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|“|| Michael, now they'll fear you.|
Maybe they should fear you.
|~ Connie and Michael Corleone|
Constanzia "Connie" Corleone is a 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. The wedding and a lavish reception held at the Corleone compound took place in 1945.
The good times were not to last. Shortly after the wedding Rizzi began abusing Connie. He also took the money the couple received and spent it on frivolities. Connie tried to appeal to her father for help but he turned her down. While it appeared that Vito was punishing her for marrying Rizzi he was very upset but felt bound by tradition not to interfere in her marriage. Her brothers resented Rizzi and at one point Sonny gave a severe beating to Rizzi after he had beaten Connie.
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 Corleone confronted Rizzi over his role in what had happened to Sonny. Rizzi admitted the truth after Michael led him to believe that he would be exiled from the family. However after Michael had extracted the confession Rizzi was soon killed by Peter Clemenza.
Connie hated Michael for his role in Rizzi's death, thinking it had not been his place to end her husband's life without her consent. She hated Michael for several years after the death of her husband. Connie struck out on a series of affairs and married again, despite her mother and Michael disapproving of her actions. Following the death of their mother she came to forgive Michael, stating that Michael was only being strong for the family as their father had been. It was Connie that convinced Michael to speak to Fredo again, although this was only a ruse on Michael's part to get his brother to relax so he could have Fredo killed.
In the years following the death of her mother and brother Connie became more and more involved in the family business, becoming a Consigliere in all but name. She apparently never learned the truth about Fredo, believing that he drowned in an accident on Lake Tahoe. 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. She convinced Michael to take the hot headed young man under his wing and groom him as the new Don. When Michael was incapacitated by a diabetic stroke following the trauma of a Commission meeting that had been attacked, 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 delivering the coup de grace. Learning what happened Michael ordered them to never 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. Connie was entrusted with giving her Godfather Don Altobello poisoned cannoli and watched with regret as Altobello died in his own box at the opera.
A short time later the assassin Mosca made his move against Michael. He was unsuccessful in killing Michael, but accidentally killed Michael's daughter Mary. Connie watched in horror and grief as her beloved niece died on the steps of the Teatro Massimo.