The Godfather of the actress and jazz singer Morgana King has died at the age of 87.
She played Carmela Corleone – wife of Marlon Brando’s Don Vito in the first two Godfather films, alongside a Grammy nomination for a jazz career.
The king died of cancer March 22 at his home in Palm Springs, California, Riverside County coroner’s office has confirmed.
His death had not been reported until his friend John hoglund posted a public message of condolence.
Tribute on Facebook he said that, although “many will remember her as Marlon Brando’s wife and Al Pacino, the mother of” the King has also been a “big part” of the jazz scene.
Born in New York, of Italian parents, his father – a self-taught musician – died when she was 11 years old, leaving her to be raised by her mother in the Bronx and attend at James Munroe high School.
End of Facebook post by John
The king of the singing career began when she played in clubs throughout his teenage years.
According to an article published in JazzTimes, this has been the song of the Body and the Soul of Billie Holiday in his dressing room, during which the star was noted, to “take care of this baby, because it is my child.”
Respected by his peers, the King went to perform in Las Vegas and across the country as well as on television on The Tonight Show, Playboy After Dark and The Hollywood Palace.
A Grammy nomination for her 1964 hit single A Taste of Honey marked the commercial peak of his five-decade, 20-album career.
Iconic role of Sponsor
As rock ‘n’ roll came to dominate the charts, the King has received his theatrical break in The Godfather after meeting with the trilogy of film director Francis Ford Coppola.
The crime saga, starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the mafia kingpins of the Corleone family, has won three Oscars and remains one of the most critically-revered series of all time.
His interpretation of “Mama” Carmela, Vito long-suffering wife in 1972’s opening instalment, featuring almost no spoken lines, but given its the front of the stage during his memorable wedding scene, singing the Italian song Luna Mezz o Mare.
She returned to the role in the 1974 sequel, but refused to be filmed in the coffin for superstitious reasons, leaving Coppola, a mother stand-in as a replacement.
According to The Washington Post, Coppola used King as a cultural reference point on the plateau because of his Sicilian-born parents.
“Francis asked me if the game looked like a true Sicilian home,” she said in 1988. “I told him to put a statue of Saint Anthony on the wall.”
Beyond The Godfather, the King appeared in 1998, the Brooklyn State of Mind, with Danny Aiello and ABC soap opera All My Children
She has also maintained a prolific career as a singer in clubs throughout the decades.
She released her 20th studio album in 1992, and has given his last live performance in 2000.
The king married twice, first to the trumpeter, Tony Fruscella, 17-year-old, but the couple divorced after nine years, according to the los angeles Times.
She later married, trombonist Willie Dennis in 1961, but he died in a car accident four years later.
A daughter of his first marriage, Graysan Simental, who died in 2008.
Survivors include a grandson.
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