Friends Central

Charles Bing, professionally known as Helena Handbasket, is the biological father of Chandler Bing, portrayed by Kathleen Turner. After coming out as gay, Charles divorced Chandler's mother Nora Tyler Bing, and works as a drag artist in Las Vegas.


Early Life

Charles and Nora announce their divorce to Chandler.

Charles and Nora Bing told Chandler they were separating after Thanksgiving dinner. By that time — Chandler was nine years old — both Charles and Nora had an affair with the pool boy, though Charles decided to leave Nora for him.

Since then Charles became a drag queen and even attended Chandler's high school swimming events dressed as a different starlet each time. Chandler mentions that Charles slept with a Mr. Garibaldi. ("The One With Chandler's Dad")

Charles now has a show in Las Vegas entitled Viva Las Gay-gas and performs under the stage name "Helena Handbasket" at The Four Queens, where Mr. Garibaldi accompanies the act at the piano. ("The One With The Embryos") Helena once put on a black cocktail dress and asked Ross up to a hotel room. Chandler mentions that his father's house lights up and blows bubbles, although this is likely a joke. ("The One With The Dollhouse")

Season 7

Chandler and his father have long been estranged. Monica wants Chandler to invite his father to their wedding when Chandler reveals that they haven't spoken in years. Monica and Chandler fly out to Las Vegas to invite Charles to the wedding. Monica and Chandler catch one of Charles' shows (as Helena) and Helena isn't too happy with Chandler due to him frequently avoiding contact. Chandler indirectly apologizes for not trying to get in touch sooner and invites his father to the wedding, who accepts to go. ("The One With Chandler's Dad")

Helena and Nora meet again for the first time in years at the wedding. They exchange a few words. Helena scathingly asks Nora if she isn't too old to wear a slutty dress and Nora asks if Helena doesn't have too much penis to wear a dress. ("The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding, Part 1")

Helena and Nora walk Chandler down the aisle and congratulate him on his big day. ("The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding, Part 2")

Season 8

Nora and Helena are sitting together at the reception and they are still upset with each other. ("The One After "I Do"")