Talcum Freely was a wealthy childrens' clothing mogul. He was a heavyset man with short dark hair. He wore round eyeglasses and typically wore a boater-style hat. He often smoked cigars.
Freely contacted Tess Trueheart at her newly-formed photography studio seeking a model for his new clothing line. Tess recommended two-year-old Sparkle Plenty, and Freely agreed that the girl would be an ideal model. Freely had a contentious relationship with Sparkle's father B.O. Plenty, who proved to be demanding and overly-protective of Sparkle during the photo shoot.
After Freely and B.O. were able to reach an agreement, Freely was killed by Sketch Paree. Paree was angry at Talcum for stealing his idea for a popular diaper frame. B.O. wrongly believed that he was suspected of the murder and briefly went into hiding. Freely's killer was later brought to justice by Dick Tracy.