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DAYS’s Joseph Mascolo Passes Away At 87

"Days of Our Lives" Set Cast Photo Gallery Shoot
Joe Mascolo "Days of Our Lives" Set Cast Photo Gallery Shoot NBC Studios Burbank 9/30/10 ©John Paschal/ 310-657-9661 Credit: JPI

Joseph Mascolo, who played the iconic Stefano DiMera on DAYS on and off since 1982, passed away on December 8 after battling Alzheimer’s disease for many years. “It is with great sorrow that we share the news the news of the passing of our dear friend and beloved member of the Days of our Lives family, Joseph Mascolo,” said Executive Producer Ken Corday 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.” Mascolo hailed from West Hartford, CT and was originally on a path to become a classical musician. When a drama professor heard his voice and suggested he give theater a try, Mascolo found his calling. In addition to numerous stage productions, the actor made his feature film debut in Diary of a Mad Housewife, followed by roles in Sharky’s Machine and Heat with Burt Reynolds. But it was his appearance in the TV miniseries THE GANGSTER CHRONICLES that caught the attention of then-DAYS Head Writer Pat Falken-Smith, who created the role of Stefano for him. After years of portraying Phoenix in Salem, Mascolo left the soap in 2001. B&B’s Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley Bell came calling, and Mascolo joined the CBS soap as Massimo Marone, who was revealed to be Ridge’s bio dad. After five years, Mascolo left B&B and returned to DAYS in 2006, where he has played Stefano ever since. Mascolo is  survived by his wife, Patricia Schultz-Mascolo, his son Peter, his step-daughter Laura, and his sister, Marie and her husband Ronald LaVoie.  He also had five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, one niece, one nephew, 3 great nieces, one great nephew and one great-great niece. In a statement, Schultz-Mascolo said,  “Joseph was a big ’ol bear with a puppy dog heart. I’m so blessed to have had these many years with him. I will miss him every day.”