How Tall Was Patrick Swayze?

In his prime years during the late 80's and early 90's, Patrick Swayze (1952-2009) was one of the world's most sought-after actors, playing roles in classic movies such as 'Ghost'.

His slender figure, heeled shoes, and streamlined black attire helped him appear comfortably over average height in movies such as the iconic 'dirty dancing', but were these just special tricks used to make him look taller, or was he really over average height?

dirty dancing vinyl

What Was His Real Height?

During his peak years, Patrick Swayze stood a solid 5'10.25" (178.4 cm) tall, never falling under it during the waking day. He woke up at 5'10.75" (179.7 cm) standing at 5'10.25" throughout the majority of the day, and going to bed at around 5'10" at night. 

Heights on Paper 

We see a fairly consistent claim of 5'11" (180.3 cm) from Patrick. This is not far from the truth as in shoes he surely cleared this mark.

His Book 

In the book by himself and his wife Lisa Niemi titled 'The Time of My Life,' he states his height and weight, as "Five-eleven and 180 pounds". It is common for celebrities to claim their height when wearing shoes, and Patrick's claim here falls in line with this. 

Firearm License

A firearm license expiring in 1995 stated height as 6'0" and 170 pounds in weight, and a later license expiring in 1996 stated he was 5'11" and 170 pounds in weight.

This measurement was most likely self-reported, so we can assume that Swayze stated these heights at the time of the issue. He was never close to 6 feet tall, but in Cuban heeled shoes, he would measure close to this mark.

Compared to Other Celebs in Early Years

Patrick appeared a solid 5'10" tall in his earlier years, rarely needing to use heeled shoes, etc to help him look in this range.

Let's compare him to other celebs of his time.

Sam Elliot 6'1.5" (186.7 cm)

In the film 'Roadhouse' Patrick's character, 'John Dalton' has a violent past and takes a job working in security, and when other characters first meet him, they say "I thought you'd be bigger" 3 separate times! This could have been to do with his slender build (similar to a gymnast), but it was most likely to do with him being noticeably shorter than the average man in this line of work.

Either way, Sam's character in the film named 'Wade Garrett' refers to John Dalton as a "skinny little runt". When comparing them both height-wise in the film, and in other pics, Patrick seems around 3.5 inches shorter than Sam. This places him in the 5'10" range.

Keanu Reeves 6'1" (185.4 cm)

When Patrick and Keanu Reeves starred together in films such as 'Point Break', and at the premiere for the film, Swayze consistently looks around 3 inches shorter than Keanu, putting him around the 5'10" mark.

Charlie Sheen 5'9" (175.2 cm)

In their younger years, Swayze consistently looks a comfortable 1.5 inches taller than sheen, such as in the movie Red Dawn, and at premiers. This puts him anywhere from 5'10-5'10.5" tall. 

Compared to Other Celebs in Later Years

Height Loss

Patrick did appear slightly shorter in his late 40's and early 50's. Alongside the natural aging process, he suffered some injuries such as accidents on film sets, with one that led to him having 12 operations to rebuild his body, in his legs and knees. Fortunately, he fully recovered, but this is going to take a toll on the body, including height loss.

So, compared to his prime height, which is stood at in his 20's, 30's and early 40's, he seemed to have lost around half an inch of height in his later years.

Rowan Atkinson 5'11.5" (181.6 cm)

Atkinson stood at 5'11.5" tall at the premiere of the movie 'Keeping Mum' in 2005, and Swayze looks around 2" shorter than Atkinson. They were both wearing regular footwear without built-in raises, so this puts him at around 5'9.5".

Travis Fimmel 5'11.5" (181.6 cm)

In Patrick's final film series 'The Beast' Patrick appears constantly around 2 inches shorter than Fimmel. He had health complications at the time but still holds around a solid 5'9.5" tall throughout. 

The Truth

In his later years, Patrick did lose some height, and stood closer to 5'9.5" (176.5 cm). However this page is about peak height, and In his peak years, Patrick Swayze was 5'10.25" (178.4 cm) tall for the majority of the day.

Related Heights

  1. Lisa Niemi, Wife, 5'4" (162.6 cm)
  2. Don Swayze, Brother, 6" (182.9 cm)
  3. Demi Moore, Co-star Ghost (1990), 5'5" (165.1 cm)
  4. Jennifer Grey, Co-star Dirty Dancing (1987), 5'3" (160 cm)
  5. Cynthia Rhodes, Co-star Dirty Dancing (1987), 5'7" (170.2 cm)
  6. Charlize Theron, Co-star Waking Up in Reno (2002), 5'9.75" (177.2 cm)
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