Miss Lonelyhearts The novel's otherwise unnamed twenty-six-year-old protagonist; a newspaper reporter turned advice columnist, he seeks faith for himself and his readers, but he never truly finds it.
Willie Shrike Miss Lonelyhearts' editor, a corrosively cynical intellectual who enjoys deflating and tormenting Miss Lonelyhearts and ridiculing all human and social values.
Betty Innocent and healthy minded, but a willfully naive girlfriend to Miss Lonelyhearts; she is finally and briefly his lover and fiancée.
Mary Shrike Shrike's attractive wife; she is both loved-starved and puritanical.
Fay Doyle Thirty-two-year-old correspondent of Miss Lonelyhearts; she meets him supposedly to seek advice about her marriage but, actually, she hopes to seduce him; she is the mother of an illegitimate girl, Lucy, by Tony Benelli.
Peter Doyle Forty-one-year-old crippled meter reader; unhappy husband to Fay.
Miss Farkis Sluttish bookstore employee; occasional companion to Shrike.
Ned Gates A fellow reporter and drinking companion to Miss Lonelyhearts.
George B. Simpson An old man who is taken to a speakeasy by Miss Lonelyhearts and Ned Gates, who abuse him.
Goldsmith Fellow reporter of Miss Lonelyhearts; he writes Miss Lonelyhearts' column when Miss Lonelyhearts is ill.
Sick-Of-It-All; Desperate; Harold S.; and Broad Shoulders Correspondents of Miss Lonelyhearts, they appear only in their letters to him.
Tony Benelli The alleged father of Fay Doyle's daughter, Lucy.
Jake Bartender at Delehanty's.