Carmela Corleone (1897–1959) a fictional character in Mario Puzo's The Godfather, is the wife of Don Vito Corleone. Carmela is portrayed by Italian-American Morgana King in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of the novel, and in The Godfather Part II.
Morgana King as Carmela Corleone
|First appearance||The Godfather|
|Last appearance||The Godfather: The Game|
|Created by||Mario Puzo|
|Portrayed by||Morgana King (48–62)|
Francesca De Sapio (20–26)
|Spouse||Vito Corleone (1914–1955, Vito's death)|
|Children||Sonny Corleone |
|Relatives||Francesca Corleone (granddaughter) |
Kathryn Corleone (granddaughter)
Frank Corleone (grandson)
Santino Corleone Jr.(grandson)
Vincent Corleone (grandson)
Anthony Corleone (grandson)
Mary Corleone (granddaughter)
King was born Maria Grazia Morgana Messina in Pleasantville, New York; her parents were "from Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, Province of Catania, Sicily, Italy." King is better known as a singer and is given a brief chance to display her vocal skills in the wedding reception scene of The Godfather when she sings the song "Luna Mezz'O Mare".
Carmela was born in Sicily in 1897 and emigrated to the United States shortly after the turn of the century. She married Vito Corleone in 1914; they were married for just over 40 years until Vito's death in 1955. They had four children – Sonny, Fredo, Michael and Connie. They also took in Sonny's friend Tom Hagen, who later served as the family consigliere.
In the book, Carmela Corleone is portrayed as a traditional Italian immigrant woman who speaks in very broken English. In the movies, however, she speaks fluent English as an adult, with a marked New York accent. In the novel, she develops a close relationship with Michael's girlfriend and future wife, Kay. She is given more expansive dialogue in The Godfather Part II, notably when she confronts her daughter Connie about her behavior early in the film, and when she discusses family life with Michael, who fears that his role as Don of the Corleone criminal empire will cost him his family. Carmela Corleone dies toward the end of the sequel.
Carmela was disturbed by Vito's change from a kind, quiet young man to a pragmatic and ruthless criminal. However Carmela seems to forgive Vito for his many crimes, because he remains essentially a good man who is devoted to his family. Devoutly Catholic, Carmela attends Mass every day to pray for her husband's soul to keep him from "going down there."
Her first name is almost never mentioned, in either the movies or the book, though it is referenced in the sequel books.
Carmela is a major character in the 2012 prequel novel The Family Corleone, which portrays their early years together, raising a family as Vito becomes a crime boss.
- Vito Corleone—Husband; played by Marlon Brando in Godfather I, played by Robert De Niro in Godfather II
- Santino "Sonny" Corleone—Eldest son; played by James Caan
- Tom Hagen—informally adopted son, played by Robert Duvall
- Frederico "Fredo" Corleone—Middle son; played by John Cazale
- Michael Corleone—Youngest son; played by Al Pacino
- Constanzia "Connie" Corleone—Daughter; played by Talia Shire
- Frank Corleone—Grandson
- Santino Corleone, Jr.—Grandson
- Francesca Corleone—Granddaughter, twin of Kathryn Corleone
- Kathryn Corleone—Granddaughter, twin of Francesca Corleone
- Vincent Corleone—Grandson; played by Andy García
- Anthony Corleone—Grandson; played by Franc D'Ambrosio
- Mary Corleone—Granddaughter; played by Sofia Coppola
- Victor Rizzi—Grandson
- Michael Rizzi—Grandson