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.
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.
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