Carl Johnson (CJ) – Protagonist:
Carl Johnson, also known as CJ, was born in the year 1968 and is voiced by Young Maylay (Chris Bellard). After he has escaped to Liberty City for five years to from the pressures of life, he was contacted by his brother that his mother was murdered, which is why he is returning from Liberty city to Los Santos, and is where the story of San Andreas begins.
He misses the funeral but decides to stay and prove his loyalty to his brother Sweet and to the Grove Street Families. Carl then begins to help the Grove Street Families and weaken their rivals, as well as establishing a business empire throughout the State of San Andreas.
Officer Frank Tenpenny – Antagonist:
Officer Frank Tenpenny, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, is a police officer for the LSPD and heads up C.R.A.S.H. He and his partner Eddie Pulaski, who are joined by new partner Jimmy Hernandez, are involved in making trouble for the gangs of Los Santos and in particular making Carl Johnson’s life complete hell. Tenpenny frames Carl for the murder of Ralph Pendelbury, which Tenpenny was actually responsible for, and later employs him to tackle the Ballas and Los Santos Vagos.
Tenpenny later leaves Los Santos and continues to have Carl perform various tasks for him. He later turns on Hernandez and is put on trial. Tenpenny is acquitted, which sparks riots in the city. Tenpenny attempts to get away in a Firetruck but is killed when he drives off a bridge over the Grove Street entrance.
Big Smoke – Major Character:
Melvin Harris, born in 1959 who also known as Big Smoke, is voiced by Clifton Powell and is a leading member of the Grove Street Families who lives in Idlewood. He welcomes Carl’s return to the gang and assists Carl in helping the Grove Street Families return to dominance. Although, he does so in a limited way, later joining with the Ballas, the their main rival, in order to become involved in the drugs trade, which Sweet had refused to do. He also works in league with the Los Santos Vagos, Russian Mafia and the San Fierro Rifa. Whilst Carl is away from Los Santos, he becomes the cities drug baron and hides himself in a building in Los Flores. This is where Big Smoke is later killed by Carl for betraying the Grove Street Families.
Sean ‘Sweet’ Johnson – Major Character:
Sean Johnson, voiced by Faizon Love, is known as Sweet, and is the leader of the Grove Street Families gang. He is the older brother of Carl, Kendl and Brian. Sweet is rather skeptical about Carl’s loyalty, blaming him for the death of Brian, but eventually accepts his brother back into the gang. He gets arrested by the police, before being released after Mike Toreno arranged for his release in return for a favour from Carl. He returns to his home in Ganton and helps to take control of the streets once again.
Lance ‘Ryder’ Wilson – Major Character:
Lance Wilson who is known as Ryder, is a lead member of the Grove Street Families, and is voiced by MC Eiht.. He greets Carl’s return to the gang and works with him to attain weapons for the gang, stealing them from Colonel Fuhrberger and a National Guard weapons depot. However, later on in the story Ryder joins the Ballas, the Grove Street Families’ main rival gang, and becomes heavily involved in the drugs trade. Carl kills Ryder after fleeing from a meeting with T-Bone Mendez, which had been interrupted by Carl and Cesar Vialpando.
Cesar Vialpando – Major Character:
Cesar Vialpando is voiced by Clifton Collins Jr, and is the leader of the Varrios Los Aztecas gang and the boyfriend of Carl’s sister, Kendl Johnson. He lives in El Corona and later becomes an ally of Carl’s and because of his relationship with Kendl, Cesar later helps him in his business adventures. He is forced to move out of Los Santos, when the Ballas and Los Santos Vagos take over large parts of the city. Cesar introduces Carl to Catalina, who is Cesar’s cousin and later helps Carl take back the Grove Street Families dominance in Ganton.
Catalina – Major Character:
You may very well remember Catalina from Grand Theft Auto III. In San Andreas, she is still voiced by Cynthia Farrell and is Cesar Vialpando’s cousin who lives in a small wooden lodge in the Fern Ridge area. She hates men, with the exception of her boyfriends. She meets Carl in Dillimore and then begin to rob several businesses in the countryside. The two begin a relationship, which quickly ends due Catalina getting pissed with Carl’s obsession with getting money. She finds a new boyfriend through a street race, funnily enough it’s Claude, and leaves San Andreas for Liberty City, which is then where the GTA III story starts 9 years later. After doing her last mission, she phones Carl numerous times throughout the rest of the story trying to win him back.
The Truth – Major Character:
The Truth is an ageing hippie who lives on a farm in the San Fierro countryside. He is voiced by Peter Fonda, and becomes a friend of Carl when he steals a combine harvester and sets fire to his farm’s illegal crops. The Truth also introduces Carl to Dwaine, Jethro and Zero, who later on in the story help Carl become friends with Kent Paul and Maccer. The Truth has some wacky ideas, and later has Carl steal a jetpack from Area 69 and a container of an “green goo”.
Mike Toreno – Major Character:
Mike Toreno is an undercover agent for an government agency and is voiced by James Wood. Mike gets involved in the drugs trade with Jizzy B and T-Bone Mendez. He does become an ally of Carl’s through the drugs trade, although, Carl later attempts to kill Toreno. Even with this happening, Toreno employs Carl to do government-related work and then later has Sweet released from prison following the previous events.
Woozie – Major Character:
Woozie (aka Wu Zi Mu) is leader of the Mountain Cloud Boys and is voiced by James Yargashi, oh, and did I forget to mention he also blind? Woozie is a sub-sect of the San Fierro Triads, who resides and owns a betting shop in the Chinatown district in San Fierro. He meets Carl Johnson in a street race, which Carl wins, of course. Woozie later gets Carl to help his boss Ran Fa Li and to tackle the Da Nang Boys, before pulling of a heist at the Mafia owned casinso, Caligula’s Palace in Las Venturas. Further along in the story, Woozie later helps Carl to take back Madd Dogg’s mansion.
Madd Dogg – Major Character:
Madd Dogg is a rapper from Los Santos, who lives in a mansion in Mulholland, Los Santos. He is voiced by Ice-T, and when Carl returns to Los Santos, Madd Dogg is at the top of his career having just launched his own line of clothing. Unfortunately though he later begins to suffer from depression after Carl begins to sabotage his career by stealing his rhyme book and killing his manager. Madd Dogg later flees to Las Venturas, having given his mansion to Big Poppa in exchange for drugs. In one of the later missions he attempts to commit suicide but is rescued by Carl, who then becomes his manager and helps to re-build his career. Madd Dogg went on to release a gold record by the end of 1992 which can be seen in the closing scene of the story, just before the credits.
Eddie Pulaski – Supporting Character:
Eddie Pulaski, voiced by Chris Penn, is a police officer for the LSPD and is Frank Tenpenny’s partner in crime. He puts a lot of trust into Tenpenny and also works alongside Jimmy Hernandezm, another police officer for the LSPD. He works alongside Tenpenny and Hernandez, who constantly interrupt Carl’s life. He later kills Hernandez, before being killed by Carl in Las Venturas’ desert.
Jimmy Hernandez – Supporting Character:
Jimmy Hernandez is a police officer for the LSPD and the newest member of C.R.A.S.H. He is voiced by Armando Riesco and works alongside Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski. He is forced by Tenpenny to kill Ralph Pendelbury to prove his loyalty (this can be seen in The Introduction movie) and later, with Tenpenny and Pulaski, interrupts Carl on numerous occations to have him do various jobs. Hernandez later decides to give evidence against his colleagues, leading to Pulaski killing him.
Kendl Johnson – Supporting Character:
Kendl Johnson, voiced by Yolanda Whittaker, is Carl’s, Sweet’s and Brian’s sister, and the girlfriend of Cesar Vialpando. Her relationship with Cesar leads to an friendship / partnership between Carl and Cesar. She leaves Los Santos for Angel Pine after the Ballas and Los Santos Vagos take over large parts of the city, and later becomes heavily involved in Carl’s business adventures, mainly his San Fierro garage and the Four Dragons Casino.
Zero – Supporting Character:
Zero is a electronics expert and owner of the Zero RC shop in San Fierro. He is voiced by David Cross, and his arch-enemy is Berkley, owner of Top Fun, with Zero taking on Carl to disrupt Berkley’s business and eventually forcing him to leave the city following a miniature “war game”. Later on in the story he provides electronic equipment for a heist at Caligula’s Palace.
Jizzy B – Supporting Character:
Jizzy B, voiced by Charlie Murphy, is the owner of the Pleasure Domes club in San Fierro and is the cities biggest pimp. He is a member of the Loco Syndicate with T-Bone Mendez and Mike Toreno, which is involved in the manufacturing and supplying of drugs. He takes on Carl to stop rivals from stealing drugs and to save Mike Toreno. Although Carl later on kills him for supplying drugs to the Grove Street Families gang and to Los Santos.
T-Bone Mendez – Supporting Character:
T-Bone Mendez is the leader of the San Fierro Rifa and a member of the Loco Syndicate with Jizzy B and Mike Toreno, which is involved in the manufacturing and supplying of drugs. He is voiced by Kid Frost and works alongside Carl to rescue Mike Toreno. Carl Johnson and Cesar Vialpando later kill T-Bone for supplying drugs to the Grove Street Families and to Los Santos.
Kent Paul – Supporting Character:
Kent Paul, voiced by Danny Dyer is know for appearing in GTA: Vice City. He is the record producer of English band The Gurning Chimps, bringing the band to San Andreas. He meets Carl when he gets rescued by him along with his companion, Maccer, who had been stranded in the desert. Kent Paul then introduces Carl to Ken Rosenberg, allowing Carl to get an inside understanding of Caligula’s Palace. Carl later helps Kent escape from Salvatore Leone, with Kent becoming involved in getting Madd Dogg’s career back on track.
Maccer – Supporting Character:
Maccer, voiced by Shaun Ryder, is the lead singer of The Gurning Chimps band and is originally from Manchester in the UK. He and Kent Paul are found in the desert by Carl Johnson, having been stranded there, and then again from the clutches of Salvatore Leone. Maccer continues to accompany Kent Paul, however, he is mocked by Carl and Sweet because of his sexual tendencies.
Ken Rosenburg – Supporting Character:
Ken Rosenberg, just like Kent Paul is well-known for being a major character in GTA: Vice City. He is voiced by William Fichtner and is the manager of Caligula’s Palace, which is owned by three Mafia families: the Leones, Forellis and Sindaccos. Rosenberg takes Carl Johnson on to prevent a war breaking out between the three families, before eventually escaping with help from Carl. He later becomes an accountant for Madd Dogg.
Salvatore Leone – Supporting Character:
Salvatore Leone, known for playing a big part in the GTA III story is the Don of the Leone Family who resides in Liberty City. He is voiced by Frank Vincent and has invested $5 million in Caligula’s Palace and owns one third of the casino, alongside the Forelli and Sindacco families. He gets Carl to gain a larger share of the casino, however, Carl later pulls off a heist at the casino along with Woozie and the San Fierro Triads. Whilst in Las Venturas, he meets his future wife Maria Latore, who you see in the GTA 3 story 9 years later.