Queicon.png There are two conflicting canon sources for this article, from The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Returns.

"Love. I never thought of that."
―Francesca Corleone[src]

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.

She was also the wife of Billy Van Arsdale, and some time after Billy's death, Johnny Fontane. She was the mother of Carmela and Sonny Van Arsdale.


Francesca attended her aunt Connie and Carlo Rizzi's wedding in 1945, where she was one of the young bridesmaids.

When Sonny was killed, Francesca moved with her mother Sandra Corleone 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.

In sequel novels

The Godfather Returns

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.[2]

The Godfather's Revenge

Years later, Francesca eventually remarried, this time to family friend Johnny Fontane. She also acted as a major player in the Vito Corleone Foundation.[3]

Behind the scenes

  • 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.

Notes and references

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