“‘The Godfather’ changed my life,” he told The New York Times in 2001.
Probably his most indelible scene from the film was his last, in which Tessio is confronted by the family lawyer, the consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), and four henchmen outside the Corleone compound after they discover that he had been in on a plot to kill the Godfather’s son and successor, Michael (Al Pacino).
Tessio’s face drops; he doesn’t have to be told what will happen next.
“Tell Mike it was only business,” he says to Hagen resignedly. “I always liked him.”
Tessio makes a final plea.
“Tom, can you get me off the hook? For old times’ sake?”
Hagen shakes his head; the code must be honored.
“Can’t do it, Sally.”