The title character and protagonist of the novel. The son of a once-wealthy man who became an alcoholic and committed suicide. After his mother's death, Yury was cared for by his uncle Kolya. Zhivago becomes a doctor and a writer and serves in World War I. He marries Tonya, and they have two children, but he falls in love with Lara while working in a military hospital.
Yury's mother. She dies when he is a small boy.
Yury's uncle. He becomes a famous writer and settles in Switzerland but later returns to Russia.
A childhood friend of Yury's.
A friend of Yury's who witnessed the elder Zhivago's suicide.
Tonya's father and a wealthy friend of Yury's.
Tonya's mother; the daughter of a wealthy landowner from Varyniko, near Yuryatin.
Gromeko's daughter, later Yury's wife.
The widow of a Belgian engineer, she settles in Moscow with her daughter Lara and son Rodya.
Amalia Karlovna's daughter and Yury's lover. She marries her childhood sweetheart, Pasha Antipov, and settles with him in Yuryatin, her birthplace. She has a daughter, Katya.
Lara's brother. He attends a military academy and becomes a soldier.
A lawyer who drove the elder Zhivago to suicide. He assisted the Guishars out of loyalty to Amalia Karlovna's deceased husband. He preys on the young Lara.
The son of a railway worker. He marries Lara and the two move to the Urals together to teach school. He joins the army and is captured. He is presumed dead but later returns, using the pseudonym Strelnikov.
The son of a railway worker. He joins the White Army.
A revolutionary who helps the Zhivagos when they are in Varyniko.
The Soviet manager of Varyniko.
Mikulitsin's son and a leader of the partisan army.
A former railway strike leader who becomes a leader in the Red Army.
Mother of Lipa and wife of Kologrigov. Lara serves as her governess until Lipa graduates from school.