Veteran US actor Joseph Mascolo, best known for Days of our Lives, has died aged 87.
Mascolo, who played crime lord and patriarch Stefano DiMera, largely between 1982 and 2001, had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
“It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend and beloved member of the Days of our Lives family, Joseph Mascolo,” 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.”
Mascolo played Stefano DiMera on the daytime soap from 1982 to 1985, and then returned in 1988 and from 1993 to 2001. He continued making appearances until the character died on the show in 2016, after at least a dozen fake deaths.
He also played a villain on General Hospital, and appeared in The Bold and the Beautiful, Santa Barbara., The Incredible Hulk, All in the Family, Lou Grant, and The Rockford Files. Film credits included Jaws 2, Shaft’s Big Score, Sharky’s Machine, and Heat.
Soap Opera Digest named him their all-time best villain.