Characters First Appearing in Flowers in the Attic
Catherine Leigh "Cathy" Dollanganger
Actor(s): Kristy Swanson (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Kiernan Shipka (2014 Flowers TV film), Rose McIver (2014 Petals on the Wind TV film), Rachael Carpani (2015 If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday TV films)
- Ballet: Dreams of becoming a famous ballerina; she does manage to become well-regarded, though she settles into being just a teacher.
- Catchphrase: Exclaimed "Golly-lolly day" or "Golly day" when she was younger.
- Daddy's Girl: Very dearly loved her father, and was probably closer to him than the rest of the family before his death.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Cathy has blonde hair and is seen as being very beautiful.
- Most Writers Are Writers: After she can no longer dance, Cathy begins to start writing about her past.
- Promotion to Parent: Acts as Carrie and Cory's mother while trapped in Foxworth.
- Revenge Before Reason: Particularly in Petals on the Wind, where she literally and figuratively wrecks homes to get revenge on her murderous mother.
- Stage Name: In-universe example, as a young girl she wanted to be billed as 'Catherine Doll', but her ballet teacher in New York insisted she go with 'Catherine Dahl' instead.
Christopher "Chris" Dollanganger Jr.
Actor(s): Jeb Stuart Adams (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Mason Dye (2014 Flowers TV film), Wyatt Nash (2014 Petals on the Wind TV film), Jason Lewis (2015 If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday TV films)
The oldest of the Dollanganger children.
- Betty and Veronica: Acts the Betty towards Cathy's Archie, with Julian as the Veronica.
- BrotherSister Incest: Develops a mutual attraction towards his sister Cathy, and years later they live as husband and wife.
- Mama's Boy: Christopher is very much the most trusting of the children when it comes to Corrine's promises, even as their situation becomes bleaker and bleaker.
- Promotion to Parent: Becomes the father figure of the children.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He really tries to find the positives while trapped in Foxworth.
Actor(s): Lindsay Parker (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Ava Telek (2014 Flowers TV film), Bailey De Young (2014 Petals on the Wind TV film)
The loud and opinionated youngest daughter of the family, twin to Cory.
Actor(s): Ben Ganger (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Maxwell Kovach (2014 Flowers TV film)
Carrie's twin brother, who is much more quiet.
Corrine Dollanganger (née Foxworth)
Actor(s): Victoria Tennant (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Heather Graham (2014-2015 TV films of Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, and If There Be Thorns)
The beautiful but spoiled mother of the Dollanganger children that harbors a Dark Secret that only she and their father know of.
- Animal Motif: Swans.
- BrotherSister Incest: Is unaware that Chris is also her half-brother as well as half-uncle.
- Child by Rape: Her mother isn't actually Olivia, but rather her father's stepmother Alicia. Malcolm became obsessed with Alicia to the point of forcing himself on her, and she became pregnant with Corrine.
- Daddy's Girl: Used to be this, and aspires to be again to get his fortune.
- Death by Adaptation: Falls and is hung by her wedding veil in the 1987 film version.
- Dumb Blonde: About halfway between this and Obfuscating Stupidity. She plays up her helplessness to get what she wants, but is secretly very manipulative.
- Fallen Princess: Was disinherited by her father after it was revealed that she had been having an affair with her half-uncle (and secretly half-brother).
- Offing the Offspring: Poisons Cory, and was planning to do the same to the rest of her children.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The first four books spell her name as "Corrine," but Garden of Shadows inexplicably spell it as "Corinne."
Christopher "Chris" Dollanganger Sr.
Actor(s): Marshall Colt (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Chad Willett (2014 Flowers TV film)
The Dollangangers' father. Dies in a car crash at the beginning of Flowers in the Attic.
- Doting Parent: Was this before his death, particularly to Cathy.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: His blond hair is symbolic of his warm-hearted and generous personality.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death leaves the family without a source of income, driving Corrine to crawl back to parents and beg for forgiveness.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He dies after the first chapter of the original book and roughly the first five minutes of both film adaptations, but if not for his death, the entire series never would have happened.
Olivia Foxworth (née Winfield)
Actor(s): Louise Fletcher (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Ellen Burstyn (2014 TV films of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind)
Corrine's cruel religious fanatic of a mother. She arranges to hide the children. Becomes the narrator of the prequel Garden of Shadows.
- Evil Matriarch: According to Garden of Shadows, she wasn't always one, but she eventually found herself in this role.
- Pet the Dog: In a very rare show of kindness, in Flowers in the Attic Olivia gives the children real flowers after she learns that they're turning the attic into a playground.
- Related in the Adaptation: Both film versions omit Alicia and make Olivia Corrine's biological mother.
- Unnamed Parent: Is only referred to as "the Grandmother" for the first four books, but Garden Of Shadows reveals that her first name is Olivia.
Actor(s): Nathan Davis (1987 Flowers in the Attic film), Beau Daniels (2014 TV film of Flowers in the Attic)
Corrine's elderly father who at the beginning of Flowers in the Attic is on death's doorstep.
- Blondes Are Evil: Starting in his youth and holding even until his hair is silver.
- Churchgoing Villain: Builds his own church on his own property, just so he can always be treated like a patriarch there.
- Dead All Along: Has in reality been for almost a year when the remain kids finally escape.
- Marital Rape License: Raped his wife Olivia, conceiving their son Mal in the process.
- Stalker with a Crush: For his (much younger) stepmother Alicia.