Messina, Sicily, Italy
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Julie Gregg|
Sandrinella 'Sandra' Corleone (neé Colombo) was the wife of Sonny Corleone.
Sandrinella was born in Messina, Sicily, but spoke flawless English due to her mother being raised in The Bronx. She later moved their with her grandmother, Anita, when she was sixteen. Most of her family, including her parents, were killed in an earthquake in Sicily before she was born. All her life, her remaining relatives spoke of America and how bountiful and wonderful it was. She thinks of Sicily as 'beautiful' and said that she used to visit Lipari during vacation. Sandra was sent to school by her family to improve her English. After moving, most people called her Sandra, with the exception of the occasional remark by her grandmother or Sonny, as she often called him by his full name as well.
According to The Family Corleone, Sandra was neighbors with the Corleone family while they resided in the Bronx. Signora Colombo, Sandra's grandmother, was among the first people Vito helped after gaining his status as a respected man in the neighborhood, and was close with Carmella Corleone. Sometime in 1932, Sandra attended a neighborhood dinner hosted by the Corleone's, along with the Gatto, Mancini, and Abbandando families. After Vito announced their plan transfer to Long Island, Sonny remarked on her beauty and let the table know that he 'wouldn't let her get away' while she remained silent and her grandmother cold in her disapproval. She later gave a slight smile when he was chastised by his father.
Later, Sonny shared dinner with Sandra at her grandmother's house, which included a course of sautéed potatoes Sandra had made for him. Sandra remained relatively quiet throughout their hour-long meal and instead listened to Sonny talk about a number of subjects, including his ambitions, interests, etc. When her overbearing grandmother left them alone in the living room, Sandra didn't reject his advances when he sat next to her and squeezed her hand. This led to her kissing him for the first time, later pulling away when she heard her grandmother coming.
Later, when visiting their estate in Long Island, Vito Corleone implied that he had a house prepared for Sonny and his future wife after hearing about his womanizing. Sonny remarked that Sandra was too young and he wasn't ready, but his father informed him that he had been told that Sandra was in love with him. Sonny then admitted that Sandra was special to him. The Don insisted that if he wanted to marry her, he would continue to see her. If not, then he would not deceive her further. Otherwise, the Don informed Sonny, if he broke her heart, he would no longer hold any respect for him.
During courtship, Sonny noted that Sandra's laugh was 'loud and hearty' and her eyes had a sparkle, not the kind you'd expect from a girl, but resolved to make her laugh more often. Sandra was described as bright and full of life, in contrast to her protective, disapproving grandmother. Neither of them could go out alone due to Antia's distrust, and Sandra revealed that Carmela Corleone had also informed her of her son's reputation, which Sonny dismissed jokingly. Sandra was understood to be a quiet and polite girl, but could sometimes be exasperated by the limitations of her life set by Antia.
Sandra later attended dinner with Sonny at a nearby restaurant with her grandmother's permission, along with her twelve year old cousin, Lucille. Sonny's friend, Bobby 'Cork' Corcoran, also accompanied them and flirted with Lucille during the night. Sandra was unaware of Sonny's affair with Cork's sister, Eileen, at the time, although they ended things before Sonny proposed to Sandra. Sandra engaged in subtle gestures of affection with Sonny, such as holding hands under the table and sneaking glances when her companions were unaware. She was introduced to Johnny Fontane and Nino Valenti, who would later sing at her wedding. She went home with Lucille as per her grandmother's strict curfew.
After Sonny started working for the family business, he asked Sandra if she could accompany him to a fancy dinner club Johnny and Nino were to sing at. She dismissed the offer, disappointed, and added that she didn't have anything proper to wear anyways. Sonny then led her to his new, high-end car, which she didn't believe to be his at first and laughed. Sonny informed her that he had started working for his father's oil company, where she remarked he must be 'the best salesmen in the world' to afford it. He then presented her with a large brown paper package, which was revealed to contain a shimmering silk even gown as well as shoes and accessories. Sandra slapped the package closed at said that her grandmother would faint at the site of it. As they walked up the stairs to her grandmother's apartment, he asked if she loved him. Without hesitating, she affirmed that she did, and he kissed her.
After reaching her home, Anita served them coffee and homemade sugar cookies, while Sandra remained quiet as per usual. In the middle of Anita and Sonny's conversation, he suddenly asked for her approval both of his character and his plans to take Sandra out for the evening. Anita immediately grew suspicious and remarked that all men were the same in their wants and her wish to protect Sandra from it. Sonny then grew pale and revealed a small box containing an engagement ring he had planned to present to Sandra that night, in order to gain Anita's blessing and trust. Sandra responded by covering her mouth with her hands in surprise. Sonny then informed Anita that they were getting married, and glanced at Sandra to confirm. Sandra accepted his proposal with a blossoming smile, and he informed Anita that when he married Sandra the Colombo's would have a man in their family to protect them.
He later took her out to dinner at the fancy club, with the promise of her return by ten 'o clock. Sandra noted in Johnny's talent for singing, and wore the same outfit Sonny had bought for her. It was there that she formerly accepted his proposal, and he got a glimpse into a bolder, more sociable aspect of her personality. Sandra revealed that she was incredibly happy at his proposal, and he explained a bit about the upbringing of Johnny Fontane. She revealed that she did miss Sicily, especially it's beaches and mountains, where she grew up, but admitted that she spoke better English then Italian. After speaking with them briefly, Johnny dedicated the song to his 'dear friend Santino, and the young woman whom, he remarked, was much too beautiful for someone like Sonny, but for 'reasons incomprehensible to mere mortals,' had just agreed to marry him.
Later, when driving in Sonny's brand-new car, she tried to initiate advances onto him, which he first returned, then stopped when he stated that he wanted it to be 'all special, as it should be', and proposed a prospective honeymoon, 'someplace like Niagara Falls', and he later laughed at himself for the person he had appeared to become. He later saw his father's car pulled up next to her apartment, and grew upset at the sight. He confronted Clemenza, on the brink of his temper, who then turned to Sandra and introduced himself kindly. Tessio informed her that everything was alright, while Sonny walked Sandra to the door. She asked, concerned, if everything was alright. Sonny affirmed, and said it was something to do with the family business and that she shouldn't worry. He kissed her goodbye and went to join his father's men. In the car, he later revealed that he and Sandra were engaged, where they berated him for telling them before his father but congratulated him on his engagement, right before the start of the Olive Oil War.
Sonny later returned to say good-bye to Sandra before the start of the war. Sandra was set to be waiting by the front steps, looking at sonny with fear, dread, and worry. They embraced, and Sonny let her know that he might not see her until the fight was over. He assured her that everything was going to be alright. Sandra attempted to speak but feared she might start to shed a tear. Sonny informed her that there was a massacre, but the cops would straighten it out. She said that the papers were saying terrible things about his family. Sonny dismissed their reports as crap and asked his fiancee to abstain from them.
After glancing at the array of cars and men behind him, Sandra silently understood Sonny's true position but did not protest. Sonny said that he didn't have time to explain, and asked again if she loved him. She again said that she did, and he asked her to trust him. He promised her that nothing bad would happen and wiped away her subsequent tears, kissing her goodbye. After he left, she was unable to return to her apartment until she had mulled over their conversation multiple times and assured herself that his words were true. She then went up to her room, and waited. Later on, Sonny visited their future house in Long Island and revealed the news of their engagement to his father.
After Sonny 'made his bones' by killing Cork, the Corleone family reunited at their own residence alongside their friends and neighbors. Sandra, during the time of their engagement, was faced by numerous sexual jokes concerning the couple, that would continue throughout their marriage. Sandra was also shown to display a close relationship with Carmella Corleone and Tom Hagen, a longtime friend and adoptive brother of Sonny's, and they conversed a lot about her fiancee's state after he shot his best friend. She wanted him to see a doctor, but Tom reassured her that he would pull through, and Carmella instructed her not to worry.
She married Sonny in 1935, in a wedding hosted by the Corleone's at their Long Beach residence. Johnny Fontane did perform at the reception, accompanied by Nino. Multiple guests of Vito's invitation were in attendance, including longtime friends and colleagues. Her wedding dress was altered and sewn by her now mother-in-law as they turned to take photographs, with Carmella promptly declaring her a beauty.
Despite her apparent fear and discomfort at his appendage. Sandra later bore Sonny four children, Francesca, Kathryn, Frank and Santino 'Chip' Jr. In the novels it is implied that Sandra tolerates Sonny's unfaithfulness due to her own lack of willingness for the marriage-bed due to his large endowment, but Sonny is described to be a good husband and father.
The family moves to the Corleone family compound and resides their with the rest of his family. During her marriage, she grew more bold in her speech as well as sociable and joking in her personality and at times, slightly vulgar, due to her apparent freedom from her family. the Five Families War, she remained attentive of her husband's behavior and expressed her concern at times of stress. They later comforted each other at the news of his father's shooting, and informed her of people coming to the compound as a result of the attack while she soothed a crying Santino Jr.
She remained safe and took care of the children while her husband took control of the family's affairs during the war. She was shown to be close with her adoptive sister-in-law, Theresa. She was with the family during Don Corleone's return home, where her daughters both welcomed him back while he was lying in bed. Frank also read his card welcoming his grandpa back home, while she presented Santino Jr. and apologized for his crying, as he 'didn't know him yet'. She is shown to have a deep affection for her father-in-law, welcoming him home and addressing him as 'Pa'. The children were then sent by Sonny downstairs with their mother so Vito could be alone with his sons.
She was present at the house for dinner that Sunday evening, and helped prepare the meal. Sandra is displayed to share close relationships with all of her female in-laws, sharing a playful exchange with Connie. Sandra was also witness to her husband's increasingly hostile behavior toward Carlo at his aggressive remarks towards Connie. Later, when Connie called the house in deep distress, crying, after Carlo had beat her badly, she saw his increasingly defensive and angry reaction while she attempted to calm down a crying Santino Jr. She continued after him, concerned, as he ran out of the house to pick up Connie. He was subsequently killed by multiple bullets to his body on the causeway, as a set-up by the opposing family with whom Carlo was in cooperation with. The family was thrown into a state of deep mourning, while both Connie and Carmella, along with her friends, were sent to console her in her grief. The women then participated in a prayer service for the soul of her husband. She and her family later moved to Hollywood, Florida, with financial assistance from Sonny's will and the family.
Life after SonnyEdit
Sandra became closely involved with Stan Jablonsky, a liquor salesman, but they never married. She also maintained close relationship with her sister-in-law Theresa Hagen, who provided her with companionship after her daughters left to college. Sandra was said to have aquired and drove a Roadmaster wagon, which she used to escort her daughters to college. She later cried that her husband wasn't here to see it, and spoke of how proud and emotional he would have been. Francesca was skeptical, but she revealed that Sonny would often grow emotional at films at 'corny old Italian songs'.
Her twin daughters were close in childhood, but Sandra noted that they grew different from one another. Kathryn became more familiarized with the true family history and even knew about Micheal's first wife, Apollonia. Francesca, on the other hand, sought a more normal life and frequently read French instead of Italian, evening considering changing her name to something more American-friendly. She advised Francesca to be cautious and mature at a respected pace, while Francesca secretly dismissed the request, remembering that her mother had been pregnant at her age. Her son, Santino Jr, later suddenly asked to be called 'Chip' at home instead of his real name.Sandra was present at the funeral of Don Vito Corleone, the baptism of Connie's eldest son, Michael Rizzi, as well as the first communion of her nephew, Anthony Corleone. where she advised Francesca to seek Michael's blessing before marrying Gardner Shaw. However, they would later separate, and Francesca settled with longtime family friend of her parents', Johnny Fontane. She was also present at Mama Corleone's funeral alongside Rocco Lampone.
Behind the scenesEdit
In drafts for The Godfather Part II Sandra is described having an affair with Tom Hagen. This was dropped from the final film and in The Godfather Returns she is in a semi-relationship with Stan Jablonsky.