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Connie Corleone

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Connie Corleone 1958
Constanzia Corleone
Biographical Information
Aliases Connie
Gender Female
Born 1923[1][2]
Affiliation Corleone family
Title(s) Consigliere (informal)
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by Talia Shire
"Michael, I hated you for so many years. I think that I did things to myself, to hurt myself so that you'd know - that I could hurt you. You were just being strong for all of us the way Papa was. And I forgive you. Can't you forgive Fredo? He's so sweet and helpless without you. You need me, Michael. I want to take care of you now."
―Connie Corleone[src]

Constanzia 'Connie' Corleone-Rizzi is the daughter of Don Vito Corleone and Carmela Corleone, and sister of Sonny, Fredo and Michael Corleone, and the adopted sister of Corleone crime family consigliere Tom Hagen.

BiographyEdit

Connie and Carlo

Connie and Carlo as newly weds.

Connie is the youngest child, and only daughter, of Vito and Carmela Corleone. She was a twin, but her other died in the womb, something that only the closest members of the Corleone family knew about, as well as her godfather, Osvaldo Altobello. Being the only girl in her family, Connie was spoiled, having her own pony at a young age. She was one of the few people able to convince Vito, as seen when she requested Michael have corrective surgery to fix his broken jaw.

She was introduced to Carlo Rizzi, a former labourer from Nevada and friend of her brother Sonny, during a surprise birthday party for Vito in 1941. She married him at a lavish old-style Sicilian ceremony in 1945. Carlo and Connie agreed to the ceremony due to her father's displeasure in her choice of groom (he was not only a hoodlum, but half-northern Italian). They moved into an apartment in Hell's Kitchen.

Married life (1945-1955)Edit

Vlcsnap-2010-06-20-22h51m39s151

Connie attacks Carlo.

Once they were married, Carlo began to mistreat her, stealing the marriage purse and spending it on frivolities, as well as beating her regularly. Connie begged for her father to intervene, but he coldly refused to help, seemingly to punish Connie. In truth, Vito is very upset at how Connie is being treated, but Italian tradition forbids a father — even one as powerful as Vito — from interfering in his daughter's marriage. While Vito sent Sally Rags to keep an eye on the small sports book Carlo ran, he took no action to reprimand his son-in-law. However, Sonny, Fredo, Michael and Tom all grew to resent Carlo for how he treated their sister. Sonny even beat Carlo up on one occasion, and had to be kept away from him.

After one particularly violent beating, Sonny flew off in a rage and beat Carlo to a pulp in the street. Sonny actually let up on Carlo after it was apparent that he couldn't defend himself. Only the hand of the Don had prevented him from doing so earlier, as Vito was still bed-ridden at this time.

Several months later, Connie received a phone call from one of Carlo's girlfriends, which prompted a violent argument. After Carlo gave her a severe beating, Connie called Sonny in a state of terror, and he drove to Connie's place; while en route he was ambushed and assassinated. It later transpired that this had been a set-up. Carlo had been paid by Emilio Barzini, the Corleones' largest rival, to force Sonny out into the open by beating Connie.

Following Sonny's death, Carlo became much more reserved, and the two of them had a second child, Michael after his godfather, Connie's brother. After standing as godfather, Michael took revenge for Sonny by having Carlo killed by Peter Clemenza. When Connie found out about it, she flew into a rage and denounced Michael, though at the time she likely didn't know of his role in Sonny's death. She hated Michael for several years afterward.

She had two sons by Rizzi, Victor and Michael Francis.

Wild years (1955-1959)Edit

Two months after Carlo's death, Connie had a series of meaningless affairs and marriages just to spite Michael, such as her engagements to both Ed Federici and Merle Johnson, even borrowing money and abandoning her children temporarily. However, she came back to the family after their mother's death, as well as to help Michael take care of Anthony and Mary after Michael and Kay split up. At this time, Fredo had been outcast from the family due to his involvement with Hyman Roth and Johnny Ola. Connie convinced Michael to accept him again, but this was only a front, and Fredo was murdered soon afterwards. Connie seemed to accept the story that Fredo had drowned out on Lake Tahoe.

1970sEdit

"Michael, now they'll fear you."
"Maybe they should fear
you."
―Connie and Michael Corleone[src]
Connie Corleone older

Connie Corleone in 1980.

By the 1970s, Connie had become involved in the family business, almost serving as a Consigliere in her own right. She was instrumental in persuading Michael to take his nephew Vincent under his wing and groom him as the new Don. It was Connie along with Al Neri who gave Vincent the go-ahead for executing Joey Zasa, much to Michael's initial surprise and anger.

The new eraEdit

Despite this, she remained close to Michael, comforting him about his remorse over the death of Fredo. She also ensured his protection, having Vincent hire infamous mercenaries The Twins to keep him safe. Connie was present at Vincent's informal promotion to Don Corleone, and at Anthony's performance at the Teatro Massimo.

Connie was entrusted with the poisoning of her godfather Don Altobello, and supplied him with poisonous cannoli. During the performance, she observed his passing with regret through her opera binoculars.

Later lifeEdit

Details about Connie's life after the murder of Michael's daughter Mary are unknown. While it is at least known that Michael dies at age 77 in 1997, there are no details on Connie's later years. Being the last of Vito and Carmela Corleone's children, it is not yet revealed whether she preceded Michael in death or outlived him.

Behind the scenesEdit

In all three movies Connie was portrayed by Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

The wedding reception of Connie and Carlo Rizzi was inspired by the wedding celebration of Bill Bonanno, son of New York boss Joe Bonanno, and Rosalie Profaci, niece of New York boss Joe Profaci.[3]

GalleryEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Lebo, Harlan (2005). The Godfather Legacy. Fireside, p. 232. ISBN 0743287770.
  2. The Godfather Returns
  3. Capeci, Jerry (2005). The Complete Idiots Guide to the Mafia. Alpha, p. 213. ISBN 1592573053.

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