ICYMI: Fond Farewell

Credit: JPI

Stars remember the late, great Joseph Mascolo (ex-Stefano, DAYS; ex-Massimo, B&B), who passed away on December 8 at the age of 87.

Thaao Penghlis (Andre, DAYS)

“I will always remember him sitting in the armchair that I now have in my dressing room. The history of what he and I had all those years… I look at the scenes and look back on those times and we really believed we were father and son, and I think that’s one of the reasons it worked so well. He had a wonderful sense of humor and used to call me ‘Shrimp’. He said, ‘You’re a short little thing.’ And I said, ‘I’m not a short little thing, Joe,’ and he said, ‘Well, you’re shorter than me.’ When we would take photographs, I would get on my toes so I could be as tall as him and he would laugh his head off. It wasn’t until one day that we were sharing the same dressing room and I knocked on the door to get back in and he opened the door but he didn’t have his shoes on and he was shorter than me. And I went, ‘Oh, my God,’ and he went, ‘Oh, my God!’ and he got right on his toes and walked around the room on his toes because he didn’t want me to think he was shorter than me. But he was and all those years he used to play me. It was hysterical. I actually fell to the floor laughing. Towards the end, I would try to get him to remember things we used to do, and it would warm him and he would smile at me. And I would kiss him on his head or his hand. One day I did that and someone came from the booth and said, ‘I love how you treat Joe.’ Joe was like Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Here we are, the DiMeras, and Big Daddy is gone.”

Thaao Penghlis, Joe Mascolo, Billy Flynn "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 06/25/15 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Deidre Hall  (Marlena, DAYS)

“Someone said to me many years ago that Stefano and Marlena were like a dog chasing a parked car. Of course, he could catch her … he just didn’t know what to do with her once he had! Stefano was killed 13 times in his 23-year stint on DAYS. [Marlena] killed him twice! But, like the Phoenix, Stefano always rose from the ashes. Never again. Rest in peace, you dear and amazing man.”

Deidre Hall, Joe Mascolo "Days of our Lives" Set Says Goodbye to Alison Sweeney after 21 Years NBC Studios Burbank 05/23/14 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R; ex-Kristen et al, DAYS)

“Boy, he was just a bigger-than-life presence, and he was just so committed to the work, and always game for anything, and always just really in love with what he did for a living. He had such a great reverence for it. I mean, we had to do some silly, silly things over the years, and he was always willing to kind of take it on, and he had such a love for his fans that he could make anything work for them. The whole thing where he had to dress up like Elvis was hilarious. I mean, he just really jumped into that. I look back at those pictures and I’m like, ‘He looks great.’ He looked damn good. He enjoyed the hell out of what we do for a living.”



Alison Sweeney (ex-Sami, DAYS)

“Some of my earliest memories of DAYS are working with Joe. I was really intimidated and nervous to work with him because Stefano was such a strong, intimidating character and he embodied it so well. He was so talented and such a generous actor and always so prepared. I learned so much from working with him, especially in the beginning. Over the years, I got to know him much better and I stopped being so nervous around him, which probably made it easier for him, but I always had a sense of awe to work with him. There wasn’t a day when he didn’t give 100 percent to his performance and his character. There wasn’t a line of dialogue that didn’t matter to him, and I was always inspired by that. The second he got out of his car, he would do that Stefano accent all day, even in the makeup room. He took his work very seriously. The first time I heard him speak without the Stefano accent, I almost fell over. I was so shocked! He could see on my face that I didn’t know what to make of the real Joe and he teased me and made me laugh. He was so funny and happy to see me every time I came back. When I became a director at DAYS, I remember him being so proud of me and so supportive of me and he made a special point of pulling me aside to say that, having watched me on the set, it really meant something to him. He felt really a part of that. He was always such a kind and generous and funny man and a really proud, strong and dedicated actor.”

Joe Mascolo, Alison Sweeney Ken Cordays Memoir "The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Familys Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives" Launch Party Paley Center for Media Beverly Hills 4/29/10 © Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Ken Corday, executive producer, DAYS 

“Joe was like a big brother. We shared so much, and we shared our love of music. He was iconic. Stefano was a force you loved to hate on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. His fingerprints are huge on the canvas to today. Joe was a good friend and he was the opposite of his character on-screen. He was bigger than life but a teddy bear. I’m just sad. We’re all just saddened by the loss. It’s tough.”

Joe Mascolo, Suzanne Rogers, Ken Corday "Days of our Lives" Set Says Goodbye to Alison Sweeney after 21 Years NBC Studios Burbank 05/23/14 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Suzanne Rogers (Maggie, DAYS)

“I would see him on Easter Sunday at church and he would always say, ‘Save me a seat!’ He’d always ask about my mom and ask me to give her a hug for him, he always cared. I always felt safe with him, he gave the best bear hugs. People say he was just a teddy bear, and it’s true. It was a side that he didn’t show a lot of but when he did, you just got that Stefano was not who he really was at all. He got into character from the moment he walked on to the stage and it scared some people, but I quickly realized that that wasn’t really Joe. One time I just went up to him and said, ‘You know what? You’re just a big teddy bear,’ and he just smiled at me like, ‘Ah you found me out!’ He really was a papa for all of us. He was a good and genuine man with a beautiful soul, and he will be missed so much. When he laughed, he laughed from his toes, and I miss hearing it. I would love to hear just one more good laugh from him, because that’s what I remember.”

James Reynolds (Abe, DAYS)

“Joe was a big personality. When Joe was in the room, you knew he was in the room, and there was no question about that. We loved working together. When there were weeks or months that went by and we weren’t in scenes together, we talked to whoever we needed to talk to to ensure that we were in scenes together because our characters had a very close relationship. He was marvelous as the bad guy. He gave Stefano this charm that made him more menacing because he was a villain you liked in a lot of ways. He always had this charm, he always had a bit of a twinkle, and that was Joe. Joe brought every quality of Stefano alive. There’s a lot of villains on television, and Joe’s right up there in the top tier of villains, because as many dastardly things as Stefano did, Joe always made sure there was a twinkle in his eye. There is a lot to remember about Joe but his professionalism and his dedication to his craft were so impressive. He would don Stefano’s accent every morning he worked and create an indelible, iconic character.”

Joe Mascolo and James Reynolds Studio City 4th Of July Celebration Radford Studios 7/4/04 ©Miranda Shen/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Drake Hogestyn (John, DAYS)

“First of all, I’m thankful that DAYS OF OUR LIVES presented me with the opportunity to work and associate with a man who at one time or another, I considered my mentor, my father and always my brother. Joe was a man’s man who cut a bigger-than-life path through Hollywood while staying true and strong to his convictions. He relished in your joys, embraced your sorrows and when discussing problems, you knew you would get, ‘I’m gonna call it as I see it,’ from him. There was no b.s. with Joe. Joe was a professional … and I could relate to his philosophy that you’re only as good as your last game, so you better come in prepared every day and leave it all on the field, or stage, as it would be. Come prepared, be respectful of the art and the artists around you, and never cheat yourself or the craft. And my God, was that man competitive. More competitive onstage than anyone I played with on the field … and that’s a fact! Competitive but very protective, not only of his character but of all characters in relationship to the arc of the story or the beats of a scene. It was always team first, he said, because there is no ‘i’ in team. Joe was Stefano, or vice versa. He’d pull into the studio with Luciano Pavarotti blasting from his radio, and he’d sit there behind the wheel of his car, singing his brains out with his arms flailing as if he was directing the orchestra, and then he’d get out of his car and as soon as we’d walked through the threshold of NBC into the studio, he magically became Stefano with that booming voice … ‘But the real fun is in the game! The chess match!’ He would remain in character as Stefano until he recrossed the threshold exiting the studio at night and then, just like magic, he became Joe again. We love you and will miss your magic, Joe. Ci vediamo presto, no?

Joe Mascolo, Drake Hogestyn "Days of our Lives" Set Celebrating Show Renewel NBC Studios Burbank 01/29/14 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS)

“When Stefano and Kate married, it was called a marriage made in hell, but it was purely actor heaven to share the stage with Joe. He was all about the work, the passion and art of our craft. He gave 100 percent to every scene and expected everyone to do the same. We took great delight in working out the details of Mr. and Mrs DiMera. (He even gave me notes on Kate’s style —  the hair especially — ‘Why the blue streak?’ Nails: ‘Why, black?!?!’) He had great love and respect for the process and the audience. One day, I shared with him that I recorded our scenes to watch at the end of the day’s taping and I asked if he would like a peek … He was aghast. ‘Nooooo, I never watch myself,’ he said in that big, booming voice. ‘Never!’ The next day, at the end of our set, he asked me if I had recorded the scenes. ‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Good!’ he said. ‘After you take a look, let me know what you think!’ And that became our routine. A resounding knock on my dressing room door after scenes, and Joe calling out, ‘How did it go today, Kid? Did we get it?’ Yes, Joe, we got it and I loved every minute of it. Your Katarina misses you.”      

Lauren Koslow, Joe Mascolo A Day of Day of our Lives Universal Citywalk Universal City 11/7/10 © Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661

Kristian Alfonso (Hope, DAYS)

“My goodness, where do I start? There’s so much to say … anyone who’s been blessed enough to have worked opposite such a powerhouse like Joe would say that it humbled them and made them want to work harder. Whenever I knew Joe was on set shooting, I would make a point of going out on set to watch and learn as much as I could. I remember being on set with Joe and he had some concerns about the scene we were about to shoot. As I stood there looking over my dialogue, I could hear him talking and asking questions. I could hear his voice getting a little bit deeper, which told me that perhaps he wasn’t getting the answer he wanted. I just remember giggling a little bit under my breath, still looking at my script, and I hear, ‘What?’ and I don’t look up because I don’t think he’s talking to me. Then I hear, ‘What is it?’ even closer and I just started to giggle and I just said, ‘You can pretend all you want that you’re this tough guy but you’re really just this big marshmallow.’ And in his Stefano voice he just said, ‘You know what, you’re right.’ And we continued to giggle together all of those years later. Behind this huge presence and that huge voice stood a man with a huge heart. I always loved that boy-like inside him. Miss you, Joe (a.k.a. Cupcake).”

Kristian Alfonso, Drake Hogestyn, Joe Mascolo "Celebrating 45 Years of "Days of our Lives" by The Academy of T.V. Arts and Sciences T.V. Academy North Hollywood, ca. 9/28/10 ©Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661

Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS)

“I admired him and will miss him greatly. It’s still very much a shock to all of us that he’s not going to be in the hallways walking around — that giant teddy bear that he was, pointing fingers. He’d look at my jeans and say, ‘Why don’t you buy some man jeans?’ I will miss that so much. I also loved to get criticism from Joe because you knew he meant it. He was a man of truth. Joe had reached a point in his life where there was no bull. He was the real deal, and in a land like Hollywood, where you’re not so sure who the real deal is, it was a pleasure to know that this was a man you could trust, and that he was honest with how he felt and about what he was doing. It was interesting to see that Joe cared enough about the actors that he worked with to touch base with them about what their plans were and what they were doing; the decisions they were making. I know Kate Mansi [ex-Abigail] had a similar experience with him, in the sense that she understood he divinely cared about what she was doing, and how she was going to be, and he did. I think he was like the Godfather. He loved all of his kids, so to speak, and in a sense, everyone in that hallway was a member of his family. This is like losing your godfather, and with that there’s a sense of misdirection, and a bit of, ‘Well, what do we do now?’ He was such a pinnacle of the show, he was a pillar of villainy, and now we’re all kind of searching. How do you replace someone of that presence? But right now it’s a time to respect who he was, what he gave to our show and the legacy that he left. I don’t think I will ever meet somebody like Joe Mascolo again. There’s no cookie cutter for a guy like that.”

Ashley Jones (ex-Bridget, B&B)

“That man was a very amazing actor and a really sweet, gentle spirit. We had the same agent, so I had met him years before B&B through our beloved agent, and had watched him on DAYS and just knew he was kind of a veteran and a powerhouse in our business. So when he came to BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL and I got to work with him, I thought it was really special, and I really cherish those times that we were on-screen together and it was just the two of us, because he was a really powerful actor. He’s one of those people that you encounter every once in a while — Susan Flannery’s [ex-Stephanie, B&B] another one — where you feel like they elevate you and make you a better actor, and you don’t really realize it until later when you look back and you’re like, ‘That really brought a strength out of me that I didn’t really realize I had.’ My heart just broke when I heard that he was no longer with us.”

Ronn Moss, Joseph Mascolo, Brad Bell, Ashley Jones CBS's THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL Marking Five years of Simulcasting in Spanish via Secondary Audio Program Technology (SAP) CBS Studios in Los Angeles, CA 4/25/06 ©Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661


Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge, B&B; John, THE BAY)

“My favorite memory is of the ‘bigness’ of character of Joe. His demeanor and presence were huge, always warm-hearted and gracious. I have a major remembrance of Joe in the way that all the fans responded to finding out Massimo was actually Ridge’s biological father. Everywhere I would go, people would come up to me and scream, ‘Massimo is your father!!’ Like maybe I really didn’t know this yet. They had just watched the scenes of this reveal, and they wanted to make sure I knew this fact. The story I remember most was Ridge bursting into Massimo’s ornate office and grabbing a sword off the wall. Ridge ultimately messed up and hit himself with the sword. He knocked himself out and blood was everywhere. I remember it being an intense scene. Anyway, Joe was great during all this. I will always think of Joe being the bigger-than-life person he was.”

Ronn Moss, Joseph Mascolo Book Signing for his Book "Soul Mate" Barnes and Noble The Grove Los Angeles, CA 09/16/10 ©Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com 10-657-9661

Sean Kanan (ex-Deacon, B&B)

“I was very fortunate to have worked with Joe. Ferocious in the best way and yet such an incredibly thoughtful, refined person.”

Steve Blackwood (ex-Bart, DAYS) shared the following on Facebook:

“I was very sad to hear the news that we lost Joe…he was my first boss on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and was the complete pro on and off the set. He was my friend and advisor for many years.. and more importantly a good man. Like any good pro he was always about making the scene better..taking less than stellar writing and personalizing it (he spoke in Stefano’s accent off the set as well..). Once, as my character Bart, I came in to tell him some exciting good news (we kidnapped Bo or something) and he purposely surprised me by kissing me full on the lips..giving us Both a real moment lol. They killed my character off in 2008 and my final scene was me (Bart) telling him I did everything for him. Rest in peace Boss..you did everything for all of us.”