List of Oz (TV series) characters

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The characters of Oz, fictional characters on the television series about prison life, are a diverse mixture of inmates from various gangs and prison staff.


Due to Emerald City's unconventional configuration and routine, each new inmate is given a sponsor to help acclimate. Inmates are generally paired with sponsors of similar nationality, background, race, and/or religion, to help acclimate, with the help of someone with similar interests and beliefs. Specific requests for current Emerald City prisoners to be paired up with inbound inmates have occasionally been made and granted. Below is a list of inmates and sponsors.

Tobias BeecherDino Ortolani
Donald GrovesBob Rebadow
Paul MarkstromJefferson Keane
Scott RossMark Mack
Ryan O'ReilyVernon Schillinger
Jackson VahueAugustus Hill
Chris KellerTobias Beecher
Raoul 'El Cid' HernandezMiguel Alvarez
Jiggy WalkerBob Rebadow
Jaz HoytJim Burns
Antonio NappaChucky Pancamo
Hamid KhanKareem Said
Carlo RicardoRaoul 'El Cid' Hernandez
Malcolm CoyleKenny Wangler
Supreme AllahKareem Said
"Desmond Mobay"Augustus Hill
Ralph GalinoChucky Pancamo
Guillaume TarrantJaz Hoyt
Ronald BarlogTobias Beecher
Adam GuenzelTobias Beecher
Daniel MeehanRyan O'Reily

Main characters[edit]


Character:Portrayed by:Appears in seasons:
Augustus HillHarold Perrineau1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Physically disabled—but socially astute—narrator of the show. Though he died at the end of season 5, he remained on the show throughout season 6 as the narrator.
Tobias BeecherLee Tergesen1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Was a middle class lawyer in denial about his alcoholism until landing in prison forced him to confront himself and become self-sufficient. His character undergoes the most drastic changes throughout the seasons, during which he becomes a drug addict and falls in love with a man. His relationship with Keller and blood feud with Schillinger is the series' dominant story arc, beginning in the first episode and being resolved during the series finale, when he accidentally kills Schillinger in an acted fight in a play
Vernon SchillingerJ. K. Simmons1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, Schillinger commits atrocities against other inmates because of race, sexual orientation, or overall weakness. However, he is double-crossed by Keller and accidentally killed by Beecher during a production of the play "Macbeth"
Ryan O'ReilyDean Winters1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
An Irish hoodlum who does what it takes to survive. Compared to Othello's Iago by show creator Fontana, he is responsible for almost every death in the first season.
Bob RebadowGeorge Morfogen1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
An elderly inmate serving life for murder. He was originally sentenced to death, but in 1965, he survived a botched execution and had his sentence commuted. He is fantastically intuitive (some think as a result of the botched execution), which in the first couple of seasons he explains by nonchalantly saying "God told me"; later he begins doubting the source and veracity of his insights.
Kareem SaidEamonn Walker1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
A brilliant Muslim leader with a powerful voice and a conviction that other people's racism will absolve him. He is responsible for the death of Simon Adebisi; however, it was ruled self-defense. He is shot and killed by Lemuel Idzik, played by Joel Grey.
Miguel AlvarezKirk Acevedo1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Undergoes a process of losing masculine credibility within the Latino gang, then tries to redeem himself after cutting out a respectable prison guard's eyes. He briefly escapes from prison, but is eventually recaptured.
Cyril O'ReilyScott William Winters2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Ryan O'Reily's mentally handicapped-brother, who was incarcerated after blindly following Ryan's orders to murder the husband of Dr. Gloria Nathan, with whom Ryan is obsessed. He was mentally incapacitated in a gang fight. He kills an inmate out of self-defense of his brother, but gets sent to death row and is finally executed, after a long legal battle.
Chris KellerChristopher Meloni2, 3, 4, 5, 6
A bisexual serial killer who preyed upon gay men in the outside world while hiding his sexual orientation through a series of marriages. Perhaps the most amoral figure in the entire milieu, he is a master of emotional manipulation and only seems to really enjoy himself when those who care about him are made to suffer. His relationship with Beecher is also a big part of many episodes. He commits suicide in the series finale when Beecher told him he would never forgive him for being sent back to OZ.
Simon AdebisiAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje1, 2, 3, 4
A gigantic, deranged maniac of Nigerian descent; incarcerated for decapitating a police officer with a machete. His flirtations with insanity and religion are transient. However, Adebisi remains one of the most powerful inmates within the walls of Oz, until his death when he is killed by Kareem Said.
Samuel GougeonBlayne Perry2, 3, 4, 6
Prisoner 97G141. Convicted on August 5, 1997 for manslaughter. Sentence: 19 years, up for parole in 10. Samuel Gougeon is convicted after accidentally killing a hunter. He is a background character, a Protestant who decided to become Catholic. As a Christian, Gougeon can be seen with Harden and Schirner around Emerald City. Gougeon supports William Cudney's attempt to make the inmates stop watching Miss Sally's Schoolyard. The tension grows and Emerald City is locked down for some minutes. Gougeon, Harden, and the other Christians are transferred out of Em City on orders from Martin Querns. When Querns is fired all wrongfully transferred prisoners are returned. Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier arrives during the second half and starts converting Catholic inmates. Gougeon decides to leave the flock and asks Father Mukada to convert him to Catholicism. Angry, Timmy Kirk pays James Robson and the Aryan Brotherhood to beat up Gougeon. They do so and Gougeon is sent to the hospital, badly injured. Angry, Father Mukada accuses Cloutier of asking someone to hurt Gougeon. Gougeon is back to Emerald City. To take his men out of Zahir Arif's book-binding lab, Burr Redding decides to destroy his machines. He pays guard Jason Armstrong to let him in and obligates Gougeon to destroy the machines (as punishment for Gougeon speaking about religion on the telemarketing calls). While praying, Gougeon throws some liquid in the machines, destroying them.

Prison staff[edit]

The corrections officer (COs) are mostly white (predominantly Irish and Italian) with many black and some Latino officers. The warden, Leo Glynn is African American and started off his career as a CO at Oz. Most of the COs come from lower socio-economic classes. Some are amoral and prone to corruption. The main unit manager, Tim McManus, is the only authority figure who has not started off as a guard and this therefore gives him a different point of view about how to deal with the inmates. The rest of the non-correctional staff, such as Dr. Gloria Nathan and psychiatrist Sister Peter Marie ("Sister Pete") Reimondo, have a much more humane view of prisoners, and often push Glynn and the others to see the inmates as human beings. Overall, different factions within the staff are almost always at odds, trying to manage internal problems while keeping the public calm regarding the way the prison is being managed.