Schwarzenegger and Stallone : A Height History.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. If two names could ever define the action movie genre, then these are it. Together they dominated the action scene during the 1980s and beyond. During the earlier part of their career an intense rivalry developed between these two which was the focus of a lot of media attention. Luckily for both of these action stars, it seems that this did not hinder their careers and today are good friends.

Here at, we're not interested in talking about the insane bodycounts in their movies, how much they generated at the box office, or how tough they are. We're just concerned with their heights!

Early Years

Unfortunately, it seems that not a lot of photographs of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone together before the mid-eighties exist. This is a pity, as it seems that the earlier on in an actors career the more chance there is of their footwear not containing those magic extra two inches that can so easily distort our view of height.

These photos from the eighties show Arnold and Sly training together with little or no magical shoe aid. Arnold's shoes certainly look very flat. Sly's shoes may be slightly suspect. The gradient between the end of his toe and where his foot meets his ankle appears quite steep. Even so, Arnold looks around four inches taller than Sly in these.

During a Golden Globes event in the 1980s, Arnold and Sly both made a public appearance together. It is unclear whether or not this was planned, but the two interacted together in front of the cameras. In a bizarre move, the two began dancing with each other. For us Arnold and Stallone Height fans, this was an important event, as we knew that never again would these two stars be in such close proximity. In terms of a height comparison, this was incredibly useful. Once again, Arnold Schwarzenegger stood 3 or 4 inches taller than Sylvester Stallone. Interestingly enough, in a recent interview, Stallone says he didn't mind this dancing, but he notes that Arnold was 'leading'. Clearly Arnold was happy for the world to see that he was noticeably taller than Sly and that he was also making him look like a 'Girly man'.

Planet Hollywood Era (1989-2000)

The 'Planet Hollywood' era of their careers, provided an incredible assortment of images of these two guys next to each other. At last, fans of these stars were given the opportunity to start collecting a library of height comparison pictures for their own amusement. Well... perhaps that was just us.

Nevertheless, what these pictures demonstrated was that even in a relatively short period of time, the infamous 'Stallone/Schwarzenegger gap' could fluctuate from 4 inches down to 2 inches depending on their footwear. This particular image of Sly and Arnold, during the Planet Hollywood era shows the two stars closer in height than we had previously seen. Here, the gap has been closed to what looks like a mere two inches. Although Sly is closer to the camera, the two inch gap is pretty much apparent by looking at the Planet Hollywood logos on their T-Shirts. One should also note that Arnold has a relatively small forehead (This is particularly apparent when looking at his bald Mr. Freeze look), so that the actual tops of their heads are not too far off. Other images of the Planet Hollywood era seem to show a very volatile difference in height.

The first two images above are from the same restaurant opening, and show that once again Arnold has more than 3" on Stallone. Perhaps Stallone forgot to add a little magic to his footwear? Or maybe it was Arnold who wore magic shoes on this occasion. Note that Arnold is a good 2 inches plus taller than that other action movie guy, Bruce Willis (not that we give a damn about his height). Perhaps on this occasion, Sly's footwear was slightly more modest than usual and Arnold brought out some heavy artillery?

One of the greatest gaps in height came halfway through Stallone and Schwarzenegger's Planet Hollywood era. Here Arnold appeared to tower over Stallone with perhaps (taking Arnold's tilted posture into consideration) as much as five inches of height. This expression on Stallone's face says everything as Schwarzenegger, Willis (and nearly Demi Moore) look down on Stallone. This would be one of the last times that Stallone would appear 'short' next to Schwarzenegger.

It could be that Stallone looked over the photographs from that event the next day, possibly with tears streaming down his face (we're not sure), clenched his fist, looked up to the heavens and shouted "From this day forth, I will never be towered over again!"

Governing their heights

It was a new millenium and it seemed that Arnold and Sly's careers were entering a quieter period, where the blockbuster action films of the past were now being replaced by more subtle action movies such as (the much underrated!) 'The Sixth Day' and Stallone's remake of 'Get Carter'. Arnold's political ambitions were slowly surfacing, and soon he would leave the movie business, essentially giving Stallone back his half of the shrinking 'action movie' pie.

The difference in height around the time of 'Get Carter', as shown by this image of Arnold visiting the set, shows a difference of perhaps 2 inches. Sly's 'head tilted back' posture makes this one hard to judge. You can be sure that any shoes that Sly wears on set are going to have a pretty mighty heel too! All of a sudden, it seemed Sly might be closing in the gap between these too. Arnold's expression has a hint of suspicion about it. He senses a disturbance in the 'Schwarzenegger/Stallone Gap', and rest assured he would not let his guard down as much in future. However, within a couple of years he would become Governor of California and face new threats to his height...

As Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger had been under close scrutiny about his height. Several articles (both online and in published newspapers) claimed Arnold to be notably under six foot (something we're still trying to get to the bottom of) and 'Height public relations' were pushed to the top of the Governator's agenda. What better way to establish yourself as a tall guy than to appear alongside another action star who you know is shorter than you are. Arnold's visit to Stallone on the set of 'Rocky Balboa' and side by side appearances at a number of functions, put Arnold a good 2 1/2 inches taller than Stallone. Arnold also appears to have the perspective advantage in most of the pics, being closer to the camera, with the camera position being low. Was this done on purpose? Who knows? The most important thing is that the press soon cooled off Arnold's height and were back chasing down 'sex tapes' of B-List celebrities.

Stallone's Birthday Revenge

The date was the 5th of June 2006. The venue : Planet Hollywood Resort, Las Vegas. The occasion : Sylvester Stallone's 60th Birthday Bash. Sly's present? A whopping pair of 'Magic Shoes'!.

Stallone hit Arnold hard on this birthday event that will go down in Height history as one of the greatest celebrity height upsets of all time. Although 'smiling' on the surface, no doubt Schwarzenegger, Willis and Travolta are in envy and admiration of the magical boost Stallone has bestowed on his height. Willis and Travolta's heights (both alleged to be around the 6 foot mark) were both vanquished by a boosted 60 year old Stallone. Stallone and Arnold then silently battled against each other throughout the night in front of the cameras for total height domination. The Winner? Arnold by an inch, in what was perhaps the greatest height battle of all time. One can only guess what will happen at Stallone's 70th.


Anyone who believes Stallone to be the same height as Schwarzenegger is most likely a little strange in the head. In terms of probability, the chances of this are slim to none. In other words, they are wrong. Despite this, there does appear to be some pretty heavy inconsistencies in the difference in their heights over the years. Could Arnold have shrunk? Does Sly really own the most magical 'magic shoes' of all? Or perhaps Sly had limb altering surgery? With the 'Schwarzenegger/Stallone gap' closing quite rapidly in recent years, perhaps in the future Stallone will be referred to as the 'tall guy' who used to hang around with that 'shorter Schwarzenegger guy'.

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