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Isabelle Amanda Dupree better known as Belle, is a fictional character in the television series Alice. She was played by actress Diane Ladd who, incidentally, played the character of Flo in the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, on which the television show was based.
She "moves like the waves in the ocean"
Belle was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, which underscored her strong Southern accent. She was known for wearing earrings that had bells in them. It was discovered that Belle was one of Mel Sharples's first waitresses when he started working in restaurants. She had come into town to sell a song she wrote called "Uncle Bud" to the manager of a fictitious country singer named "Wailin' Tammy Hawkins". However, the manager put the moves on Belle and she cooled him off by dumping a whole bucket of ice in his pants.
For a while, Mel favored Belle. At first this situation did not endear her to her co-workers Alice Hyatt and Vera Louise Gorman-Novak. Belle, in fact, replaced Mel's sometime girlfriend, Marie Massey. Belle had also charmed Alice and Vera's dates. It wasn't until Alice and Vera had a sit-down with Belle that she realized that Mel was as awful as she remembered and that ended up clearing the air.
Afterwards, the three waitresses bonded and became good friends. Belle was always known for her homespun homilies of her childhood in Mississippi, and her way of letting people know what was what. Although she wasn't at all like Flo, she was a real down-to-earth and friendly soul underneath. She even said that she had a little voice in her head which always referred to her as Isabelle, her given name. This little voice often gave her advice. She would call people, "honey" or "sugar" a great deal of the time. At times, she showed no restraint in putting Mel in his place.
Whenever Belle served coffee to anyone, be they customer or her co-workers, she usually called it a little java for the veins. She eventually moved into an apartment in the same apartment complex as Alice, after staying with Vera, whom she helped make her feel more attractive. In the short time she lived in Phoenix, she also became close to Alice's son, Tommy.
Belle had a natural tendency to defuse tension, whenever there was a lot of it. This trait came into play when Mel had a century-old tree over near his property that he wanted to cut down in order to expand his parking lot. This angered the nature loving Vera, and so forced herself to chain herself to said tree. Mel ordered her to unchain herself, but she replied with her stock phrase, In a rat's hat, dumbo! Later on, Alice and Belle were persuaded to join her, even though Mel called them all traitors. Even the contractors who he hired to cut it down, joined the waitresses in this plight, eventually.
Mel, by this time was furious and Vera was equally angry with Mel, but Belle comforted Vera by telling her something her grandmother Dupree always said, What goes around, comes around. That proverb came into play for Mel, when he went and cut the tree down himself, only to have it come crashing down through the roof of the diner, sending him into an absolute fit of rage. "MY DINER!" he wailed. He eventually made up for it by getting a new tree.
Belle, however, longed for a music and songwriting career, and after working with Mel, finally found her big break and went to Nashville, Tennessee, where, some years later, Alice herself ended up going. She ended up becoming a backup singer in her cousin, Larry's band. She was replaced by former trucker, Jolene Hunnicutt.