The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Every Major Character, Ranked

When The Rocky Horror Picture Show debuted on big screens in 1975, it quickly became a cult hit and remains incredibly iconic today. Theaters across the country still do midnight showings of the film, and moviegoers can bring a whole treasure trove of props to interact with the movie, just as audiences did in 75. It’s not hard to understand the popularity surrounding the film, especially among the college aged; its flashy, funny, and has some absolute rocking songs. It also tells a story so outrageous that it has been described as “Astonishingly Non-Nonsesnsical“. It also features some of the most outrageous characters ever to be put on screen and a legendary cast who went on to achieve great success in and out of Hollywood. So put your hands on your hips, bring your knees in tight, do the pelvic thrust, and let us take a time warp to the best characters in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


8/8 The Criminologist

One of the first characters we are introduced to is The Criminologist played by Charles Gray. This character also acts as the narrator throughout the film leading the viewer through the story of Brad and Janet and their fateful encounter with Dr. Frank N. Furter. He helps to keep the story on track and even shows off a dance move or two during “Time Warp.”

7/8 Columbia

Columbia is a groupie of Dr. Frank N. Furter and played by Nell Campbell. Her flair and schoolgirl crush for a former creation of the doctor played by the late great Meatloaf, make her a charming and tragic addition to the gallery of characters in the movie.

6/8 Dr. Everett Scott

Dr. Scott acts as the driving force behind Brad and Janet’s relationship, as we find out they met each other sitting in his class in one of the opening songs, “Dammit Janet.” We also find out later that Dr. Scott is a rival scientist of Franks and is now working for the government on secret UFO projects. This does not bode well for Dr. Frank N. Furter and his friends, who may not be from our planet. Jonathan Abrams does a fantastic job playing up the comedic scenes Dr. Scott is featured in, and the German accent he uses throughout produces some great laughs.


Patricia Quinn features as Magenta, maid of the castle and sister of Riff Raff, whom we’ll get to later. Quinn fully commits to the role and her chemistry with her on-screen brother is fantastic. Her dastardly turn toward antagonist in the films third act is played to perfection.

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5/8 Rocky Horror

The titular character of Rocky, played by Peter Hinwood, is perhaps the most tragic character of the film. He is created by Dr. Frank N. Furter to be a muscular love for him and struggles to find another purpose for being alive. Hinwood plays the aloof bodybuilder version of Frankenstein so well, creating a classic hunk of granite movie monster.

4/8 Brad Majors

Brad is dubbed the hero of the story. While that is up for debate, Barry Bostwick’s performance as Brad Majors is not. Manipulated by Dr. Frank N. Furter throughout the movie, Brad stands firm. Bostwick plays the character Brad to a somewhat dweeby effect, all the while ready to risk it all for Janet if need be.

3/8 Janet Weiss

Janet’s status as the heroine of the story is less in doubt than Brad’s as the hero, and the performance Susan Sarandon gives is one of her best. From singing and dancing to acting, her full array of talents is on display. One of three actors that went on to have great success following the movie, Janet is one of the lasting and best characters in the film thanks to Sarandon’s role.

2/8 Riff Raff

Richard O’Brien delivers a chilling and moody performance as Riff Raff, the handyman of the castle and Magenta’s brother. His ability to switch from subservient helper of Dr. Frank N. Furter to main antagonist at the films climax resulting in the death of the doctor. O’Brien shows that great range of character can be found even in the strangest of movies. Along with leading the vocals on Time Warp, O’Brien shows off the singing chops he possesses as well. No easy feat for a movie that helped produce one of the best film scores of the ’70s.

Related: These Are 5 of the Most Bizarre Movies to Hit the Mainstream

1/8 Dr. Frank N. Furter

Tim Curry’s full range of talents are on display in the movie as he tackles the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter. Reprising his role from the London stage version that the movie was inspired by, The Rocky Horror Picture Show marked the big screen debut for Curry, who has a particular love for the movie. Curry would go on to have an illustrious career spanning the next thirty-five years before suffering a major stroke in 2012, forcing him to focus primarily on voice acting and singing. Much like other roles Curry would go on to play, he falls into Dr. Frank N. Furter with such ease that you couldn’t imagine anyone else playing that part. Curry’s performance is also credited with helping an entire generation embrace queer expression. Making the movie, and his role specifically, maintains a lasting impact.

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