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Lake Tahoe, Nevada, U.S.
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Morgana King |
Francesca De Sapio
Alison Ewing (voice)
- "You can never lose your family."
- ―Carmela Corleone to Michael.[src]
Carmela Corleone was born to a Sicilian family, many of whom lived near Corleone in Sicily. She came to the United States sometime after the turn of the century. She married Vito Corleone when she was sixteen, and two years later, they had their first child, Santino. Carmela suffered several miscarriages in the following years, before giving birth to the sickly Fredo. At this time, Vito Corleone was struggling to make ends meet, as Don Fanucci had forced him out of his job at Abbandando Grosseria.
Vito killed Fanucci in 1920, and Carmela seemed to learn of this fact, as the entire neighbourhood began to treat him as a 'man of respect'. She brought Anita Colombo to Vito when the widow needed a favour, and her husband helped her out, later becoming godfather to her son Ruggerio.
She twice had to live with the harsher side of her husband's life, when he was shot by an Irish gang in 1934, and by Virgil Sollozzo's men in 1945. Despite this, the two of them maintained a loving relationship in 40 years of marriage, and Vito never sought a mistress or ever found the need to strike his wife.
Nonetheless, Carmela was unnerved that her husband had turned from the kind and quiet man she'd married into a ruthless crime boss. She prayed for his soul nearly every day in hopes that he didn't end up "down there".
The move to TahoeEdit
After the death of Sonny and Vito, Carmela moved with Michael to Nevada, living in one of the houses in Lake Tahoe. She maintained a close kinship with Kay Adams, and converted her to Catholicism so that she might pray to God for her husband's immortal soul. Carmela was often made to look after Connie's children when their mother went off with her latest man to Europe, and repeatedly chastised her daughter for this lackluster parenting.
Shortly before his senate hearing, Michael sought his mother's advice about the deteriorating state of his family. She died shortly after this. When he found out that Fredo had betrayed him to Hyman Roth, Michael banished him from the family, but let it be known that he didn't want Fredo harmed while their mother was still alive. It was at her funeral when Michael gave Al Neri the order to kill Fredo.
Behind the scenesEdit
Carmela Corleone is portrayed by Morgana King as an older woman and Francesca De Sapio in her youth. When King expressed uncertainty about appearing in an open coffin, Coppola had his mother Italia fill in for her.
She makes a cameo appearance in The Godfather: The Game, she appeared in the background talking with Scottie Harris in the mission where Aldo Trapani must convince Emilio to work for Corleones. Other than this she is only seen in Corleone mall, cooking or smoking outside. Here she bears little resemblance vocally or facially to her film counterpart; instead, her design is based on her novel description (black eyes, wrinkly face and a friendly smile).
In the novel, Carmela speaks mostly in broken, heavily accented English. In the films, however, her English is almost perfect.