The soap opera legend passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, NBC News reports.
“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 of the soapie 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.”
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Mascolo is most famous for his villainous role as Stefano DiMera on the NBC soap opera, but Mascolo played several roles throughout his career. He started out in theatre before moving to television.
He’s acted in films such as Diary of a Mad Housewife, Heat, Shaft’s Big Score and Jaws ll.
Mascolo starred in Days of Our Lives for almost two decades.
He leaves behind his wife, son, step-daughter, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“Joseph was a big ol’ bear with a puppy dog heart,” his wife, Patricia, said in a statement. “I’m so blessed to have had these many years with him. I will miss him every day.”