“The Outsiders” characters include a number of character types that existed in the small towns in America in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The novel was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the movie adaptation was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The actors who portrayed these characters are some of the biggest names in Hollywood during the ‘80s.
Ponyboy Curtis is a teenage boy who gets good grades and tries to stay out of trouble. He is also the main protagonist and “The Outsiders” character we see the story through the eyes of. He is played by C. Thomas Howell, who later went on to star in “The Hitcher.”
Johnny Cade is a Greaser and a friend of Ponyboy Curtis and considers the Greasers to be his true family thanks to a poor home life. Cade was played by Ralph Macchio, who went on to have great success as the lead in the “Karate Kid” movie series.
Dallas Winston is the toughest Greaser of “The Outsiders” characters. He used to run with tough gangs in New York and is the most violent of all the Greasers in the movie. Dallas is played by Matt Dillon, who went on to star in movies like “Wild Things” and “Singles.”
Sodapop Curtis is the brother of Ponyboy Curtis. He is a pretty boy with a good attitude. This “Outsiders” character is portrayed in the movie by Rob Lowe, who went on to have a very successful movie career as a member of the Brat Pack.
Darrel Curtis is the older brother of Ponyboy and Sodapop. He is raising his brothers since their parents died when they were younger. Darrel is the leader of the Greasers and works two jobs to make ends meet. Darrel is played by Patrick Swayze, who went on to star in “Dirty Dancing.”
Keith Matthews is a Greaser who likes to poke fun at people, often angering them and causing trouble for his friends. He is the one who instigates the trouble between the Socs and Greasers. Emilio Estevez plays this “Outsiders” character.
Steve Randle is Sodapop Curtis’ best friend and another member of the Greasers. He works with Sodapop at the gas station but dislikes Ponyboy, considering him an annoying tagalong. Tom Cruise plays this “Outsiders” character.
Cherry Valance is a Soc and a cheerleader but becomes friends with Ponyboy. She also becomes interested in Dallas and eventually helps the Greasers as the big battle draws near. Diane Lane plays Cherry in the movie, the main female protagonist in “The Outsiders” characters.
Bob Sheldon is a Soc and the boyfriend of Cherry Valance. He is violent, beating up Johnny, and sets up the Greasers to ambush them before Johnny gets revenge by killing Bob. Pop singer Leif Garrett is the actor who portrays this “Outsiders” character.
Buck Merril is a friend of Dallas but is a criminal that Ponyboy refuses to associate with. However, he is someone that Dallas trusts and takes care of his friend. Buck Merril, although a small part of “The Outsiders” characters in the novel, is played by legendary musician Tom Waits.
– Shawn Lealos