List of Ghostbusters characters
This is a list of fictional characters in the Ghostbusters universe, in order of franchise appearance.
- 1 Ghostbusters
- 2 Ghostbusters II
- 3 Ghostbusters (2016 film)
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in the first and second movie, Dana Barrett was a single cellist living at 55 Central Park West, a sinister apartment building which would become the gateway for the apocalyptic deity, Gozer The Gozerian. Dana is singled out early for unwelcome paranormal attention by Gozer's minions, and seeks the help of the Ghostbusters after seeing their advertisement on television. She is possessed by the demon Zuul, Gatekeeper of Gozer; who along with Vinz Clortho opens the interdimensional gate to summon Gozer to Earth in the first film. She promptly attracts the romantic attention of Venkman, whose flippant behavior causes her to doubt her decision to seek aid from the Ghostbusters. In the sequel five years later, Dana is a divorced mother of an eight-month-old boy named Oscar; Venkman is neither her former husband nor Oscar's father. Dana was then working as a restorationist for the fictitious Manhattan Museum of Art. It is here that she (and later Baby Oscar) comes to the attention of the evil Prince Vigo The Carpathian, whose malign spirit inhabits his massive self portrait. When Dana and Baby Oscar becomes the target of Vigo's plot, the Ghostbusters re-enter her life to save her, Baby Oscar, and the world once more. She was also a neighbor of Louis Tully at 55 Central Park West in the first movie. The two remained acquainted, then became friends. Louis and Janine Melnitz baby-sat Oscar (and became a romantic item) during the second film.
Zuul and Vinz Clortho
The most powerful of demonic creatures known as Terror Dogs, Zuul and Vinz Clortho are the primary servants and harbingers of Gozer The Gozerian. Worshipped as demigods, they are known respectively as The Gatekeeper and The Keymaster. Their goal is to possess a mortal man and woman and perform a sexual ritual; combining their powers to open a gateway to allow The Destructor entry into that world. After the ritual and opening of the portal, they take their places as guardians of Gozer's temple and cosmic pyramid. Zuul and Vinz Clortho are similar in appearance: horned, dog-like, demonic monsters resembling gargoyles with blazing red eyes and powerful dark-colored bodies.
Gozer the Gozerian
Gozer the Gozerian, also known as "The Destructor", "Volguus Zildrohar" and "The Traveler", is a sadistic shapeshifting god (described as Sumerian) who appears in the first film. As the game sequel covered, cults worshipping Gozer and its minions arose around 6000 BC before being banished from this dimension by the Babylonian god Tiamat following a protracted conflict between their followers. Entering into any given dimension, Gozer uses the thoughts of those who witness its arrival to assume a fixed form within that plane of existence. Gozer's arrival is set in motion in the 1920s by the actions of Ivo Shandor and comes to fruition in 1984, when its minions Zuul and Vinz Clortho open the portal for their master to enter on top of the building Shandor designed. Though originally in the form of an androgynous female humanoid, Gozer uses Ray's accidental thought to assume the form of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man before being conquered.
Gozer reappears in the 2009 game, taking on the form of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man again before being defeated once more. The skull of Gozer's humanoid form appears at the end in the possession of Ivo Shandor, who has taken over the mayor's body, contemptuously discarding it.
Janine Melnitz, the Ghostbusters's secretary, is played by Annie Potts in both movies, and is voiced by Laura Summer and Kath Soucie in The Real Ghostbusters and Pat Musick in Extreme Ghostbusters. Janine has occasionally worn the Ghostbusters uniform and used ghost-catching equipment in the animated series. During the first film, Janine often flirted with Egon but none of her advances were returned in kind. She later dated Louis Tully in the sequel.
Ivo Shandor, an insane physician and an architect of some renown during the early 20th century with a penchant for performing macabre and unnecessary surgeries, is mentioned in the first film and features in the 2009 video game. The aftermath of the first World War convinced Shandor that humanity is beyond saving. He set up a cult of Gozer worshippers with over a thousand followers, in the 1920s with his ancestral island home on the Hudson River as the center of it. Using his connections to International Steel's chairman and other corrupt company owners, Shandor designed 55 Central Park West as a means to summon Gozer to bring about the end of the world. Shandor also developed a mandala across the city, with the New York Public Library, the Museum of Natural History, the Sedgewick Hotel, and Shandor Island (before it sank) as key nodes protected by his most loyal followers: Azetlor the Collector, the Museum Chairman, the Spider Witch, and a captured, otherworldly sloar that generates a steady stream of black slime used to power the Mandala system and Shandor's island lab.
Shandor's original scheme comes to fruition during the events of the first film in the 1980s, when the sufficient energy collected causes Gozer's minions to physically manifest in preparation for their master's coming. The Ghostbusters foil Gozer's entry and neutralize it. As revealed in the video game, Shandor is also responsible for the events of Ghostbusters II, as the slime produced on his island finds its way into an abandoned city subway line, causing a wave of ghosts to surface and strengthening the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian. Shandor finally makes an appearance in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. By 1991, Shandor possesses the body of Mayor Jack Mulligan and makes Peck head of PCOC to hinder the Ghostbusters while he uses his only living descendant, Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, to invoke the nodes of his mandala and revive Gozer. After once again being defeated by the Ghostbusters and failing to capture Ilyssa, Shandor becomes further disillusioned of Gozer, and decides to use the mandala to merge the ghost world with the real world in order to become a god himself, taking on a form similar to a massive demon covered in molten rock. The Ghostbusters defeat Shandor once and for all by crossing the streams after following him into the ghost world.
The Ghostbusters script lists the spelling of the surname as Sandor, which is pronounced "shandor" and in fact is spelled Šandor as a moderately common Croatian surname.
Slimer is a translucent green blob creature, with two skinny arms, no feet, and several chins. In the first movie, Slimer was voiced by director Reitman, while Welker voiced the green ghost in The Real Ghostbusters. In the 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II, Robin Shelby performed Slimer and Reitman again voiced Slimer but most of the footage shot was not used. In the late 1990s cartoon Extreme Ghostbusters, Slimer's voice was provided by Billy West. Troy Baker voices Slimer in the 2009 video game, though with the sound effects used in the first movie. Aykroyd reportedly referred to Slimer as "The Ghost of John Belushi".
In the script for Ghostbusters, Slimer is never called by any name, but is described as a "focused, non-terminal repeating phantasm or a class 5 full roaming vapor". The creature's original title was "The Onionhead Ghost", which the film crew dubbed him for the horrible odor he used to scare a couple in a scene cut from the original movie. Slimer’s personality is one of tremendous gluttony, and he is referred to as a "disgusting blob". In the movies, he is not named and makes short appearances. In the cartoon, he is known as Slimer, is able to speak, and demonstrates a child's intelligence and intense loyalty to Peter and the Ghostbusters with the personality of a dog. His role in the series is explained in the episode "Citizen Ghost", which primarily consists of a flashback to the immediate aftermath of the movie, where Slimer returned to the firehouse as the Ghostbusters were the first people to show any interest in him, the team 'adopting' him as a means of testing ghosts and an ally after he helped them defeat ectoplasmic manifestations of themselves that had manifested from their old uniforms after the uniforms were exposed to ghostly energies from the containment unit. In the Marvel UK comics of the Real Ghostbusters, Slimer had his own half-page sketch, in which Slimer's past life was covered; he was originally called King Remils ("Slimer" spelled backwards), a greedy, obese monarch who had died of heart failure.
Slimer's popularity soared from the subsequent spin-off animated television series The Real Ghostbusters. Slimer later starred in his own Slimer! cartoons when The Real Ghostbusters was extended to a one-hour format. SLIMER! was briefly published by NOW Comics, a defunct Chicago firm. Artists included Mitch O'Connell and Mark Braun. Writers included Larry Parr who also wrote for the animated series. Slimer also appeared as a representative of The Real Ghostbusters in the animated anti-drug television special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. Slimer was also the mascot for the Hi-C flavor "Ecto Cooler", which came out shortly after The Real Ghostbusters, and was colored green. Slimer remained on the box well after the Real Ghostbusters was cancelled; but in 1997 the drink was renamed "Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen", and Slimer was removed. Slimer also had a toothpaste named after him. Slimer appears in the 2016 reboot, where he is voiced by Adam Ray.
Egon Spengler is the brains of the Ghostbusters who serves as Peter Venkman's second-in-command, and the creator of the Ghostbusters' equipment along with Raymond Stantz. Lacking much of a personality other than his focus on all things scientific, he is often shown as lacking social skills when dealing with people. Egon is portrayed by Harold Ramis in the films Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, and voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the animated television series The Real Ghostbusters and later Extreme Ghostbusters. LaMarche was the only voice actor to remain for the entirety of both series. Before the movie was released, American Cinematographer described Egon as "maniacal" based on reading the script. Ramis credits the part as launching his acting career, as up to that point he had been a director and writer.
Raymond "Ray" Stantz, another member of the Ghostbusters, is played by Dan Aykroyd in the films Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, and is voiced by Frank Welker in the animated television series The Real Ghostbusters. He is one of the three doctors of parapsychology on the team. Ray is considered the "heart" of the Ghostbusters by the other members of the team. He is an expert on paranormal history and metallurgy. He is characterized by his almost childlike enthusiasm towards his work, and his outspoken acceptance of paranormal activity.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, mascot for the fictional company Stay Puft Marshmallows, becomes the chosen form of Gozer after Stantz thinks about something he says is harmless. Stay Puft also makes appearances in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters as a friendly ghost, and returns to attack New York in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Stay Puft was inspired by Peter O'Boyle, a security guard at Columbia Pictures whom director Reitman met filming his previous movie, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. According to Sam Delaney of The Guardian, "Stay Puft's familiar mascot combined elements of real life brand ambassadors Bibendum (aka the Michelin tire man) and the Pillsbury Dough Boy." The costume was created by Bill Bryan using miniatures, optical compositing and Bryan himself in a latex suit.
Louis Tully is a nerdy accountant and a neighbor of Dana Barrett, played by Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and voiced by Rodger Bumpass in the Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters animated series. He is possessed by the demon Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster who, along with Zuul, opens the interdimensional gate to bring Gozer to Earth in the first film. In Ghostbusters II, he is revealed to have earned a law degree at night school, representing the Ghostbusters at their trial and taking up permanent employment with them when they reestablish their business. In addition, he seeks to become the fifth Ghostbuster. He later borrows a Ghostbuster jumpsuit and proton pack to attempt to help defeat Vigo the Carpathian. After the release of Ghostbusters II, Louis became a semi-regular character on Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters as the Ghostbusters' legal and financial adviser. Ghostbusters, like many films on which Moranis has worked, had him improvising some of his lines. He appears as a non-playable character in Lego Dimensions voiced by Mick Wingert. In his sidequest on the Ghostbusters Adventure World, he requires the player's help to get more guests for his party.
Dr. Eleanor Twitty
The Grey Lady is the first ghost encountered by the original three Ghostbusters (Ray, Egon, and Peter) while they are investigating paranormal activity at the New York Public Library. When they attempt to touch her, she transforms into a much larger and more frightening form, and causes the trio to flee the library in terror. Though they do not catch her, they get a scan of her and use the information to construct their containment grid and ghost catching equipment, allowing the creation of their ghost-catching business.
She returns in the 2009 video game, where much of her history is revealed, and the Ghostbusters uncover the tragic story of her death. She was once Dr. Eleanor Twitty, the head librarian of the NYC Public Library in the 1920s, and overseer of its collection of ancient artifacts, stone tablets, long-forgotten tomes, and rare books. In March 1924, she goes missing, and the police are unable to find her. They discover that she has been murdered by philologist Edmund Hoover, The Collector, who seduces her to get to the rare books in her care, specifically the Gozerian Codex. In the video game, the Ghostbusters discover her reading the Codex before capturing her. Due to the ease of the capture, they state that she must have wanted them to recover the Codex to aid them in defeating The Collector.
Peter Venkman is the leader of the Ghostbusters. He is portrayed by Bill Murray in both live action films, and is voiced in the animated series first by the late Lorenzo Music, followed by Dave Coulier. Peter is one of three doctors of parapsychology on the team; he also holds a Ph.D. in psychology. In the movies, he is characterized by his blunt persona, his laid-back approach to his profession, and his womanizing demeanor; of the three doctors in the Ghostbusters, he is the least committed to the academic and scientific side of their profession, and tends to regard his field, in the words of his employer in the first film, as "a dodge or hustle". In the first movie he is shown to have romantic feelings for Dana.
Winston Zeddemore is played by Ernie Hudson in both movies and the 2009 video game, and was voiced by Arsenio Hall in the first season of The Real Ghostbusters. Buster Jones provided Winston's voice in the remaining seasons, and he reprised the role in a cameo on Extreme Ghostbusters. Hudson reportedly auditioned to reprise the role of Winston for the animated series, but he was rejected in favor of Hall. Unlike the other members of the team, Winston is not a scientist with a background in the paranormal; the novelization says that he was in the Marines. He is hired when the Ghostbusters' business begins to pick up. Despite not sharing the educational credentials of his coworkers, Winston often serves as the everyman of the team, acting as a voice of reason and displaying more common sense than the others. In the 2009 video game, Winston claims to have spent time in the Egypt exhibit of the museum while in college, suggesting experience in anthropology or a related science.
Vigo the Carpathian
Vigo the Carpathian (full name: "Prince Vigo von Homburg Deutschendorf") appears in the second film. Vigo was a sadistic tyrant of Carpathia, self-described as the "Scourge of Carpathia" and "the Sorrow of Moldavia". Born in 1505, Vigo was an expert in sorcery and black magic. He enjoyed an unnaturally long life (fueled by black magic to give him immortality) which comes to an equally unnatural end when in the year 1610 he is "poisoned, stabbed, shot, hanged, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered" by his own people before being decapitated. Even this does not kill him instantly - as Stanz notes that "just before his head died" he vowed to return saying "death is but a door, time is but a window, I'll be back".
Vigo's spirit is eventually transferred into a life size portrait which makes its way to the restoration department of the Manhattan Museum of Art in 1989, the setting for the Ghostbusters II movie. Using the psychomagnetheric mood slime to become active, Vigo manipulates the art gallery's curator, Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol), into finding him a child (Dana's son Oscar) whose body he can inhabit. His plan is ultimately foiled by the Ghostbusters' use of the positive mood slime.
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the portrait of Vigo is stored in the Ghostbusters' firehouse. Though no longer a threat, Vigo enjoys insulting and taunting anybody who approaches him. He also makes cryptic predictions based on real-world history, as the game's release post-dates the time period of the game by nearly two decades.
It has been widely speculated,[by whom?] although never confirmed, that the character of Vigo was based on Bram Stoker's character of Count Dracula and his real-life inspiration, Prince Vlad Țepeș. Though his interest in black magic and the difficulty of killing him is also reminiscent of Rasputin.
Gertrude Aldridge was the first ghost seen by Erin, Abby and Holtzmann in the 2016 film. She was the horribly disturbed daughter of a wealthy New York aristocrat who was responsible for the murder of the family's servants. As a result, she spent the rest of her life locked away in her family manor's basement, being occasionally fed food through a small slot in the door. In the present day, she haunts the Aldridge Mansion Museum when Tour Guide Garrett (Zach Woods) was about to leave. As soon as Garrett heard her banging on the basement door, he attempted to run out, but the doorknob was red hot. He attempts to throw a chair to the window, but the chair floats and hit him instead, sending him falling down the basement stairs. He notices some green slime on the basement floor, then noticed he got some on his hands. He runs up the stairs to the door, but they collapsed, leaving him clinging on for dear life. Gertrude later reveals herself from the slime on the floor, with Garrett screaming in terror. While Abby and the group were inspecting the mansion, her ghost appears from the basement door, moving towards the group . When Erin tries to communicate with her, Gertrude projectiles ectoplasmic vomit on Erin, then escapes out of a wall and into the streets.
During Rowan's invasion of New York City, the team, calling themselves "Ghostbusters" encounter her again, alongside the Electrocuted Ghost found in the subway and Mayhem. They defeat all three.
The Electrocuted Ghost (not to be confused with the Scoleri brothers of the 1989 film), also known as "Sparky", is the second ghost Erin, Abby and Holtzmann spotted. He is portrayed by Dave Allen. Shortly after Rowan North (Neil Casey) gave his train ticket to Patty Tolan, he disappeared onto the tracks, causing Patty to go tell him to get out. Instead of finding him, she finds a device on the tracks. The device then opens, revealing the Electrocuted Ghost, causing Patty to flee. Later, the team arrive with Patty and after inspecting the tracks for a bit, Sparky appears. The team decides to test their new proton lasers on him, but the beams do not have enough power to even reach the ghost. A train later hits Sparky, nearly killing the group as well. Patty then states he will be the third scariest thing on the train.
The Ghostbusters encounter Sparky again, alongside Gertrude Aldridge and Mayhem. They defeat all three.
Dr. Erin Gilbert, is played by Kristen Wiig in the 2016 film, and is Abby Yates' second-in-command. She is introduced as an assistant physics professor at Columbia University, but her bid for tenure fails after her previous research into the paranormal with Abby comes to light. She has long since dismissed her belief in ghosts, but regains it after being slimed by Gertrude Aldridge during a face-to-face encounter.
In the novelization, she is depicted as having grown up near Battle Creek, Michigan; she met Abby in her senior year of high school, and spent much of her time at the University of Michigan researching ghosts with Abby. She did postgraduate work at Princeton University, and got her doctorate at MIT.
Kylie Griffin (voiced by Tara Strong, credited at the time as Tara Charendoff) was first introduced as one of the next generation of Ghostbusters in Extreme Ghostbusters. She is the first female Ghostbuster (unless Janine Melnitz is counted). She is the unofficial leader of her group and carries the ghost trap on her back. She becomes involved with the Ghostbusters after enrolling in Egon Spengler's course at City College of New York. As part of Extreme Ghostbusters, Kylie is featured in the video games Extreme Ghostbusters for the Game Boy Color, Extreme Ghostbusters: Code Ecto-1 for Game Boy Advance and Extreme Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Invasion for the PlayStation. She was also the basis of several action figures from Trendmasters. Kylie is widely regarded as the fan favorite of Extreme Ghostbusters.
Kylie reappears as a supporting character in IDW Publishing's Ghostbusters comic. She first appears in issue 5 in 2012 as the manager of Ray Stantz's occult book shop. In November 2012, it was announced that Kylie would be made an official Ghostbuster in issues beginning in February 2013.
Dr. Jillian "Holtz" Holtzmann is portrayed by Kate McKinnon in the 2016 film. A nuclear engineer by training, she is introduced as Abby's research partner and becomes the team's equipment designer, constructing their proton packs as well as a range of auxiliary weapons. She is hinted to have a romantic interest in Erin, as seen in an alternate ending scene where she claims that they are dating, as well as several other instances of flirting throughout the film. Her mentor is Dr. Rebecca Gorin (Sigourney Weaver).
In the novelization, it is revealed that she narrowly missed being admitted to CERN. Several of her male peers in school started calling her by her last name because "Jillian" sounded too feminine, and by the time of the film she almost never answers to her first name.
Director Paul Feig confirmed in an interview with The Daily Beast that Holtzmann was supposed to be a lesbian, or somewhere on the LGBT+ spectrum, but the studio refused to allow that detail into the movie and instead left the audience with the freedom of more personal interpretation of her character. She was also observed by some viewers to depict autistic traits, or more specifically, someone with Asperger syndrome.
Patricia "Patty" Tolan is portrayed by Leslie Jones in the 2016 film. She works for the New York MTA as a subway booth attendant, and is the only member of Abby's team who does not have an advanced degree. She is however, a big fan of non-fiction and is a municipal historian with intense knowledge of New York's history. After contacting them to report a ghost sighting in one of the tunnels, she joins the team and borrows a hearse from her uncle's funeral home that is eventually converted into Ecto-1, a vehicle for personnel and equipment transport.
Dr. Abigail L. "Abby" Yates is portrayed by Melissa McCarthy in the 2016 film, and is the Ghostbusters' de facto leader.
In the novelization, she transferred to Erin's high school after moving from Indiana in her senior year. The two became fast friends, and spent their college years at the University of Michigan researching ghosts. They collaborated on a book about their findings, but Erin backed out of a planned interview after her graduate advisor at Princeton panned the project. Undaunted, she moved to New York City to continue her research.
In the film, she rereleases her book without Erin's consent, threatening her bid for tenure. When Erin demands to have the book taken down, Abby complies, in exchange for her participation at a ghost investigation with Holtzmann at the Aldridge Mansion Museum.
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