He arose from the dead more times than Jason, Michael and Freddy combined. But the bittersweet reality of fictional characters is that they are played by real people and Joseph Mascolo, the beloved portrayer of Days of Our Lives’ most popular Gothic zombie Stefano DiMera, unfortunately, proved that sad truth with his passing on December 7th, 2017 at the age of 87.
With his smooth (and often winking) delivery, Mascolo made DiMera one of daytime drama’s most popular villains. The bit of acting genius has been rewarded, over the years, by the fact that whether DiMera was kidnapping and cloning his rivals or leaving Marlena, the soap’s eternal heroine, open for satanic possession or even rising from the ashes of a watery grave – his character earned the nickname “The Phoenix” for his seeming ability to regenerate from willpower alone, Mascolo was always embraced, heartily, by the show’s fans.
Horror fans who don’t need a little love in the afternoon and are totally unaware of DiMera’s supernatural villainy, have reason to mourn Mascolo, as well. Notable among his many credits, he brought a nice sense of bravado to businessman Len Peterson in Jaws 2 and he was very popular among fans of that movie, even taking part in the book Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, in the decades since its premiere.
So let’s wish this legend a fond journey into the unknown. May he ascend, forever, in our hearts.
…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!