Played by Vivien Leigh
A headstrong Southern belle and the protagonist of the film. A self-centered, determined beauty willing to step on anyone in her way, Scarlett deeply resents anything that interferes with her own interests. Constantly seeking money and entertainment, Scarlett fights for Tara only when it becomes a part of her self-image and even then is willing to abandon it at a moment’s notice for a life more free of responsibility. Seeing Ashley as a living example of the social position she craves, Scarlett finds herself madly in love with him throughout most of the film. Though attracted to Rhett, Scarlett resents his ability to see the calculating woman beneath her charming veneer.
Played by Clark Gable
A Confederate rogue and major foil for the protagonist. A bold, cynical rule-breaker, Rhett claims that his heroic smuggling during the war was purely for profit and that he doesn’t care what society thinks of him. Despite these assertions, he joins the fighting as a soldier and later works to carefully cultivate his relationships with his neighbors. Comfortable with his wealth and the presentation of it, Rhett tries to downplay any service he performs to those around him. Rejected by everyone in his hometown of Charleston, Rhett is drawn to Scarlett because he sees her as his soul mate in rebellion. Despite his many problems with Scarlett as a wife and mother, Rhett loves their daughter Bonnie very deeply.
Played by Leslie Howard
A Southern gentleman and major obsession of the protagonist. A passive, blond, handsome man, Ashley is so caught up in visions of the world as he feels it should be that he never does anything to affect the world as it is. Though Ashley claims to care deeply for both Melanie and Scarlett, the way he strings both women along suggests that he cares more for the tragic romance of the situation. Unlike Rhett with his daughter, Bonnie, Ashley is rarely shown having contact with his son, Beau.
Played by Olivia de Havilland
Ashley’s wife. A kind woman unable to turn away anyone who needs help, Melanie is well liked by a swath of society that ranges from community leaders to the local madam. Wanting to find the best in everyone, Melanie foolishly sees Scarlett as a supportive sister-in-law and defends her at every opportunity. Despite this sweet nature, Melanie is also highly practical and willing to do what must be done to save those she loves.
Played by Hattie McDaniel
A house slave who helped raise Scarlett. Big-voiced and bold, Mammy remains unafraid to firmly chide Scarlett for her misbehavior despite the little effect it has. Though very loyal to the O’Haras, Mammy eventually warms up to Rhett and becomes his firm supporter.
Played by Thomas Mitchell
Scarlett’s father. A native Irishman with a fierce love of Tara and the land surrounding it, Gerald has a reckless side he indulges through wild jumps on his horse. Though he is the unquestioned head of the house, Gerald regularly seeks his wife’s counsel on how to run the plantation, and it is her death as much as the destruction of the land that finally drives him to a state of half-madness.
Played by Barbara O’Neil
Scarlett’s mother. A stately, dignified woman, Ellen has very firm views on what is and what is not proper behavior and expects to see those views maintained by others in her household. She is the emotional center of her family, and the O’Haras begin to break apart after her death.
Played by Ona Munson
Madam of an Atlanta brothel. A kind, no-nonsense woman who maintains self-respect despite what other people think of her, Belle loves her son and has sent him away to keep him from the vices of her profession. Belle respects and admires Melanie, cares deeply for Rhett, and works to look out for their best interests
Played by Alicia Rhett
Ashley’s sister. A serious, dignified young woman, India was in love with Charles Hamilton before Scarlett stole him away. Because of this action, as well as the way Scarlett continues to chase after the married Ashley, India considers Scarlett a despicable woman who thinks only of using others.
Played by Evelyn Keyes
Scarlett’s younger sister. A young woman constantly in Scarlett’s shadow, Suellen deeply resents Tara and all the indignities the O’Haras must go through to keep the plantation. Suellen begins to hate her older sister after Scarlett marries Suellen’s sweetheart Frank, leaving Suellen with the fear that she will die an old maid.
Played by Carroll Nye
Scarlett’s second husband. A shy, older man whom Scarlett tricks into marrying her, Frank is truly in love with Scarlett’s younger sister Suellen. Frank’s marriage makes his life miserable despite his part ownership in a business made even more successful by Scarlett
Played by Butterfly McQueen
A squeaky-voiced house slave. Silly, squeamish, and inclined to exaggeration, Prissy is the film’s comic relief.
Played by Rand Brooks
Melanie’s brother and Scarlett’s first husband. A young, rash idealist who is instantly enamored of Scarlett, Charles is completely unaware of his wife’s feelings for Ashley.
Played by Laura Hope Crews
Melanie’s aunt. A high-strung woman who despairs over her role as Scarlett’s chaperone, Pittypat is regularly in need of smelling salts.
Played by Cammie King
Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter. An attractive woman and a skilled horse rider who loves both her parents, Bonnie is the glue that holds her parents’ marriage together.
Played by Ann Rutherford
Scarlett’s youngest sister. Barely a teenager at the beginning of the film, Carreen remains optimistic and encouraging throughout the film. She cares deeply for Tara, working hard and calmly bearing the sacrifices required to maintain the plantation.
Played by Harry Davenport
The local doctor in Atlanta. An intelligent, brusque man with a low tolerance for foolishness, Dr. Meade takes his responsibilities to the wounded and dying Confederate soldiers very seriously.
Played by Victor Jory
Tara’s overseer at the beginning of the film. Thin and weasel-like, Jonas attempts to combat his feelings of inferiority by going north after the war and becoming wealthy. He later returns, marries his mistress, and attempts to buy the plantation that once fired him. Jonas becomes enraged when Scarlett refuses to consider him her equal.
Played by Isabel Jewell
Jonas’s mistress and later his wife. Though Jonas gives her money and legitimacy after the war, Emmy is still considered “white trash,” even by the O’Haras’ slaves. Scarlett blames Emmy for her mother’s death.
Played by Jane Darwell
An Atlanta gossip. A self-declared monitor of propriety, Mrs. Merriwether warms up to Rhett only after he begins coming to her for advice. Scarlett, not willing to make such a gesture, never escapes Mrs. Merriwether’s disapproval.
Played by Leona Roberts
Dr. Meade’s wife. A gossip almost equal to Mrs. Merriwether, Mrs. Meade thinks highly of Melanie. She is susceptible to moments of gullibility.
Played by Everett Brown
A farm slave. Large and friendly, Sam remains loyal to the O’Haras even when he is no longer at Tara. Though never acknowledged for it, Sam risks his life defending Scarlett against his fellow shantytown residents.
Played by Fred Crane and George Reeves
Twin brothers. Two of Scarlett’s many admirers, Stuart and Brent predict that the coming war will be short and glorious for the South. Later, they are included among the lists of the dead.
Played by Oscar Polk
A thin, nervous house slave. Pork is one of the small group of slaves who remain loyal to the O’Haras despite emancipation.
Played by Mickey Kuhn
Ashley and Melanie’s young son. Beau has very few speaking lines. Beau’s birth severely weakens Melanie’s health and adds to Scarlett’s jealousy.