Joseph Mascolo Days of Our Lives Stefano

Days of Our Lives Star Joseph Mascolo, Who Played Stefano, Dead at 87

Joseph Mascolo, who played iconic villain Stefano DiMera on the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives, has died. He was 87 years old.

Mascolo passed away Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the show said in a statement on Friday. He joined the Days cast in 1982 and made crime lord/business tycoon Stefano DiMera into one of the most hated (and most loved) bad guys in soap-opera history.

Mascolo left and returned to the role of Stefano several times over the years, even joining CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful for an extended stint from 2001 to 2006. But he always came back to Days, most recently for the character’s death earlier this year. He also made appearances on TV shows like All in the Family and Lou Grant, and in films like Jaws 2 and Sharky’s Machine.

“It is with great sorrow that I’m sharing the news of the passing of our dear friend and beloved member of the Days of Our Lives family, Joseph Mascolo,” Days executive producer Ken Corday said in a statement. “The smile on Joe’s face is something we’d all come to find comfort in, and he will be sorely missed. His larger-than-life presence, kind heart and unwavering positivity has impacted us all for decades, and will live on in the memories of his many fans. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Days fans, share your memories of Mascolo — and Stefano — in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jj says:

    RIP Joseph Mascolo. The Daytime community has truly lost a legend.

  2. Mbh says:

    So sorry to hear this may his family found peace n know he will always be watching over them…….God needed another Angel n he choose him ……GODSPEED

  3. Phil says:

    From one Phoenix to another… Always brought such a gleeful twinkle to villainy.

  4. Whatevah says:

    He was amzaing. RIP. I can’t get over how many stars and musicians we’ve lost in 2016. I’m wondering if it’s a record.

  5. eloise007 says:

    Stefano’s character made the show worth watching RIHP Joseph.

  6. Joey says:

    Wow. I stopped watching Days several years ago, but Stefano was easily one of my favorite characters out of several soaps that I watched. Truly one of the daytime greats. The Phoenix has risen for the final time.

  7. Donna says:

    Day’s has truly lost a remarkable legend. RIP Stephano.

  8. Bobby Wolfe says:

    The Greatest Daytime Villain Ever!!

  9. PJnGa says:

    Well, damn…

  10. kmw says:

    One of the best characters ever on daytime. Rest in peace Mr. Mascolo

  11. Carlos Lee says:

    Rip. I guess Stefano is not coming back anymore : ( Anything remember him as Domino on “General Hospital” and the police chief in the “Incredible Hulk/ Daredevil” tv movie?

  12. wrstlgirl says:

    Long Live The Phoenix!!!

  13. Kevin says:

    Daytime TV lost one of the most legendary actors in soaps then, now and forever. RIP Joseph Mascolo :-(

  14. Landry Dale says:

    I could never get enough of Stefano. He captured my attention immediately when I started watching Days in 1995. Joe turned what could have been an over-the-top, cartoon villain into a multilayered character whose love for his family came through, even during his worst misdeeds.

    Joseph was one of Days’ biggest assets for decades and will forever be a part of its fabric and history. The show was never the same without him. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing and to know that we’ll never be able to see him on-screen again, even briefly.

    RIP Joe. Thanks for the memories

  15. Jean says:

    Rip Joe! You made the character Stephano fantastic!

  16. Sharon Fair says:

    So very sad about Joseph Mascolo’s passing. He will be truly missed by so many people. 2016 continues to take so many of our talented people.

  17. Sarah says:

    Days of Our Lives taught me that Stefani is never really dead.

  18. joy jansma says:


  19. Elise Starr says:

    so sad – he was an icon on the show and will always be missed. Nobody like him

  20. GuessWhat says:

    great character and great actor

  21. Well, I think we can all agree that we lost a lot of great people this year, so let’s just get rid of this awful year already!!! Rest in Peace Joseph…

  22. I’ve been watching DOOL for decades.
    I know he’ll be back in a couple of years.

    • Cindy h says:

      The man has passed in Real Life . He was a wonderful, talented man . He had the ability to make u really dislike his character and yet luv him at the same time. No-one could take his place . Almost a ( blasphemous ) thought ! Prayers to his family and Co workers.

  23. Maria says:

    RIP Mr. Mascolo. You made it SO much fun to watch Days. You will be missed.

  24. Joanna P says:

    Truly a great loss for the DOOL family and hus fans (me). RIP Mr. Mascolo ( Stefano)

  25. Andrea says:

    It’s like losing a friend 😢

  26. Nika says:

    I always watched Days but then I stop watching the soap for more than 20 yrs and I still remember him when I did was watching the soap like 20 yrs ago. He was avillain for sure and lasted a looong time on his character.

  27. GuessWhat says:

    PS: I really thought we’d have him for so much longer with his great genes — his father died @ 106! And his mother was 100.

  28. flutiefan says:

    i knew he was ill, but it’s still a shock. The Phoenix will never rise again :'(

  29. Susan Jurist says:

    Very sad. He played such a mean character with such relish, he was always fun to watch.

  30. Michael Kilgore says:

    RIP Joseph Mascolo you will be missed on Days OF Our Lives

  31. Truly loved his character as and he made me laugh! Will greatly be missed RIP!

  32. Arguably the greatest single daytime soaps character of all-time was Stefano. Mr Mascolo you were the best. Incredible actor he was, he was the reason so many people watched Days of Our Lives including myself. The only reason why they killed him off was because he just couldn’t do it anymore, he had Alzheimer’s and was in wheelchair. Great run he had, rip Joseph.

  33. Kathy says:

    Stefano has been a part of my life for most of it. Haven’t watched Days for a good while but would check in when I heard of something memorable happening. I guess we have lost him for sure now. How sad.

  34. SAM says:

    One of the most memorable characters in daytime history played by an exceptionally talented actor. My late girlfriend loved him — he really was the bad guy you loved to hat. Condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.

  35. Leslie says:

    May he be in peace. A great actor. We will surely miss him. It just does not seem possible that he will never be back. Thanks for the memories.

  36. Mary says:

    Our deepest sympathy! Enjoyed his acting. He will be missed.

  37. Mary says:

    I started watching Days back in 1967. I would miss long periods of it bbefore VHS came along but when Stefano came on the scene, I was totally hooked. Really loved hating him. What a loss for all of daytime.

  38. Raven says:

    In 2008, I posted a message on Joseph’s website offering my condolences on the loss of a family member. Imagine my honor when Joseph took the time to send to me a very kind reply by email. Coincidentally, I watched Joseph’s performance in Jaws 2 today just before learning of his death. Without a doubt, Joseph brought to life the greatest soap opera villain of all time. Stefano DiMera, the character, is etched into my memory as is Joseph Mascolo, the actor who gave him such a commanding presence and depth. I enjoyed Joseph’s performance so much on Days of Our Lives that I followed him to The Bold and the Beautiful, a show that I had never seen before, for the entirety of the five years that he was there before returning to Days. The Phoenix may not rise again, but the performance that Joseph gave and the shadow that Stefano cast upon Salem will endure forever. Thank you, Joseph, for all of the memories. May your family and friends find solace in your legacy.

  39. Lorie Yancey says:

    Ive been watching Days of our lives since birth basically. Lol Stefano has always been such an iconic bad guy. However unlike many villains Stefano oozed charisma and class.! Joseph thank you so very much for making me love to hate your character. You have been an amazing actor and I thank will be greatly missed but never forgotten! Rest peacefully.💜

  40. Chantelle Daizadeh says:

    I’ve watched Days for 50! Years! So very sorry to hear about this beloved man. Love and prayers.

  41. Mary Smith says:

    Rip Joseph Mascolo. Days of our lives had already changed without him. He is already missed.

  42. Lisa says:

    He will truly be missed. The Phoenix will no longer rise again and that makes me very sad. Prayers for his family.

  43. Jean Walter says:

    R.I.P. Stefano. You will be greatly missed. I remember seeing you at Mythos at Universal/Islands of Adventure when Soap Week was there.

  44. He will forever be missed, great actor and I enjoyed watching him on DOOL! RIP

  45. Susan says:

    My all time favorite villain!

  46. Valerie Webb says:

    I’ve watched Day’s for over 30 years, Stephano was always my favorite character. He will truly be missed…RIP😢

  47. Shauna Mattis says:

    RIP so sad to lose you so fast but now you can watch your family on Days . Miss you already can’t believe your gone .You are now in a better place now .My thoughts are with his family ,prayers,sending hugs

  48. Awww. RIP Joseph. My thoughts to the family and friends of this great talent. I’ve enjoyed him so much over the last decades of being a Days of Our Lives fan. Thanks for all the great entertainment :)