Born Oswald Cobblepot, The Penguin was teased very much in childhood due to his short stature, obesity, and bird-like nose. In fact, these traits even made him an outcast in his rich, debutante family. Their rejection drove him to become a violent criminal. In keeping with his family's tradition of wealth, the Penguin lives a life of crime and evil, yet executes it with his own self proclaimed high society class and style. He commits crimes with the theme of the various birds he loves.
Unlike most of the Batman villains, The Penguin is in control of his own actions and perfectly sane, creating a unique relationship with his arch enemy, Batman. This has extended into the current situation with The Penguin running a nightclub that is popular with the underworld. As such, he is an excellent source of information on crime and Batman grudgingly tolerates his operations because of that.
The Penguin's trademark are the various deadly umbrellas he uses to execute his evil plans.
The Penguin was played by Burgess Meredith in the Batman television series of the 1960s and the spin-off movie. In Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-offs, the Penguin was played by Paul Williams. He was played by Danny DeVito in the 1992 movie Batman Returns.