The show’s main protagonist, Thomspon is the Treasurer of Atlantic City. While he’s beloved by his constituency, he’s equal parts corrupt politician and cold-blooded gangster. With the dawn of prohibition, Thompson capitalizes on the public’s thirst for alcohol and shrewdly aligns himself with many of the back-room dealers in the world of gambling dens and speakeasies in America’s Favorite Playground.
James “Jimmy” Darmody (Michael Pitt)
Nucky’s driver and right-hand man, Darmody is every bit as ambitious as he is cunning. The former Princeton student and World War I veteran wants bigger opportunities and is perfectly willing to create them for himself.
Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald)
The Irish immigrant that Nucky meets while speaking at the Women’s Temperance League is moved by his moxie. She opens up to Nucky about being married to Hans Schroeder, an alcoholic and brutal gambler. Just as shrewed as Nucky, Margaret eventually proves that she can hold her own — especially in her troubled domestic situation.
Agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon)
He’s the Eliot Ness before Eliot Ness. The God-loving (and fearing) senior Prohibition Agent with the Department of Internal Revenue, he will not rest until he uncovers the corruption that he believes to be the root of all evil. Interestingly, as his investigation into Nucky deepens, so does his fascination with Margaret Schroeder.
Commodore Louis Kaestner (Dabney Coleman)
The deposed king of the region, Commodore has passed the mantle to Nucky and his reign has Nucky’s mentor bitter and proud.
Sheriff Elias “Eli” Thompson (Shea Whigham)
Nucky’s brother is — what a suprise — the Atlantic City Sheriff. While on the surface, the pair make an effective and efficient team handling the city’s shady dealings, there just may be a bitter sibling rivalry that simmers below.
Eddie Kessler (Anthony Laciura)
Nucky’s servant is hands-on, 24/7. The loyal German immigrant provides the treasurer with anything he needs — innocent or otherwise.
The recent arrival to Chi-town learns his craft under the tutelage of kingpin Johnny Torrio. Prohibition presents the young thug with a plethora of opportunities and he’s all to eager to rise in the ranks.
Angela Darmody (Aleksa Palladino)
The mother of Jimmy Darmody’s three-year old son and common-law wife resents him for enlisting and going off to war three years ago. While he’s back and safe, aspiring artist Angela wants him to stay on the straight and narrow for the greater good of their family.
Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg)
When Prohibition was passed, Rothstein was the biggest gangster in the country and even accused of fixing the 1919 World Series. The strategic thinker and consummate gambler enters Nucky’s world bringing some mighty lethal up-and-comers to the table.
Charles “Lucky” Luciano (Vincent Piazza)
Charismatic. Cunning. Dangerous. The savvy gangster aligns himself with Rothstein but his ruthless ambition may endanger them both his professional and private life.
Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams)
The ex-boxer runs Atlantic City’s African-American community and partners with Nucky in bootlegging. It’s not long, however, when that business is strained and their relationship becomes even more complicated.
Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks)
A two-bit gangster, bootlegger and chief rival of Chalky White. His lopsided ambition and warped judgment puts him in the crosshairs when it comes to Nucky’s business dealings.
Lucy Danziger (Paz de la Huerta)
Nucky’s spitfire of a girlfriend is a former Ziegfeld Follies girl who gave up performing in order to enjoy the finer things that he can provide. While Nucky can handle the most ruthless or thugs, he just may have a hard time handling her temper.
Gillian (Gretchen Mol)
A single mother and gorgeous showgirl has a complicated history with Nucky who has agreed to look after her only son.
Source: HBO & NJ.com
Boardwalk Empire Fact or Fiction: Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone