May 11th, 1945
Can Be Found:
Breathless, Her Mother, & Shaky's MoneyEdit
Breathless encountered Dick Tracy when she found the remains of her stepfather. She claimed to be a journalism student and used a pretense to acquire one of Shaky's shoes (as a "souvenir"). She knew that the shoe contained a key to a safe deposit box that contained $50,000 in cash that Shaky had acquired through various criminal means. Breathless and her mother then fought over how Shaky's money would be divided, with neither one willing to let the money out of their sight.
Dick Tracy had found Breathless' behavior to be odd, and he came to the Mahoney home to personally escort her to Shaky's inquest. When Breathless and her mother continually struggled over their knitting bag (which contained the money), Tracy became even more suspicious; when Mrs Mahoney watch fell off and Tracy retunred it to her, he read a inscription that the watch was from Shaky and realized Mrs Mahoney was Shaky's fourth wife. He found the discarded shoe in the Mahoney's trash, and decided to monitor the apartment building.
Breathless and her mother had a contest to see who could stay awake longer in order to claim the loot. Elia took stay-awake pills in order to beat her daughter, but they induced a severe heart episode. As Breathless prepared to flee with the money, Elia managed to get to her nightstand and pull a gun on her daughter. Elia shot Breathless in the arm as Breathless fled with Shaky's money.
Breathless on the RunEditBreathless went on the run. She hid the money by tying it to a high tree branch. She then went to a doctor and had her wound dressed. When she returned to collect the money, she found that the low-hanging branch that she had used to pull the tree down had been trimmed and she could no longer reach the knitting bag.
Breathless took a job as a maid for Mrs. Van Hoosen, the elderly woman on whose estate the tree was located, using the alias "Marie". Breathless observed as the gardener discovered the bag and its contents. Breathless cornered the gardener in his shed and demanded the bag. When the gardener refused, she stabbed him with pair of garden shears (June 25th, 1945). The gardener was seriously injured and Breathless took the money and fled.
Breathless attempted to stow away in a laundry truck that was picking up clothes from the Van Hoosen home. She was soon discovered by the truck driver, a man called Wetwash Wally. Wally held Breathless captive in the locked truck, driving her out of the city until she agreed to share the money with him. When he unlocked the door to let her out, Breathless struck Wally over the head and left him unconscious by the roadside.
Breathless Meets B.O. PlentyEditBreathless drove off in the laundry truck, but quickly ran out of gas. She found herself on the farm of B.O. Plenty who schemed to take her money from her. Dick Tracy made his way to B.O.'s farm looking for Breathless. B.O. lied and said he was alone while Breathless hid under the dirt in his field.
Tracy later returned and found that Breathless was still in hiding at the Plenty farm. Tracy was ready to take her into custody, but she managed to drug him with a cup of coffee and Tracy passed out. Breathless and B.O. were on the run separately but then encountered each other when he stole a car in which Breathless was hiding. B.O. strangled Breathless nearly to death and fled with her money. Breathless was found and taken to jail where she recovered from B.O.'s assault.
Breathless' End, and LegacyEditLater, Breathless contracted a fatal illness while in prison. She heard news about B.O.'s reform and his impeding marriage to Gravel Gertie. As the wedding went out over the radio, Breathless wrote a letter as her dying act absolving him of his crimes as a last gesture of decency.
It was later revealed that Breathless had a sister named Heartless, another sister who was not a criminal, and a niece named Restless. Both Heartless and Restless crossed paths with Dick Tracy as well.
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
Movie ContinuityEditBreathless was a lounge singer at the Club Ritz and the moll of mobster Lips Manlis. After some of his men were killed by Flattop and Itchy, henchmen of Lip's former subordinate Big Boy Caprice took away Lips and Breathless from the Club Ritz, disguised as policemen. Big Boy killed Lips at the South Side Warehouse after forcefully making Lips sign over the club to him. Lips territory was now Big Boy's, and he claimed Breathless as well.
Breathless worked day and night under Big Boy for a new routine for the reopening of the Club. Breathless first met (and became attracted to) Dick Tracy when he arrested Big Boy on suspicion of Lips' murder. Tracy wanted her to testify, but she knew that her life would be in danger and would only do so if Tracy responded to her advances. Tracy did not.
Breathless orchestrated a plan of her own, donning the disguise of "The Blank". She enlisted the piano player 88 Keyes as her go-between with Big Boy, and arranged to frame Dick Tracy for murder. She later turned on Big Boy and framed him for the kidnapping of Tess Trueheart. When Tracy raided the Club Ritz, Breathless told him where Tess could be found, but Big Boy had fled with Tess as a hostage.
Tracy chased after them and The Blank showed up and tried to make a deal with Tracy to kill Big Boy and take over the city. Tracy had a hunch and approached the Blank. Breathless refused to kill Tracy because of her attraction to him and was shot by Big Boy, who in turn fell to his death. Breathless was unmasked, and gave Tracy a final kiss before she expired.
- Breathless is often described as resembling Marilyn Monroe, but this is mostly due to her appearance and portrayal in the film. In the original comic strip, she more closely resembled Veronica Lake or Lauren Bacall.
- In the comic book tie-in to the movie, Breathless initially goes by her given name Patty Mahoney.