Celebrity | News | Trending

'The Godfather' Star Died 5 Months Ago, But Fans Had No Idea Until Now

On August 15, multiple news outlets, including The Washington Post, reported that The Godfather star and celebrated jazz singer Morgana King passed away at the age of 87.

However, in in an unexpected twist, it was revealed that her death actually occurred a few months ago on March 22.

The entertainer portrayed Carmela "Mama" Corleone, the wife of Marlon Brando's Don Vito, in the first two Godfather films. She was battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to a rep from the Riverside  County coroner's office.

The news of King's death went unreported until a close friend of hers, John Hoglund, recently took to Facebook to reveal the news.

"Jazz legend Morgana King has died at 87. She passed away of natural causes at her home in Palm Springs recently," Hoglund wrote before reminding everyone that while "many will remember her" for her iconic film role, she was still a "major part of the jazz scene."

Hoglund also highlighted some of the Grammy-nominated artist's achievements and famous discography, including her 1964 operatic cover of "A Taste of Honey" as well as "Corcovado" ("Quiet Nights").

King, who Frank Sinatra once called "a perfect singer like no other," started her career when she was a teenager. She started singing in clubs before finally getting her big break and recording more than 20 albums during her decades-long career.

In addition to her debut album for Mercury Records in 1955, she also released three albums under Sinatra's label, Reprise, including It's a Quiet Thing (1965), a melancholic record in which she sang about the pain of losing her second husband, trombone player Willie Dennis, in a car accident.

In the early 70s, King stepped away from the music scene to focus on acting. Despite not having any spoken lines in The Godfather, she caught people's attention during the film's memorable wedding scene by singing the Italian song "Luna Mezz'o Mare."

In addition to the film's sequel, King booked a few other acting roles before retiring. She appeared on some variety shows, Brooklyn State of Mind (1998) and All My Children.

In 1973, she made a comeback with an album titled New Beginnings, and although King's music never achieved mainstream success, she wasn't bothered by it.

"I am a rebel. I am not a commercial artist,” King told the Bergen Record in 1988. "If I don’t believe in something, I won’t do it. I don’t believe in superstardom, publicity stunts and plugging records…The only thing I believe in is music. I won’t forfeit anything for that."

In 1992, she stepped into a recording studio one last time to record her album, This is Always. Eight years later, she gave her final public performance before turning into a recluse. King spent her final years in Palm Springs.

“I don’t go chasing after the rainbow; you can get totally lost,” she told The Washington Post in 1981. “I am my own captain and this is my ship. I don’t want anybody messing with my steering wheel or my navigation.”

As for her personal life, King had a daughter from her first marriage, Graysan Simental, but she unfortunately passed away in 2008. She is survived by her grandson.

May she rest in peace.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.