Carmela Corleone

Carmela Corleone
Carmela Corleone
First appearance The Godfather
Last appearance The Godfather: The Game
Created by Mario Puzo
Portrayed by Morgana King (47-61)
Francesca de Sapio (19-27)
Nickname(s) Mama
Gender Female
Spouse(s) Vito Corleone (1914-1955, Vito's death)
Children Sonny Corleone
Fredo Corleone
Michael Corleone
Connie Corleone
Tom Hagen (adoptive son)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Carmela Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's The Godfather. She is the wife of Don Vito Corleone. Though she features somewhat prominently in the book and the films, she is nowhere given a name, and is only referred to as "Mama". She receives one seemingly as an afterthought in the DVDs' special features. Mrs. Corleone is portrayed by Morgana King, who is better known as a singer, and she is briefly given a chance to display her vocal skills in the wedding reception scene of The Godfather.

Carmela was born in Sicily in 1897, and emigrated to the United States shortly after the turn of the century. She married Vito 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.

In the novel, Mama Corleone is portrayed as a rather traditional Italian immigrant woman who speaks in very broken English. In the movies, however, she speaks near-flawless English, 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. Mama Corleone dies toward the end of the second movie.

The novel's backstory about Vito Corleone's rise as a Don reveals that Carmella was disturbed by Vito's change from a kind, quiet young man to a pragmatic and ruthless criminal. However Carmella apparently forgives Vito for his many crimes, as he remains a basically good man who is devoted to his family.

In the novel, devoutly Catholic Carmela attended Mass every day to pray for her husband's soul--as she put it, to keep him from "going down there." At the end of the novel, Kay does the same for Michael.

In The Godfather Part II's flashback scenes, the young Carmella is portrayed by Francesca De Sapio.

Family Members

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