Luca Brasi from the novel The Godfather.
"Luca Brasi did not fear the police, he did not fear society, he did not fear God, he did not fear hell, he did not fear or love his fellow man. But he had elected, he had chosen, to fear and love Don Corleone."
Luca Brasi first appears as a guest at the wedding of Carlo Rizzi and Connie Corleone, Don Vito Corleone's daughter. He waits with Amerigo Bonasera, Nazorine the Baker, and Anthony Coppola to "'see my father in private. They have favors to ask,'" according to Michael Corleone, Don Corleone's son. But the others are asking for favors of money, an Act of Congress for a daughter's lover, and vengeance for a crime against a daughter. Luca Brasi however is asking a favor to do a favor. Brasi wishes to do Don Corleone the favor of congratulating the Don on his daughter's wedding in person. Don Corleone seems reluctant but he allows it. Brasi personally gives the Don his wedding gift. The Don allows Brasi too show his respect by kissing his hand. After the door closes and Brasi is gone, Don Corleone "gave a small sigh of relief. Brasi was the only man in the world who could make him nervous." Although the word fear isn't used something suggests that Brasi's fear of Don Corleone may be reciprocated.
Michael Corleone tells his girlfriend Kay Adams that after an attempt was made on Don Corleone's life Luca Brasi went after the men responsible. The newspapers claimed Brasi killed 6 men in 2 weeks effectively ending the "'famous olive oil war.'" "His great talent, it was said, was that he could do a job of murder all by himself, without confederates, which automatically made discovery and conviction by the law almost impossible." Brasi may not have been discovered and convicted by the law, but in three of the later four stories that are told about him he does commit murder "with confederates."
Brasi's facial features are described in a way that furthers the image of him as a grim reaper. The color of his eye are given as a "deadly" tan and his mouth is described as "not so much cruel as lifeless."
Later on Michael Corleone tells Kay Adams a story about how the singer/actor, the Don's godson, Johnny Fontane began his ascent to fame thanks in part to Don Corleone. Les Halley, "a well-known show business personality," signed Fontane to a contract that made the singer virtually an unpaid servant. In order to get the contract revoked Don Corleone takes Brasi and his Consigliere Genco Abbandando to negotiate personally. The Don makes two monetary offers to buy out the contract but Halley refuses both. The Don then forces Halley at gunpoint to sign the release.
A few days later after the wedding at a business meeting with Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo (a crime boss and drug entrepreneur) the Don refuses a business deal. After the meeting Don Corleone orders his new Consigliere and "adopted" son Tom Hagen to "'Send Luca Brasi to see me.'" When the meeting takes place and what is discussed are not immediately revealed.
In the aftermath of Don Vito Corleone being shot Luca is nowhere to be found. The first call Sonny Corleone makes is to Brasi but there is no answer. He tries a second call to no avail. Sonny Corleone has a thought that is echoed by Tom Hagen and Michael Corleone: "Where was Luca Brasi?"
Virgil Sollozzo, who believes Don Corleone has been killed, attempts to convince Tom Hagen (who he has taken hostage) that he should facilitate a drug deal between Sollozzo and heir apparent Sonny Corleone. The same drug deal that was rejected by Don Corleone. When Hagen voices his concern about what Brasi will do in retaliation, Sollozzo tells Hagen "'I'll take care of Luca.'"
Gathered with Sonny and one of Don Corleone's Caporegimes, Michael asks Sonny if Brasi is as tough as people say he is. Sonny tells him he will send Brasi after the three Tattaglias who have vouched for Sollozzo and might have received profits from the drug deal. The Tattaglia family is one of the five New York crime families.
It is revealed that at the meeting between Brasi and Don Corleone the latter had ordered Luca to make contact with the forces of Sollozzo. Brasi did so by frequenting nightclubs controlled by the Tattaglia family and spending time with a top call girl. After a week with the call girl Bruno Tattaglia approached him to work in the Tattaglia family business as an enforcer. At one meeting Brasi told him that he will never go against Don Corleone. Bruno Tattaglia agrees to this. The night before Don Corleone was shot Brasi came to Bruno Tattaglia's nightclub. Bruno Tattaglia came to Brasi's table and told him a friend "wants to put a proposition to you." Brasi agrees to meet with the friend at the nightclub the following morning at 4:00 am.
At the restaurant meeting Brasi sits at the bar. Sollozzo appears, joining Luca and Bruno Tattaglia. Sollozzo offers money to Brasi for him to protect drug shipments. While pretending to light Brasi's cigarette Tattaglia grabs one of Brasi's hands and Sollozzo grabs the other one. A third man throws a garrotte around Brasi's neck and strangles him. A few days later the Corleones learn Brasi has been killed when Brasi's bulletproof vest is delivered to the house with a fish wrapped inside. "'The fish means that Luca Brasi is sleeping on the bottom of the ocean.'"
While in exile in Sicily Michael Corleone learns the story about Luca Brasi that Tom Hagen refused to tell him. He is told by a servant named Filomena. Filomena was once a midwife in New York and Brasi paid her to deliver a child of his. Once the child was born he forced her to throw the baby into an incinerator. Later Brasi murdered the mother of the child and was put in jail. Brasi tries to commit suicide by cutting at his throat with a piece of glass but fails. Don Corleone arranges for the case against Brasi to be dropped.
It is revealed that during the "olive oil war" Al Capone sent two of his men to take care of Don Corleone. To counter them the Don sends Luca Brasi. Using a cab driven by Corleone's men, Luca and his associates manage to trap Capone's lackeys and drive them to a warehouse. Both men are bound and small hand towels are placed in their mouths to gag them. Brasi takes an axe and proceeds to cut off one of the man's feet, then his legs at the knees, and finally his thighs. The man dies of blood loss. The other man is revealed to have swallowed and choked to death on the towel.
In the movie The Godfather Luca Brasi is played by Lenny Montana.