How tall is Kiefer Sutherland, and why is it up for debate?

how tall is kiefer sutherland
Photo: Courtesy of ABC

Do aliens exist? Is Coke better than Pepsi? Are dogs superior pets to cats? You can understand why all of these questions are hotly debated issues, but you’d never guess another one: How tall is Kiefer Sutherland? Really.

It seems the actor — most recently known for his portrayal as Tom Kirkman, a lower government official who becomes the president through a plot that wipes out essentially every other political leader, in the ABC hit show Designated Survivor — is the subject of some debate.

Why are people asking about Kiefer Sutherland’s height?

The debate seems to come from a 2014 interview a disgruntled Freddie Prinze Jr. gave in which he complained, among other things, about having to take his shoes off in order to film scenes with the 24 actor because of, you guessed it, Kiefer Sutherland’s height.

Prinze told ABC News about how working with Sutherland was “terrible” and caused him to leave to work with Vince McMahon at the WWE even though it was “was a crazier job than working with Kiefer.”

And then what came next got people asking, how tall is Kiefer Sutherland? Prinze compared McMahon and Sutherland, saying that “at least [McMahon] was cool and tall.” But he was just getting warmed up. “I didn't have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him, which they made me do,” Prinze said of his time working with Sutherland on 24. “Just put the guy on an apple box or don't hire me next time. You know I'm 6 feet and he's 5’4”."

how tall is kiefer sutherland freddie prinze jr

Prinze’s experience on set aside, the number he dropped for Kiefer Sutherland’s height doesn’t vibe with where most sources place the Designated Survivor star: around 5’8”.

(Although one of their co-stars from 24 weighed in on the feud, the comments did nothing to enlighten the debate on how tall is Kiefer Sutherland. Louis Lombardi’s only reaction to Prinze’s height remark was to dismiss the complaint, saying “It's almost like, let it go. If that's the biggest problem that you have, to take your shoes off, I mean…")

So, how tall is Kiefer Sutherland?

Age, height and weight are all pretty fluid concepts in the entertainment industry, with many admitting to having fudged at least one of these numbers at some point throughout their career. That's why, outside of measuring the actor during an interview, it’s impossible to know for certain Kiefer Sutherland’s height — but some shots from the set of Designated Survivor help get a good idea.

The actor’s IMDB page lists him as 5’8 ½”, well within the range of most sources. Natascha McElhorn, who — until they killed off Alex, her character — starred alongside Sutherland in Designated Survivor is listed as 5’8”. The Designated Survivor cast photo, in which both of their feet can be seen (no apple boxes here, folks), seems to support a mere one-inch-or-so difference between the co-stars.

how tall is kiefer sutherland natascha mcelhorn

Another good comparison might be fellow Designated Survivor actor, Kal Penn. Penn, who plays White House Press Secretary Seth Wright in the show, is cited as standing 5’10”. Episodic photos from the show seem to support that the difference in height between these two actors is a mere one to two inches.

how tall is kiefer sutherland kal penn

So, how tall is Kiefer Sutherland? It seems like right around 5’8” — give or take a half an inch — just like most sources are saying. But if you ever run into the actor in an airport and can get a side-by-side comparison, let us know so we can put the Kiefer Sutherland height debate to rest once and for all.

 
 
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