HomeStatisticsFilmstarsMelvyn Douglas Height, Weight, Age, Family, Biography

Melvyn Douglas Height, Weight, Age, Family, Biography

Melvyn Douglas Quick Info
Height 6 ft 1¼ in
Weight 81.5 kg
Date of Birth April 5, 1901
Zodiac Sign Aries
Date of Death August 4, 1981

Melvyn Douglas was an American actor and stage artist who rose to acclaim as a suave leading man in the 1930s. He became one of the 24 performers to win the Triple Crown of Acting (Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award) and his film credits include Being ThereI Never Sang for My Father, The Americanization of EmilyHudArsène Lupin Returns, The Old Dark HouseThe Changeling, As You Desire MeThe Lone Wolf Returns, The People’s EnemyWoman in the DarkAnd So They Were MarriedTheodora Goes Wild, Women of GlamourI Met Him in ParisThere’s Always a WomanThey All Kissed the BrideThere’s That Woman Again, NinotchkaGood Girls Go to ParisThe Amazing Mr. Williams, He Stayed for BreakfastThis Thing Called Love, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Intimate Strangers, On the LooseThe Sea of GrassMy Own True LoveBilly BuddOne Is a Lonely Number, Twilight’s Last GleamingThe CandidateThe TenantTell Me a Riddle, and Ghost Story.

Born Name

Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg

Other Name

Melvyn Douglas

Melvyn Douglas as seen in a still
Melvyn Douglas as seen in a still (Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)


Melvyn Douglas was born on April 5, 1901.


On August 4, 1981, he died from pneumonia and cardiac complications at the age of 80 in New York City, New York, United States.

Sun Sign


Born Place

Macon, Georgia, United States





Melvyn Douglas did not graduate high school.


Actor, Stage Artist


  • Father – Edouard Gregory Hesselberg (May 3, 1870 – June 12, 1935) (Concert Pianist, Composer)
  • Mother – Lena Priscilla (née Shackelford)
  • Siblings – George Douglas (b. George Lamar Hesselberg) (August 7, 1903 – June 11, 1983) (Younger Brother) (Actor)
  • Others – Heinrich/Henry Hesselberg (Paternal Grandfather), Sarah/Sora Davidov/Davidoff (Paternal Grandmother), Col. George Taliaferro Shackelford (Maternal Grandfather) (A General and Civil War veteran), Emma Jane Douglas (Maternal Grandmother)



Melvyn Douglas and Greta Garbo in 'Ninotchka' (1939)
Melvyn Douglas and Greta Garbo in ‘Ninotchka’ (1939) (Studio Publicity Still / Dr. Macro / Public Domain)


6 ft 1¼ in or 186 cm


81.5 kg or 180 lbs

Girlfriend / Spouse

Melvyn Douglas had dated –

  1. Rosalind Hightower (1925-1930)​ – He got married to artist Rosalind Hightower in the year 1925 and they were blessed with a son named Melvyn Gregory Hesselberg on January 28, 1926. Melvyn and Rosalind divorced in 1930.
  2. Helen Gahagan (1931-1980) – Melvyn married actor-turned-politician Helen Gahagan in 1931 and they had 2 children – a son named Peter (b. 1933) and a daughter named Mary Helen (b. 1938). The couple remained together until her death in 1980.

Race / Ethnicity


Douglas was of Ashkenazi Jewish descent on his father’s side and had English and Scottish roots on his mother’s side.

Hair Color

Salt and Pepper (In Advanced Age)

Eye Color


Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

Frequently played smooth characters with a strong sense of humor

Melvyn Douglas as seen in a studio publicity portrait, circa 1939
Melvyn Douglas as seen in a studio publicity portrait, circa 1939 (Studio Publicity Still / Los Angeles Times / Public Domain)

Melvyn Douglas Facts

  1. His father was a Jewish emigrant but Melvyn was unaware of his Jewish background until later in his youth and it was his paternal aunts who told him “the truth”.
  2. Alongside Paul Newman, Patricia Neal, and Brandon deWilde, Melvyn Douglas co-starred as a Texas rancher named Homer Bannon in the 1963 Western film Hud. This role won him various accolades including the Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor”, the Laurel Award for “Top Male Supporting Performance”, and the National Board of Review Award for “Best Supporting Actor”.
  3. He was cast as Peter Schermann in an episode titled Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night of the anthology drama series CBS Playhouse in 1967 and this performance won him the Primetime Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie” category.
  4. Melvyn Douglas brought to life the character of Ben Rand in the 1979 satire film Being There. For this role, he bagged the Golden Globe Award for “Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture” and an Academy Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, and New York Film Critics Circle Award for “Best Supporting Actor”.
  5. Douglas has been honored with 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one for movies at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. and one for television at 6601 Hollywood Blvd.

Featured Image by Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

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