Tess's childhood and early life is unknown. She was born to parents Jasmine and Jasper at an unspecified date. They died when Tess was in her teens. At some point in her adolescence, Tess met her future husband Charlie. The romance eventually developed and soon they married. After that, Tess fell pregnant and then gave birth to their son Dodger and his four siblings. The relationship between them and their children was happy, especially with Dodger, who was the oldest. Their happiness was soon shattered when Dodger ran away from home. Tess and Charlie were left devastated and after that moved to San Francisco, where they would continue to live for many years until they moved back to New York.
Appearance and personality
Tess resembles a female version of her son Dodger. She has blue eyes and long eyelashes and around her neck is a red collar with a silver identification plate hanging off it. Tess is a very kind, loving, motherly individual who cares about her family's safety, particularly for her children and husband. She is very prim but does have a small fun streak.
Role in the film
Tess and Charlie are first seen when Dodger lets them in out of the rain into the houseboat. Once inside, she tells Dodger about when he was a puppy. Dodger soon reminisces back to his childhood back to a stormy night. Tess comforts him with the song The Sun Will Come. Back in the present, Dodger then introduces him to his friends and lets them stay with them. While they are staying with them, Rita shows Tess and Charlie a picture of the gang as puppies at the beach, where Dodger had his nose pinched by a crab. They are also shown a picture of Dodger as a teenager standing up to two bully Rottweilers. Charlie then suggests he gets to know them better by spending some time with them. In Central Park the following day, while Dodger is bonding with his parents, Sykes' evil widow Mary and her cowardly, childish valet Quigley are watching them. At the same time, Fagin has met his long lost brother Jimmy, who has recently quit working for Mary. That evening, Charlie and Dodger go out for a walk in the street. Unbeknownst to them, Mary and Quigley are spying on them from inside a pair of trash cans. She soon releases her cat, Diamond, who Charlie runs after with Dodger trying to catch up with him. Charlie pursues Diamond into an alley where he and Dodger are attacked by Mary's bodyguard Joe. Charlie is knocked out and placed into a burlap sack while Dodger runs back to the barge in tears. There he tells everyone about what happened. Tess, in particular, is hurt by this and fears for her husband's safety through the song Come Home. Back at the Sykes' house, Charlie is locked up in a cage and chained up. The gang, later arrive along with Georgette and Tito who are now the parents of puppies Lorenzo and Juliette. They rescue him, but are caught. The gang fight off Joe, Quigley and Diamond, but Mary regains consciousness after being knocked out and grabs Dodger. She then drags him out onto the pier and attempts to drop him into the ocean, while the others look on in horror. Fortunately, Charlie manages to tackle Mary and Dodger escapes. Before Mary falls to her death, she grabs Charlie and drags him into the ocean with her. Everyone runs down to the beach and break down in tears thinking he's dead. Dodger and Tess in particular are heart-broken. To everyone's amazement however, Charlie has managed to swim ashore safely. The gang later rejoice as Mary's goons are sent to jail. Everyone returns back to Fagin's barge at the end of the film.