I’m deeply saddened to post that Joseph Mascolo (ex-Stefano, DAYS; ex-Massimo, B&B) passed away on Thursday, December 8, after a long battle with Alzheimers. More information has been reported through various outlets, but here’s the post from Soap Opera Digest. “Stefano DiMera” was actually trending on Friday after the news broke, which is sort of bittersweet.
This is, of course, sad news, like all of the other daytime greats we’ve lost, so many this year in particular. But I was stunned by how hard this hit me when I saw the news. (I immediately started crying at my desk at work!) It’s hard not to conflate Mascolo with Stefano, and Stefano has always seemed unstoppable, having come back from seeming death so many times. Even now, with the story of Stefano’s death playing out on DAYS all year long, with our show’s heroine in prison for the murder, it was hard to really believe until now.
I’ll miss Joe Mascolo immensely. Stefano was a character who really drove DAYS with his insane machinations, especially in the 90s, an answer to pretty much any mysterious misdeed or fatherless character who the fans generally accepted and in many cases enjoyed. I know he was over the top and infuriatingly villainous at times, but Mascolo always made Stefano someone I was happy to watch. The legacy he leaves in daytime is more than anything I could possibly say about him here. Rest in peace.