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|“||Michael, now they'll fear you.||„|
|~ Connie advising her brother Michael.|
Constanzia "Connie" Corleone is a fictional character from The Godfather novel and films. The daughter of Vito and Carmela Corleone, she was the younger sister of Sonny, Fredo, and Michael, and the adoptive sister of Tom Hagen.
She was portrayed by Talia Shire in the films.
In 1941, Connie was introduced to a young man named Carlo Rizzi, a friend of her brother Sonny who had recently moved back to New York from Nevada, during a surprise party for her father. She and Rizzi hit it off, but her father objected due to Rizzi being a half northern Italian. The pair eventually received her father's blessing on the condition that they have a traditional Sicilian wedding. She and Rizzi married in 1945.
The good times were not to last, however, as shortly after the wedding Rizzi began abusing Connie, exerting his power over the Corleone Family by beating Vito's daughter. Connie tried to appeal to her father for help, but he reluctantly turned her down in order to abide by Italian tradition that forbids fathers from interfering in their children's marriages. Her brothers hated Rizzi, especially Sonny, who at one point beat Rizzi to a pulp in public.
Sonny's hatred of Rizzi soon proved to be his undoing. At the prompting of Vito's enemies Rizzi beat Connie severely. Finding out what had happened Sonny took off in a rage to confront Rizzi, but he was accosted at a toll both and killed by Tommy-gun wielding assailants.
After Vito's death, Michael confronted Rizzi over his role in what had happened to Sonny. Rizzi admitted the truth after Michael led him to believe that his life would be spared. After Michael had extracted the confession, however, Rizzi was killed by Peter Clemenza.
As much as she disliked her husband, Connie was angry at Michael for ordering in Rizzi's death and depriving her children of a father. She hated Michael for several years afterward, having a series of meaningless affairs to spite and embarrass him. Following the death of their mother, Connie forgave Michael, stating that he was only being strong for the family as their father had been. She then begged Michael to forgive Fredo for betraying him, and Michael appeared to do so; however, it was merely a ploy to draw Fredo in so Michael could have him killed. She went along with the official story that Fredo had accidentally drowned, either unaware of or unwilling to accept the truth.
Connie became more and more involved in the family business, becoming Michael's consigliere in all but name. She helped Michael with raising his children and remained a part of their lives even after Michael gave up custody of them to their mother Kay.
By the late 1970s, Connie saw potential in Sonny's illegitimate son Vincent Mancini. After Anthony made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the family business, she convinced Michael to take the hotheaded young Vincent under his wing and groom him as the new Don. When Michael was incapacitated by a diabetic stroke following the trauma of an assassination attempt, Vincent and Al Neri approached Connie in the hospital chapel for permission to take out Joey Zasa, who had masterminded the attack. Connie gave Vincent and Neri the go ahead. Vincent and Neri confronted Zasa in a street festival, with Vincent shooting him dead. After learning what happened, Michael ordered Connie, Neri, and Vincent never to do anything like that again as long as he lived.
Connie accompanied her brother and his family to Sicily in order to see her nephew Anthony perform at the Teatro Massimo. During the trip to Sicily Michael decided to retire and hand the family business over to Vincent. Connie watched as Michael named Vincent as the new Don, telling him to call himself Vincent Corleone going forward. As others came forward to pay their respects to Vincent, Connie walked out of the room with her brother.
At the opening night of the opera Anthony was performing in, Connie was entrusted with giving her Godfather Don Altobello poisoned cannoli and watched sadly as Altobello died in his own box at the opera.
After the opera, the assassin Mosca, working for Altobello, shot Michael in the shoulder; Michael survived, but his daughter Mary was killed when the bullet passed clean through him and hit her. Along with Michael and Kay, Connie sobbed in horror and grief over Mary's body on the steps of the Teatro Massimo.