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Tucker Cobblepot was the father of Oswald Cobblepot, who terrorized Gotham City as the "Penguin" in adulthood.


A prominent District Attorney, little else was known of Tucker Cobblepot, although it was assumed that the Cobblepot Family was very wealthy, either as wealthy or had almost as much money as the Wayne Family.

Abandoning Oswald

Tucker's first son was Oswald, who was treated poorly on account of his deformity and violent behavior. Tucker and his wife, Esther, had trouble accepting Oswald and did not believe that Gotham's high society would welcome him. Most notably, shortly after Oswald was born Tucker noticed the dismay of Dr. Chester Bryne who urgently hobbled away from the master bedroom at Cobblepot Manor, covering his mouth. Tucker ran into the room, he emitted a scream of pure horror as he realized just how deformed his new son was. Oswald's abuse of the family cat confirmed Tucker's and Esther's minds that Oswald had the mannerisms of a feral animal. The pair decided they needed to dump the child to maintain their image in high society. The Cobblepots pretended to take their son on a winter stroll through Gotham Park. While crossing a small bridge over a drainage stream, they dumped his carriage into the water and watched it drop into a nearby drain. Tucker and Esther then looked with sorrow after they dumped Oswald. The carriage then drifted to the Arctic World exhibit of the nearby Park Zoo, where Oswald was discovered by Emperor Penguins and was raised by zookeepers, presumably.

Mysterious Death

"I think he knows who his parents are. There's something else."
―Batman to Alfred[src]

Tucker, along with Esther, died at a relatively young age, under mysterious circumstances.[1]

Oswald later made a public show of placing roses on Tucker and Esther's gravestone in order to show that he had forgiven them both. Whether or not Oswald truly had some depth of feeling during that charade was unclear. The public ate it up, but Batman started to see through Oswald and speculated that he knew who his parents were all along.

Behind the Scenes

Cobblepot Family

Niki Botelho as Oswald, photographed by Zade Rosenthal

The name Tucker originated from the script, as well as his occupation as a D.A. It was implied that Oswald may have returned and murdered Tucker and Esther years earlier. Tim Burton put Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger roles of the Cobblepots as a nod to his debut feature Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It is an in-joke as the pair had a romantic tension in the film where Reubens played Pee-Wee Herman and Salinger played Simone, a truck stop waitress with big dreams.


  • Tucker's name was seen on his headstone and was bylined on newspaper props.
  • Penguin's Father was not identified in most comic continuities, and Tucker was an original character for Batman Returns.
  • Paul Reubens reprised the role of Penguin's Father in Gotham, for two episodes in the second season. That version was called Elijah Van Dahl. Ironically, Van Dahl was shown to have a far better relationship with his biological son than Tucker.
  • Burgess Meredith, who played Penguin in the Dozier television series, was considered to play Penguin's Father, but his illness prevented him from it.


  1. Batman Returns (Novelization) chapter 12, page 67.