- "Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners. One by one, our old friends are gone. Death -- natural or not - prison -- deported. Hyman Roth is the only one left, because he always made money for his partners. "
- ―Johnny Ola[src]
Johnny Ola had been an associate of Hyman Roth during the early deals with Fulgencio Batista in Havana, as well as running molasses with Vito Corleone. He acted as an intermediary between Roth and the Corleone family.
Along with Mortie Whiteshoes, Ola was part of the plan to assassinate Michael Corleone along with Roth and (unwittingly) Michael's brother Fredo Corleone. He had deliberately encountered Fredo in Beverly Hills and offered him some business of his own if he were to 'make negotiations easier'. Fredo later denied knowing that a hit was to be involved, but had been encouraged by the prospect of setting up his own business in New Jersey, namely a necropolis based on that in Colma.
- "It's nothing. Just some lousy bandits. The police are cleaning them up."
- ―Johnny Ola[src]
When Michael asked if Fredo and Johnny Ola had ever met, they denied knowing each other. While viewing a live sex show in Havana, Michael overheard Fredo say that Ola had shown him the venue and sex show which contradicted both Ola & Fredo telling Michael that they hadn't met. Michael's bodyguard Bussetta was sent to kill Ola and Roth once this was heard because now he knew who was responsible for the attempted assassination. As Johnny Ola was on his balcony, he was strangled with a wire with a wooden coat hanger wielded by Michael's bodyguard. The bodyguard went on to break his neck.
Personality and traits
Intelligent and cunning, Ola was instrumental in setting up Fredo Corleone and damaging the Corleone family, hiding his activities behind an atmosphere of professionalism and friendliness. It was through this behaviour that he managed to lull Fredo into a false sense of security, taking him to several clubs around Havana.