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Caesar
Roddy McDowall plays the offspring of his previous character Cornelius in this fourth Ape film. From the moment Caesar was born into the world, Man hunted him out of fear. His parents were talking Apes from the future, and the world feared he would be a talking Ape too and perhaps one that would lead his fellow Ape brothers in revolt. His parents are killed and Caesar is hidden from the world by circus trainer Armando. Armando hides the truth of the world from Caesar for many years. But finally Caesar is allowed to see the truth, and see the servitude his fellow Apes must endure. During one particularly violent action by man against Ape, Caesar blurts out an antihuman comment that gets him into trouble. He wonders off to further compound the problem. His trainer Armando tries to explain that he spoke instead of Caesar but doubt remained. Armando decides it is just too risky for Caesar as things are and arranges for Caesar to be sneaked into a cargo sell with other Apes arriving in America. From there Caesar is bid on as a slave and becomes the personal assistant of Governor Breck the administrator of the vast Ape Management complex. Caesar learns how humans are, and their weaknesses and plots his revolution with his fellow Apes. He forges human signatures to make it appear that human masters had sent Ape slaves to purchase guns and other things. After weapons and sufficient numbers have accumulated in his army he revolts, occupies Ape Management, and forces its Governor to cower in fear.
Lisa
Lisa is a female chimpanzee that Caesar begins to take a liking to. Caesar is forced by Ape Management to mate with Lisa although he doesn't seem to mind. Lisa is famous for her characteristic smile which seems quite pleasant to Caesar amidst the cruelness of the world he sees. Lisa and Cesar marry and have an offspring in the last Planet of the Apes movie, Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
Armando
Armando runs a circus act, and one of his prize performers is Caesar. Armando knows of his parent's past as the talking apes of Earth and seeks to hide Caesar's identity from the world. But one day Caesar speaks and runs away. To cover up things Caesar is hidden with a shipment of Apes bound for sell in America. Armando commits suicide by jumping out of a window rather than telling what he knows about Caesar.
Aldo
Aldo is a Gorilla slave that performs basic menial labor for his human masters. Aldo however becomes agitated with his lot in life and is the first Ape to ever say "NO" to one of his human masters. From that point on Caesar's revolution begins and Aldo is a big part of it. Aldo later becomes power mad himself in the last Planet of the Apes movie in which he is the first Ape to kill another Ape.
Governor Breck
Governor Breck leads a vast semi governmental organization known as Ape Management. From this facility Apes are domesticated, trained, and their social impact is constantly being measured. Breck purchases one Chimpanzee in particular at an auction and lets him pick his own name. This chimp was to be Caesar the legendary offspring of talking apes from the future. Caesar leads a revolution and matches wits with Breck and his security units who take to the streets as Marshal Law is declared.
MacDonald
MacDonald is one of Governor Breck's assistant's. His own lot in life as a black man allows him to understand the struggle for freedom that Chimpanzee Ceasar is trying to lead. MacDonald helps Cesar fake his own death during an electrocution and largely lives to regret his decision as Ceasar attempts to become a master of sorts himself albeit a "humane" one.