- "Love. I never thought of that."
- ―Francesca Corleone[src]
Francesca Van Arsdale
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Jeanne Savarino Pesch|
Francesca Corleone was the daughter of Sonny Corleone and his wife, Sandra. She was the twin sister of Kathy, older sister of Frank Corleone and Santino Corleone, Jr. and older half-sister to Vincent Mancini. She helped run the Vito Corleone Foundation with her uncle Michael Corleone for some time.
When Sonny was killed, Francesca moved with her mother Sandra to Nevada, where they were supported by Vito Corleone, and later Michael Corleone, who moved to Nevada shortly after. Francesca began attending college, where she met Gardner Shaw. In 1958, Francesca and Gardner married, with Michael's blessing.
Francesca and Kathy are present at Michael's party after receiving papal honors in 1979.
The Godfather ReturnsEdit
In The Godfather Returns, Francesca met Billy Van Arsdale while attending Florida State University. She dropped out of college to marry him. They were married with one child, Sonny Van Arsdale and one stillborn baby born prior to Sonny, Carmela, named after Francesca's paternal grandmother Carmela Corleone. Their marriage eventually became an unhappy one, and years into their marriage, Francesca discovered that Billy was working with Attorney General Daniel Shea to bring down the Corleone crime syndicate, and had also been having an affair. To get revenge and to protect her family, Francesca ran her husband over with his car. To protect Francesca, her uncles Tom Hagen and Michael Corleone arranged for the blame to go to Billy's lover.
The Godfather's RevengeEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
- Despite having no speaking roles throughout the trilogy, Francesca is a major POV character in both Mark Winegardner novels, The Godfather Returns and The Godfather's Revenge.
- In an early draft script for The Godfather Part III, Sonny's twin daughters were named Rosary and Anne Marie Corleone.
- Despite being adults in The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III, Kathy and Francesca wear the matching clothing at Anthony's first communion celebration and Michael's party after receiving papal honors.