'Days of Our Lives' Star Joseph Mascolo Passes Away at 87

Heartbreaking news for Days of Our Lives fans today. Joseph Mascolo who played the villain everyone loved to hate, Stefano DiMera, passed away on Thursday from Alzheimer's, Soap Opera Digest reports. Mascolo had played Stefano on and off since 1982. 

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(Photo: Facebook/@soapcentral)

The popular soap star had been battling the disease for years. The Executive Producer Ken Corday of the soap opera issued a statement saying,  “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. 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.”

Originally destined to become a classical musician, Mascalo changed career paths when his drama professor heard his voice and suggested he try theater.

His appearance on the TV miniseries The Gangster Chronicles earned him an original role specifically written for him on Days of Our Lives.

In 2001, he left the soap and starred on B&B, however, he ended up back on Days in 2006. 

Mascolo leaves behind a wife, son, step-daughter, sister, brother-in-law, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a niece, nephew, three great nieces, one great nephew and one-great niece. 

His wife Patricia Schultz-Mascolo issued a statement saying,  “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.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his many friends, family and fans. 

This article first appeared at Womanista.