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Al Neri

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Albert "Al" Neri was a secondary antagonist from the Godfather novel by Mario Puzo and the series of films by Francis Ford Coppola. He was the personal enforcer, bodyguard, and assassain of Michael Corleone.

Neri started out as a member of the New York City Police Department. While an NYPD officer the quick tempered Neri often cracked his flashlight over the heads of Italian youths and smashed the windshields of diplomats who had ingored traffic laws. In fear of his temper his wife Rita left him. Not long after Niri was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing the drug dealer and pimp Wax Baines.

Seeing potential in the young man, Tom Hagan and Peter Clemenza engineered his release from custody. Even though anyone who ever served as a police officer is forbidden from becoming a made man, Neri impresses Michael and the others enough that this is waived in his case. Michael recruits him into Clemenza's regime, and Neri soon made his bones by executing Emilio Barzini. In the novel Neri had also murdered Moe Greene, in the film this was carried out by a second, anonymous gunman. After Sal Tessio was killed for betraying the Coreleone family Neri was promoted to caporegime.

By the 1950s Neri served as the head of security for all of Michael's operations in Las Vegas. While on Lake Tahoe Neri killed Fredo Coreleone by shooting him in the back of the head and dumping the body overboard. Aside from Michael and Anthony Coreleone no one knew that Neri had killed Fredo, they were all led to believe that Fredo had drowned in the lake.

Approximately 20 years after the events of the second movie Michael had moved back to New York and was making efforts to turn the Coreleone legitimate. Coreleone had sold off his rackets to his former enforcer Joey Zaza. Neri still served as Michael's bodyguard, and was the only holdover from Michael's criminal enterprises. Neri saved Michael's life from a Zaza assassination attempt and then helped Michael's nephew Vincent Mancini murder Zaza during a festival while Michael was incapacitated from a diabetic stroke. Despite having approval from Connie Michael was not happy, and ordered Neri and Vincent to never do something like that again as long as he lived.


Al Neri as he appeared in 1979

After Michael recovered he retired as Don and handed his duties over to Vincent, telling him to call himself Vincent Coreleone going forward. Neri was the second man to give his loyalty to Vincent, after Don Tommasino's former bodyguard Calò. Vincent soon had Neri infiltrate the Vatican. Neri then killed the corrupt Archbishop Gilday and tossed his body over a staircase.


  • Neri was played by Richard Bright (June 28, 1937 – February 18, 2006).

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