Tod Hackett In his early twenties, he is a Hollywood set designer, whose sensibilities record and respond to the novel's main events. His fruitless pursuit of Faye Greener makes him the protagonist.
Homer Simpson Forty-year-old retired hotel bookkeeper from Wayneville, Iowa. Repressed and numb. His sexual obsession with Faye, combined with his delusions about her, make him a parallel with and a contrast to Tod Hackett.
Faye Greener Seventeen-year-old, platinum blonde would-be Hollywood actress and sex goddess. Shallow, heartless, and manipulative, she provides the focus of attention for most of the male characters.
Harry Greener Middle-aged father of Faye, he brought her up by himself. An out-of-work vaudeville comic performer who lives in the past and in fantasies of new success.
Abe Kusich A dwarf about three feet high. Tough-talking and aggressive; racetrack hanger-on and occasional actor.
Claude Estee Hollywood scriptwriter whose home provides the scene for a party.
Earle Shoop Stupid, young out-of-work cowboy. Part-time boyfriend to Faye.
Miguel Sexy and macho Mexican keeper of gamecocks, who successfully cuts in on Earle Shoop's interest in Faye.
Audrey Jenning Owner-manager of a fashionable brothel; ex-silent screen actress. Very good businesswoman; unusually well read and cultured.
Mary Dove Prostitute friend of Faye Greener.
Mrs. Johnson Janitor at the Greeners' apartment house, she supervises the funeral for Harry Greener.