How Tall Was Bruce Lee?


Widely celebrated as the man who popularized martial arts movies in the 1970s through his acting and directing, Bruce Lee was also an influential philosopher, with famous quotes such as "be like water, my friend" remaining popular to this day.


Regarding his height, most people remember the film "Game of Death", and his iconic fight scene with Kareem Abdul Abdul-Jabbar where the difference in size was phenomenal, yet rather than Bruce being overly short, Kareem stands at grand 7 feet 2 tall! 


So, how tall was he Bruce Lee exactly? Let's dive into this and find out!

bruce lee art tall wall

What Was Bruce Lee's Real Height?

After comparing Bruce's height with other celebrities, while also taking into consideration his height claims and what others said about his height, I conclude that Bruce Lee stood near 5'7.75" in the morning straight out of bed, then his height fell to around 5'7.25" for the majority of the day, and to just over 5'7" at night before bed. 


Therefore I will list Bruce Lee's height as 5'7.25" (170.8 cm) on this page

 

Leg Length Discrepancy 

Bruce Lee once commented that his "left leg is almost one inch shorter than the right", proving advantageous for certain martial arts movements.


Height is determined by standing straight and flat-footed on both legs, so his height measurements would have been determined this way. However, if he chose to stand straight on the other leg, even though the heel of the shorter leg would have been raised off of the floor, he would have stood a full inch taller!

 

Autopsy Report

Bruce Lee's autopsy report says that: “The body is that of a well-built Chinese male of about 30 years of age and is 172 cm in length”. (1)


This translates to 5'7.72" tall.


Regarding this measurement, when laying down a fraction of height is gained due to the spinal discs being able to decompress, similar to when we sleep at night. 


Also, this could have been measured from his longer leg, and it could have also been a rounded up or down measurement. 


Compared to Other Celebs

Chuck Norris 5'8.5" (174 cm)

Chuck Norris is noticeably taller than Bruce Lee. In most pics, there is anywhere from a 1.25-1.5 inch difference in height. This puts Bruce in the 5'7"-5'7.5 inch range of height. 


Bolo Yeung 5'6" (167.6 cm)

Bruce Lee's co-star in the film "Enter The Dragon" looks to be around 1.25 inches shorter than him in the film and also in other pictures. This places Lee in the 5'7.25 inch range of height. 


Bob Wall 6" (182.8 cm)

Another of Bruce Lee's co-stars from the film "Enter The Dragon", with plenty of side-by-side height comparisons between them both, and Lee looks around 5 inches shorter. This places Bruce in the 5'7" range of height. 


The Results

Next to other celebrities, Bruce Lee appears anywhere from 5'7-5'7.5" in height.


His Height Claim

In this phone Interview with Alex B Block from 1972, at around the 2:43 sec mark, Bruce is asked his height and weight, and in response he says his height is "five seven and a half" and weight is "140" lbs.


What His Son Thinks

Brandon Lee 5'11.5" (181.6 cm)

In an interview with Brandon, the question of height came up, and it goes like this.

 

Reporter: "you're a good deal taller than he is aren't you?"

Brandon: "yeah, well my Mother's Swedish"

Reporter: "well he was only about 5'4" or 5'5""

Brandon: "5'7" 


Take a look at the interview from 6:32


His Statues

The heights of some of Bruce Lee's statues around the world include: 


1: The biggest statue of Bruce in the entire world resides in Shunde, Foshan City in China. It is constructed in a 1.89 square kilometer park dedicated to the man himself, named "Bruce Lee Paradise". This mega statue stands at a whopping 18 meters (59 feet)tall! 


2: There is a 'life-sized' statue of Bruce located in the City of Mostar, in the City Park of "Zrinjevac". This statue stands at 5'6" (167.6 cm) tall, which is slightly shorter than the man himself. 


3: A bronze memorial statue of Bruce resides in Hong Kong, and stands at a grand 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) tall. 


The Verdict

After taking into consideration height comparisons between Bruce Lee and other celebs, his height claim, how tall others think he was, and also his leg length discrepancy, I believe that Bruce woke up standing 5'7.75", falling down to 5'7.25 during the day and dipping as low as 5'7" at night. 


Therefore I will list Bruce Lee's height as 5'7.25" (170.8 cm) on this page


A Final Note

On a final note, Bruce's height didn't hold him back from achieving in areas that were regularly dominated by taller men, breaking into the Western movie scene and solidifying himself also one of the most respected martial artists to have ever lived.


To conclude, I'll leave you with a quote from the 2019 book "Bruce Lee: A Life" (2):


 "This five-foot-seven, 135-pound Chinese dude with a chiseled physique and feline swagger replaced Luke Skywalker as our ideal of total badassness" 


Heights related to Bruce Lee

NAME

RELATIONSHIP

Approximate REAL Height

Linda Lee Cadwell

Wife

5'6" (167.6 cm)

Brandon Lee

Son

5'11.5" (181.6 cm)

Robert Lee

Brother

5'6.25" (168.3 cm)

Shannon Lee

Daughter

5'6" (167.6 cm)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Co-star: Game of Death (1978)

7'2" (218.4 cm)

Jackie Chan

Stuntman: Fist of Fury (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973)

5'8" (173 cm)

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