- The novel's protagonist and narrator; we never learn her given name. A shy, self-conscious young woman from a lower-middle class background, she begins the novel as a paid companion to Mrs. Van Hopper, a wealthy American woman. In Monte Carlo, she meets and marries the older, wealthy Maxim de Winter, and becomes "Mrs. De Winter," mistress of Manderley.
Maxim de Winter
- A cultured, intelligent older man, and the owner of Manderley, a prized estate and mansion on the English coast. When the novel begins, he has recently lost his beautiful, accomplished wife, Rebecca, in what the world believes was a tragic drowning. In fact, however, he killed her himself.
- In life, Rebecca was the beautiful, much-loved, accomplished wife of Maxim de Winter, and the mistress of Manderley. Now a ghost, she haunts the mansion, and her presence torments the heroine after her marriage to Maxim.
- The sinister housekeeper at Manderley. She was fiercely devoted to Rebecca, and remains devoted to her even after death. She despises the heroine for taking her mistress's place.
- Rebecca's cousin. Lacking integrity and given to alcoholic behavior, he was Rebecca's lover while she was married to Maxim.
- Maxim's kind, loyal overseer at Manderley, he befriends the heroine almost immediately.
- Maxim's sister. A friendly, outgoing woman with a passion for horses.
Mrs. Van Hopper
- A vulgar, gossipy and wealthy American woman. She employs the heroine as a companion while she travels from one European resort town to another.
- A harmless man, mildly retarded, who spends much of his time on the beach near Manderley.
- The local magistrate in the region surrounding Manderley
- A local noblewoman who suggests that Maxim and the heroine revive the tradition of holding an annual costume ball at Manderley.
- A London doctor who saw Rebecca the day of her death
- The butler at Manderley
- The heroine's maid
- One of Maxim's pet spaniels, and the heroine's favorite