The List: Top 10 tallest actors

Richard Kiel from the film "Moonraker" (Courtesy MGM Home Entertainment) Richard Kiel from the film “Moonraker” (Courtesy MGM Home Entertainment)

To celebrate Jeff Goldblum’s 60th birthday and the life of the late Michael Clarke Duncan, The List this week looks at the Top Ten tall male actors in Hollywood. The 6-foot-4 Mr. Goldblum, who turned 60 on Monday, has starred in many films, including “The Fly” (1986) and “Jurassic Park” (1993). Duncan, who died in September, was 6 feet 5 inches and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “The Green Mile” (1999).

  • 10. Yaphet Kotto [6 feet 4 inches] — The imposing and volcanic Mr. Kotto faced a carnivorous extraterrestrial in the movie “Alien,” (1979) and a penitentiary full of embittered, hardened criminals in “Brubaker” (1980). A black Jew with a Panamanian Catholic mother and raised by his grandparents in Harlem, Mr. Kotto is also a noted stage actor and author. The 72-year-old is probably best known as the main villain in 1973 James Bond film “Live and Let Die,” and as a detective Al Giardello in the TV series “Homicide: Life on the Streets” (1993-1999).
  • 9. Fred Dalton Thompson [6 feet 6 inches] — With his towering height, the former senator from Tennessee and 2008 presidential candidate is known for playing powerful authority figures. He starred in “The Hunt for Red October” (1990) and “Die Hard 2” (1990), and later as a district attorney in the “Law & Order” TV series (2002-2006). The 72-year-old’s breakout role was as the CIA director in Kevin Costner’s “No Way Out” (1987). Before acting, he was an attorney. He worked on the Senate’s Watergate hearings, and he is often credited for supplying Republican Sen. Howard Baker’s famous question, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
  • 8. James Cromwell [6 feet 7 inches] — His breakout role was in the 1995 film “Babe” as a farmer who wins a charming piglet at a fair. In the film, he utters those famous words: “That’ll do pig.” He was nominated for an Oscar for the role and went on to star in a flurry of big films such as “L.A. Confidential” (1997), “The Green Mile” (1999) and “The Artist” (2011). The 72-year-old is the tallest actor nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 7. Michael Clarke Duncan [6 feet 5 inches] — The 6-foot-5-inch, 300-pound actor with the husky voice and supersized smile is best known for playing next to Tom Hanks in the prison-drama “The Green Mile.” In the film, which earned him a supporting-actor nomination at the Academy Awards, Duncan played death row inmate John Coffey, a man with mystical healing powers who is befriended by Mr. Hanks’ character. At one time, Duncan was a bodyguard for rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Duncan died Sept. 3 at 54, having never fully recovered from a heart attack in July.
  • 6. Jeff Goldblum [6 feet 4 inches] — A famous tall actor, and one who actually starred in a film called “The Tall Guy.” That hilarious British comedy also featured Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson. His breakout role was the remarkably humane portrayal of the man-fly Seth Brundle in David Cronenberg’s “The Fly.” He went on to star in “The Big Chill” and “Jurassic Park.” He made his film debut as a thug in the 1974 Charles Bronson film “Death Wish.”
  • 5. John Cleese [6 feet 5 inches] — Towering John Cleese put his long legs to hilarious use with his unusual and agile walk in the sketch “The Ministry of Silly Walk” on the “Monty Python” TV series. He also made us laugh in the TV series “Fawlty Towers” and the British film “A Fish Called Wanda,” proving that tall guys can be really funny.
  • 4. Richard Kiel [7 feet 2 inches] — Hollywood’s gentle giant played the steel-toothed menace Jaws in the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me,” which made him an international star overnight. He reprised the role in the Bond film “Moonraker.” In a 2008 poll sponsored by the U.K.’s Daily Star Sunday, Jaws was voted the top Bond villain. The 73-year-old will star in the romantic comedy “The Engagement Ring” in 2013.
  • 3. Donald Sutherland [6 feet 4 inches] — Mr. Sutherland rose to fame playing antiheroes in the 1970s, including “M*A*S*H” (1970) and “Klute” (1971). Despite a reputation as an actor’s actor and a resume that includes celebrated roles in films such as 1980’s “Ordinary People” and 1993’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” he has never won an Oscar. His son, Kiefer Sutherland, emerged as an action hero in the hit series, “24.”
  • 2. Christopher Lee [6 feet 5 inches] — To younger folks, the tall and scary-looking Mr. Lee is best know as the evil Saruman in Peter Jackson’s epic “The Lord of the Rings” (2001-2003) and Count Dooku in the final two films of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy (2002, 2005). But the 90-year-old actor has been working in films since 1948, and has been scaring us for years in such movies as 1973’s cult horror flick “The Wicker Man.” He is also famous for playing the villain Scaramanga in the James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974), and he will extend his amazing career appearing in the upcoming “The Hobbit” trilogy (2012-2014).
  • 1. Liam Neeson [6 feet 4 inches] — Mr. Neeson must be one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood. The “Schindler’s List” star, who caught the attention of Hollywood in “Excalibur” (1981), has appeared in almost 70 films in the past 30 years. The 60-year-old Irishman has recently been throwing his large frame around and beating up bad guys and wolves in the “Taken” films (2008, 2012) and “The Grey” (2011).

Special mention: David Prowse [6 feet 5 inches] — The former English bodybuilder played the physical form of Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. James Earl Jones, however, provided the voice for the character.

Compiled by John Haydon
Source: Heights determined by IMDb.com. Other sources: The Washington Times, Associated Press and Daily Star Sunday.

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