Prue Halliwell (played by Shannen Doherty) is the eldest sister who initially receives the power to move objects with her mind using telekinesis within a direct line of sight. As the series progresses, Prue channels her telekinetic powers through her hands, and also gains the power of astral projection, which allows her to be in two places at once. Prue also develops martial arts skills and becomes an effective hand-to-hand fighter. She sacrificed a majority of her childhood to help raise her two younger sisters Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), after the death of their mother Patty (Finola Hughes) and the abandonment of their father Victor (James Read). Prue's sense of responsibility occasionally leads to clashes with the more free-spirited Phoebe, however, the two grow closer as the series progresses. During her three seasons on Charmed, Prue is regarded as the strongest and most powerful witch of the Halliwell sisters, as she usually takes charge of situations that involve demons and warlocks. In the season three finale, Prue is killed by Shax, a powerful demonic assassin sent by The Source of All Evil (Michael Bailey Smith).
Piper Halliwell (played by Holly Marie Combs) is the second eldest sister who initially receives the power of molecular immobilization, which allows her to freeze her surrounding environment. As the series progresses, she also gains the power of molecular combustion, which causes evil beings or objects to spontaneously explode. Piper starts off as the middle sister, but later becomes the eldest after Prue (Shannen Doherty) dies. Piper is initially shy and submissive, but gradually develops a much more assertive personality, especially after Prue's death. One of the reoccurring struggles for Piper is her attempt to maintain a normal life despite her destiny of defeating the forces of evil. In season three, she marries their whitelighter Leo Wyatt (Brian Krause), and as the series progresses, they have two children—Wyatt (born in season five) and Chris (born in season six).
Phoebe Halliwell (played by Alyssa Milano) is the third sister who initially receives the power of premonition, which enables her to see into the past and the future. To make up for initially receiving a passive power, Phoebe develops martial arts skills in order to better assist her sisters when fighting evil. As the series progresses, she also gains the active powers of levitation and empathy. Phoebe starts out as the youngest and most rebellious of the Halliwell sisters. Because of her free-spirited nature, she often comes into major conflicts with Prue (Shannen Doherty), but the two eventually mend their relationship. She later becomes the middle sister after Prue dies and the series introduces their younger half-sister Paige (Rose McGowan). One of the recurring struggles for Phoebe is her attempt to find a career and true love. In the final season she falls in love and marries Coop (Victor Webster), a cupid that was initially sent to her to find love.
Paige Matthews (played by Rose McGowan) is the youngest half-sister who initially receives the power to move objects with her mind by orbing ("teleporting") them from one location to another through a vocal command. Paige is ambitious, outspoken, and stands firmly in what she believes in. She is the secret love child of the Halliwell sisters' mother Patty (Finola Hughes) and her whitelighter Sam Wilder (Scott Jaeck), making Paige both a witch and whitelighter. Paige was given up at birth and raised by her adoptive parents. She was unaware of her magical history until Prue's (Shannen Doherty) funeral at the beginning of season four, in which she goes on to help reconstitute The Charmed Ones by taking Prue's place in the Power of Three. As the series progresses, Paige also inherits a variety of whitelighter powers such as orbing herself and others, sensing, glamouring, and healing. One of the reoccurring struggles for Paige is finding an identity for herself outside of her role as a Charmed One. In the final season, she marries mortal parole officer Henry Mitchell (Ivan Sergei).
Andy Trudeau (played by Ted King) is a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. He was introduced in season one as the Halliwell sisters' childhood friend, and Prue's high school sweetheart and first love. Andy is coincidentally assigned to almost every police case that involve the sisters. He eventually discovers that they are witches and serves as the sisters' initial connection to the police force. He works with Darryl as his partner, although he causes quite a bit of grief to Darryl by always being seemingly ahead of his partner. In the season one finale, Andy is killed by the demon Rodriguez (Carlos Gomez), who also happens to be one of the Internal Affairs officers that was investigating Andy's unsolved cases.
Darryl Morris (played by Dorian Gregory) is a lieutenant in the San Francisco Police Department. Darryl is introduced into season one as the partner of Andy Trudeau (Ted King). At first, Darryl is suspicious of the Halliwell sisters' recurring connection to mysterious murders and crimes. However, a few months after Andy's death, the sisters reveal to him that they are good witches trying to bring justice and protection to the world. Throughout the series, Darryl helps the sisters cover up unsolved cases related to demonic activity, grants them favors, and gives them general support. After season seven, Darryl and his family move to the East Coast.
Leo Wyatt (played by Brian Krause) is the Halliwell sisters' whitelighter—a guardian angel for good witches—who has the powers to orb, heal, sense, glamour and hover. Leo is introduced into season one as the Halliwell sisters' handyman who is hired to fix up their house, but they later discover that he is actually their whitelighter. Leo's whitelighter duties often causes problems for his marriage to Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and their family. Their relationship is the first of many conflicts between the Halliwells and The Elders.