Eli Wallach portraying Don Altobello
|First appearance||The Godfather Part III|
|Last appearance||The Godfather's Revenge|
|Created by||Mario Puzo|
|Portrayed by||Eli Wallach|
|Relatives||One nephew known|
Frank Sinatra biographer Tom Santopietro notes that Francis Ford Coppola approached Sinatra to play Altobello. The singer considered accepting the role, but wasn't keen on the heavy shooting schedule. Ultimately, his wife Barbara talked him out of it.
The Godfather Part III
Altobello is an aging gangster and longstanding ally of the Corleone crime family. He was the consigliere of Rico Tattaglia from 1955 to 1961, and becomes the don of the Tattaglia crime family in 1962. By the time of Godfather III, he has become a close friend and ally of Michael Corleone. Altobello even donates one million dollars to be a part of the Vito Corleone Foundation. Aside from being Michael's associate, Altobello is also Connie Corleone's godfather.
Altobello wants in on Michael's investments as he attempts to complete his family's move from crime-based profits to legitimate business. Altobello skillfully hides his nefarious intentions, but Michael grows suspicious after Joey Zasa, a Corleone Family rival, orchestrates an assassination attempt on Michael and other family heads assembled for a Commission meeting in Atlantic City. Altobello had left the conference room just prior to the attack. Michael escapes unharmed, but many others are killed. Michael instructs his nephew Vincent Corleone to approach Altobello pretending to pledge his allegiance to him, without promising to betray Michael.
While in Sicily, Altobello enlists an assassin named Mosca to kill Michael. He plans the attack for when Michael's son, Anthony is performing in Cavalleria Rusticana at Teatro Massimo opera house. Before the performance, Connie presents Altobello a box of cannoli as a birthday gift. He suspects the cannoli may be poisoned and offers Connie the first bite. Connie takes a small bite of the cannoli, reassuring him, but she took a bite out of the only cannoli which was not poisoned, obviously on purpose, in order to entice Altobello to his death. He finishes eating the poisoned cannoli and dies in his seat as Connie watches through her opera glasses.
- Santopietro, Tom (November 11, 2008). Sinatra in Hollywood. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-36226-3.
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