|“||Aren't you gonna frisk me?||„|
|~ Breathless Mahoney|
Patricia "Breathless" Mahoney is a supporting antagonist in Chester Gould's Dick Tracy comics and one of the two main antagonists in the 1990 film adaptation. In the latter, she is portrayed by singer/actress Madonna.
In the comics
In Gould's original comics, Breathless serves as a foil and romantic interest for the title character, although he always chooses his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, over her.
In Max Allan Collins' graphic novel prequels to the 1990 film, Breathless is given a back story. She is introduced as a young, naive aspiring singer who arrives in the city dreaming of stardom. However, she is quickly robbed and left homeless and destitute. A pimp tries to take advantage of her, but she fights back and kills him. She goes to prison, where she becomes a hardened killer. Upon her release three years later, Breathless becomes crime lord Lips Manlis' moll by threatening his current girlfriend with a switchblade and scaring her off. Manlis makes her the star attraction of his nightclub.
In the film
Breathless is first seen in the film with Manlis at his nightclub. She is kidnapped along with him by Manlis' former protege, Big Boy Caprice. When Big Boy kills Manlis, Breathless switches her allegiance to him, even though she is personally disgusted by him.
When Dick Tracy starts breaking up Big Boy's empire, Breathless is intrigued by him and tries (unsuccessfully) to seduce him.
Breathless eventually tires of serving Big Boy, and begins robbing his establishments as "The Blank", an armed robber who appears to have no face. During Tracy's climactic battle with Big Boy, she comes to Tracy's aid as "The Blank", but Big Boy mortally wounds her. After he kills Big Boy, Tracy unmasks Breathless, who kisses him as she dies.