He had battled Alzheimer’s disease for many years.
Executive Producer of the show, Ken Corday, made the announcement on Friday:
“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.”
Mascolo joined the Days of Our Lives cast in 1982 when then Head Writer, Pat Falken-Smith, created the role of the villain Stefano for him.
After years of portraying the Phoenix in Salem, Mascolo left the soap in 2001 to join the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful as Massimo Marone, who was revealed to be Ridge’s biological father.
After five years, Mascolo left The Bold & the Beautiful and returned to Days of Our Lives in 2006, where he played Stefano ever since.
Mascolo is survived by his wife, Patricia Schultz-Mascolo, his son Peter, his step-daughter Laura, and his sister, Marie and her husband Ronald LaVoie. He also had five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, one niece, one nephew, 3 great nieces, one great nephew and one great-great niece.
In a statement, Schultz-Mascolo said, “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.”