Attack of the Five Foot Woman

by clevecheng | created - 19 Oct 2013 | updated - 07 May 2015 | Public

give or take an inch

1. Mary Pickford

Actress | Coquette

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater ...

2. Pola Negri

Actress | Die Bergkatze

Pola Negri was born in Lipno, Poland, and moved to Warsaw as a child. Living in poverty with her mother, a teenage Pola auditioned and was accepted to the Imperial Ballet. Due to an illness that ended her dancing career, she soon switched to the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts and became ...

3. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

4. Bessie Love

Actress | The Broadway Melody

Bessie Love was born in Texas. Her cowboy father moved the family to Hollywood, where he became a chiropractor. As the family needed money, Bessie's mother sent her to Biograph Studios, hoping she would become an actress. D.W. Griffith saw she was pretty and had some acting talent, and put her in ...

5. Marie Prevost

Actress | The Racket

Marie Prevost was born Mary Bickford Dunn in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on November 8, 1898. She broke into films when she was 18 years old in Unto Those Who Sin (1916). Finding work in films was difficult in the early days, just as it is today. Marie found herself doing odd jobs until 1917, when she...

6. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

7. Janet Gaynor

Actress | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Janet Gaynor was born Laura Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, she & her parents moved to San Francisco, California, where she graduated from high school in 1923. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enrolled in a secretarial school. She got a job at a shoe ...

8. Norma Shearer

Actress | The Divorcee

She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to ...

9. Mae West

Actress | She Done Him Wrong

Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), ...

10. Helen Hayes

Actress | Airport

Known as "The First lady of the American Theater", Helen Hayes had a legendary career on stage and in films and television that spanned over eighty years. Hayes was born in Washington, D.C., to Catherine Estelle "Essie" Hayes, an actress who worked in touring companies, and Francis van Arnum Brown,...

11. Margaret Hamilton

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Margaret Hamilton was born December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jennie and Walter Hamilton. She later attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and practiced acting doing children's theater while a Junior League of Cleveland member. Margaret had already built her resume with several...

12. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

13. Carmen Miranda

Actress | The Gang's All Here

Carmen Miranda was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha on February 9, 1909, near Porto, Portugal, in the town of Marco de Canavezes. Not long after her birth her family moved to Brazil, where her father was involved in the produce business. The family settled in the then-capital city of Rio de ...

14. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

15. Gracie Allen

Actress | A Damsel in Distress

Gracie Allen was born on July 26, 1895 in San Francisco, California, USA as Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen. She was an actress, known for A Damsel in Distress (1937), The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950). She was married to George Burns. She died ...

16. Veronica Lake

Actress | Sullivan's Travels

Veronica Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the daughter of Constance Charlotta (Trimble) and Harry Eugene Ockelman, who worked for an oil company as a ship employee. Her father was of half German and half Irish descent, and her ...

17. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the...

18. June Allyson

Actress | Executive Suite

American leading lady whose sweet smile and sunny disposition made her the prototypical girl-next-door of American movies of the 1940s. Raised in semi-poverty in Bronx neighborhoods by her divorced mother, Allyson (nee Ella Geisman) was injured in a fall at age eight and spent four years confined ...

19. Jane Powell

Actress | A Date with Judy

Jane Powell was singing and dancing at an early age. She sang on the radio and performed in theaters before her screen debut in 1944. Through the 1940s and 1950s, she had a successful career in movie musicals. However, in 1957, her career in films ended, as she had outgrown her innocent ...

20. Ruth Gordon

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...

21. Patty Duke

Actress | Valley of the Dolls

Patty Duke was born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, to Frances Margaret (McMahon), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke, a cab driver and handyman. She is of Irish, and one eighth German, descent. Her acting career began when she was introduced to her brother Ray Duke's ...

22. Sally Struthers

Actress | All in the Family

Cute as a button and with a petite, porcelain prettiness and vulnerability that endeared her to the American public, Sally Struthers nabbed a series role in the early 1970s and became a solid part of TV history as a member of a dysfunctional family quartet in the milestone sitcom, All in the Family...

23. Phyllis Diller

Actress | A Bug's Life

The indefatigable nonagenarian finally put out an autobiography in 2005 and entitled it "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse", which pretty much says it all when recalling the misfit life and career of the fabulous, one-of-a-kind Phyllis Diller. It may inspire all those bored, discouraged and/or ...

24. Carrie Fisher

Actress | Star Wars

Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, to singers/actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. She was an actress and writer known for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: ...

25. Bette Midler

Soundtrack | The First Wives Club

Multi Grammy Award-winning singer/comedienne/author Bette Midler has also proven herself to be a very capable actress in a string of both dramatic and comedic roles. Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 1, 1945. She is the daughter of Ruth (Schindel), a seamstress, and Fred Midler, a ...

26. Pia Zadora

Actress | The Lonely Lady

Pia Zadora was born on May 4, 1954 in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA as Pia Alfreda Schipani. She is an actress, known for The Lonely Lady (1983), Butterfly (1982) and Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984). She has been married to Michael Jeffries since January 7, 2006. She was previously married to Jonathan ...

27. Julia Duffy

Actress | Newhart

Julia Duffy was born on June 27, 1951 in Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA as Julia Margaret Hinds. She is an actress, known for Newhart (1982), Designing Women (1986) and Looking (2014). She has been married to Jerry Lacy since June 21, 1984. They have two children.

28. Charlotte Rae

Actress | The Facts of Life

This Milwaukee native was born in 1926, where she was raised on a farm, with her two sisters (Beverly, Mimi), with Charlotte being the second of her three. Rae wanted to be a dramatic actress, but eventually wound up being a comedienne, all because of her stand-up comedy routines. After graduating ...

29. Kim Fields

Actress | The Facts of Life

Kim Fields was born on May 12, 1969 in New York City, New York, USA as Kim Victoria Fields. She is an actress and director, known for The Facts of Life (1979), Living Single (1993) and What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012). She has been married to Christopher Morgan since July 23, 2007. They ...

30. Rhea Perlman

Actress | Cheers

Rhea Perlman was born on March 31, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Rhea Jo Perlman. She is an actress and producer, known for Cheers (1982), Matilda (1996) and Canadian Bacon (1995). She has been married to Danny DeVito since January 28, 1982. They have three children.

31. Soleil Moon Frye

Actress | Punky Brewster

Soleil Moon Frye began acting at the age of two, after seeing her father, veteran actor Virgil Frye, and brother, Meeno Peluce, on TV. Her father got her an agent, Herb Tannen & Associates in Hollywood, and her career soon took off. Her mother, Sondra Peluce, became her manager. At age eight, she ...

32. Judi Dench

Actress | Skyfall

Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with the ...

33. Janeane Garofalo

Actress | Ratatouille

Janeane, the petite woman with the acerbic wit, was born in Newton, New Jersey, in 1964, to Joan, a secretary, and Carmine Garofalo, an Exxon executive. She is of Italian and Irish descent. Janeane had many jobs before breaking into show biz. She worked as a bike messenger, a shoe salesperson, ...

34. Dawn French

Actress | French and Saunders

Dawn French was born on October 11, 1957 in Holyhead, Wales as Dawn Roma French. She is an actress and writer, known for French and Saunders (1987), The Vicar of Dibley (1994) and Coraline (2009). She has been married to Mark Bignell since April 20, 2013. She was previously married to Lenny Henry.

35. Christina Ricci

Actress | Casper

Precocious, outspoken child-teen starlet of the 1990s, Christina Ricci was born in 1980 in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children of Sarah (Murdoch), a realtor, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and therapist. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and Scots-Irish ...

36. Jacki Weaver

Actress | Silver Linings Playbook

Jacki Weaver was born on May 25, 1947 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Jacqueline Ruth Weaver. She is an actress, known for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Animal Kingdom (2010) and Stoker (2013). She has been married to Sean Taylor since 2003. She was previously married to Derryn Hinch, ...

37. Imelda Staunton

Actress | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Imelda Staunton was born on January 9, 1956 in Archway, London, England as Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton. She is an actress, known for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Pride (2014) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). She has been married to Jim Carter since October 1983. ...

38. Jada Pinkett Smith

Actress | The Matrix Reloaded

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Robsol Grant Pinkett, Jr., a contractor, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones, a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. Her father is of African-American descent and her mother is of Afro-Caribbean ancestry (from Barbados and ...

39. Erykah Badu

Actress | The Cider House Rules

Erykah Badu was born on February 26, 1971 in Dallas, Texas, USA as Erica Abi Wright.

40. Miriam Margolyes

Actress | The Age of Innocence

A veteran of stage and screen, award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence (1993) she also received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her ...

41. Mae Whitman

Actress | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Mae was born in Los Angeles, California to Pat Musick, a voice artist, and Jeffrey Whitman, a personal manager and set construction coordinator. She began her career with a voice-over for a Tyson Chicken commercial. Whitman attended Ribét Academy, a private preparatory school in Los Angeles. She ...

42. Kristen Bell

Actress | Frozen

Kristen Anne Bell (born 1980) is an American actress and singer. She was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, and is the daughter of Lorelei (Frygier), a nurse, and Tom Bell, a television news director. Her ancestry is Polish (mother) and German, English, Irish, and Scottish (father). ...

43. Ellen Page

Actress | Juno

Ellen Grace Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and Dennis Page, a graphic designer. Page wanted to start acting at an early age and attended the Neptune Theater School. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning ...

44. Abigail Breslin

Actress | Little Miss Sunshine

Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin is one of the most sought-after actors of her generation. Her unique and charismatic talents have contributed to her versatile roles in both comedy and drama.

Recently, Breslin headlined the first season of the horror-comedy series, Scream Queens (2015)...

45. Hayden Panettiere

Actress | Heroes

Hayden Lesley Panettiere was born on August 21, 1989 in Palisades, New York, to actress Lesley Vogel and fire department captain Skip Panettiere. Her younger brother is actor Jansen Panettiere. Her parents are both of half Italian descent, along with German and English. Her mother got her started ...

46. Vanessa Hudgens

Actress | High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Vanessa Anne Hudgens was born in Salinas, California. Her family moved to San Diego, California, while she was still a toddler. She has a younger sister, Stella Hudgens, who is also an actress. Their mother, Gina Hudgens (Guangco), an office worker, is from the Philippines. Her father, Greg Hudgens...

47. Rachael Harris

Actress | The Hangover

Rachael Harris was born in Worthington, Ohio, where she spend most of her early life. In 1986, she graduated from Worthington High School. She then attended Otterbein College, a liberal arts college located in Westerville, Ohio. She graduated in 1989, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Harris joined the ...

48. America Ferrera

Actress | The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006-10). Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best ...

49. AnnaSophia Robb

Actress | Bridge to Terabithia

AnnaSophia Robb was born on the 8th December 1993 in Denver, Colorado, USA, to Janet, an interior designer, and Dave Robb, an architect. She has Danish, English, Irish, Scottish, and Swedish ancestry.

Robb started off life with a dream to act, and began by performing on a church stage in her home ...