songwriter and actress began her career in girl group 3LW, before becoming the star of Disney franchise The Cheetah Girls.
7. AnnaSophia Robb
When AnnaSophia Robb was cast as a younger version of Sex and the City icon Carrie Bradshaw in 2014, the diminutive starlet had some pretty big shoes to fill. And given that Robb measures only 5’ tall, the stylists of The Carrie Diaries made the wise decision to give those shoes some pretty huge heels.
6. Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens is positively pint-sized, measuring just 5’1” tall. The tiny actress first came to our attention as the star of High School Musical, and although she might not have grown much since, her career has definitely reached new heights. Despite her diminutive stature, Hudgens reportedly prefers a taller man, and her ex-boyfriend Austin Butler is reported 6’0” tall.
5. Lea Michele
New York-born actress Lea Michele is known for her big-hearted performances in Glee. But despite her powerful voice, Michele stands at only 5’2” – and so she often wears towering platforms on stage to give her a little extra oomph.
4. Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell, star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, is just 5’1” – not that her diminutive stature has held her back in Hollywood, of course. And would Veronica Mars have been quite the same if its lead actress had towered above everyone else? Probably not.
3. Christina Aguilera
At just 5’2”, Christina Aguilera is another petite songstress with a huge, belting voice. And the singer who brought us “Genie in a Bottle” certainly didn’t let her tiny physique stop her from rising to the top of the pop world.
2. Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick, best known for her performance in Pitch Perfect, has aimed high despite her little 5’2” frame. And Kendrick’s career has subsequently reached very, well, lofty heights: in 2009 and 2010, for example, the actress received Golden Globe, Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for her role in Up in the Air.
1. Amy Poehler
Little Amy Poehler stands at just 5’2”, but she can definitely raise a big laugh. The comic genius is arguably the funniest woman on our screens right now, not to mention the brains behind the ever-popular and much-missed sitcom Parks and Recreation.