Dell was the strongman of a vaudeville troupe married to the successful Ethel Darling, a bearded lady who was madly in love with him. He eventually convinced her to let him be her manager and do solo acts instead of moving to Paris with the troupe. He convinced her that the upper class would rather see her do cultured acts than comedy vaudeville, and changed her performances to reciting Shakespeare on stage, which turned out to be a horrible failure.
At one point they were penniless and unemployed, while Ethel was carrying their unborn child. Out of desperation, Dell arranged a show and charged tickets to let people watch Ethel give birth to their son, Jimmy Darling, who was born with deformed hands. To squeeze more money out of the show, he offered to let the audience carry the "monster baby" for money, though many were too repulsed to want to. Later on, in a drunken stupor, Dell became irritated with Jimmy's crying and tried killing him as a baby, calling it an act of mercy due to his deformity. Ethel caught him and told him to leave, and he never returned for her or his son.
During that time, he met and married his second wife, Desiree Dupree, a woman with three breasts. They were formerly with the Giuseppe Brothers of Chicago, but had to leave when Dell killed a man that he caught sleeping with his wife.
Personality and Appearance
Dell is completely bald, with an imposing heavyset build, he wears a leotard and fake mustache when performing in shows. When he isn't, he usually wears dark colored trousers with suspenders and work shirts, almost always with a brown fedora.
Ruthless, brutal and with an often uncontrollable temper, Dell is far from perfect. When under pressure of no income due to Ethel being unable to perform, Dell made a profitable freak act out of her giving birth to Jimmy. When drunk and angered by Jimmy's crying, he also attempted to murder the baby, supposedly as a mercy killing due to his deformity.
On the flip side, Dell does, on rare occasions, display regrets for his actions, most significantly after killing Ma Petite, attempting to kill himself before being saved by his wife. Despite his callousness towards many other, he does to be in deep love with his current wife and treats her with a measurable amount of respect. He also admits that he could have been a better father and shows a more humorous and friendly side to him while drinking with Jimmy.
Dell is the father of Jimmy Darling. He fell in love with Ethel as she resembles a man with her beard. When he threatened the deformed infant, Ethel ended their relationship at gunpoint. He is currently married to Desiree Dupree, as he is homosexual and likes that she has a penis. They have been performing in Chicago but fled after Dell killed a homosexual man in a rage upon discovering him in bed with his hermaphrodite wife. Dell has joined Elsa's crew as a barker and chief of security.
He soon butts heads with his new boss when he insists that they circumvent the town's curfew by holding matinees. When he discovers the performers making a scene in a local cafe he berates them for giving them a free show. He deals with Jimmy's impertinence with a public beating. He further angers Elsa by giving her low billing on the program. Dell is also a homosexual, and has fallen in love with a prostitute named Andy in Jupiter, Florida. Shortly after Dandy Mott kills the prostitute, leaving Dell heartbroken. Dell returns home from a night at the gay bar to discover that Desiree is a full woman.
When Dell discovers Jimmy's plan to frame him for the murder of the police detective, he arranges to turn suspicions to Meep. After successfully turning suspicions onto Meep, Dell is pleased with his work. The inmates at the prison don't take kindly to Meep and he is later thrown in a rug at the entrance of the circus tent dead.
Dell kills Ma Petite so that Stanley can give her body to a museum. However, he starts to feel guilty for killing her, and when he confesses to what he did, he is shot by Elsa Mars.
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- Dell: "Dell Toledo "The Stupendous Strongman". You've probably heard of me."
- Elsa Mars: "Maybe what this place needs is a strong male presence. Do you bark?"
Dell: "Hell, I'll even howl if you like."
- Dell (to an infant Jimmy): "Shut up! You know what? Life's rough kid, especially for a mistake like you. I'm going to save you a lot of pain."
- To Desiree (about Ma Petite): "I smothered her."