"Days of Our Lives" Bids Adieu to Stefano DiMera Actor Joseph Mascolo

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Days of Our Lives fans have watched Stefano DiMera die and then come back from the dead more times than most can count. Always under the ruse "The Phoenix rises," DiMera would emerge from the dead to perform more heinous acts on the citizens of Salem.

On Friday, January 8, Days of Our Lives killed off Stefano DiMera for the very last time when Hope Brady shot him.

Kristian Alfonso spent more than 30 years playing Hope Brady alongside Stefano DiMera. She was shocked when she learned Joseph Mascolo was leaving the show, and even more shocked to learn it was her character killing him off.

“I gasped,” she says in the January 25 issue of Soap Opera Digest. “When they told me, I totally gasped because of my love for Joe and my love for this iconic character. Stefano and Hope have been through so much together. I couldn’t believe this was really going to happen.”

“To shoot those scenes was incredibly difficult because of where we began and where we traveled to where we’ve traveled all those years to where we’ve ended up,” Alfonso adds. “The more I thought about it, the more I felt I couldn’t get through the material. But, I had to get through the material…When I had to shoot him? Seriously, it took me to another place. Even now I can’t believe that Joseph Mascolo won’t be walking these halls.”

Joseph Mascolo joined the cast of Days of Our Lives back in 1982, and played the role--with a few breaks when he died--since then. It's almost unfathomable to think of Days of Our Lives without him.

In addition to his work on Days of Our Lives, Joseph Mascolo played Massimo Marone IV on The Bold and the Beautiful, Nicholas Van Buren on General Hospital, and Carlo Alvarez on Santa Barbara.

It's uncertain why Mascolo is exiting his role, but at 86, age likely something to do with it.

Will you miss the evil Stefano DiMera on Days of Our Lives? Who will become Salem's next villain?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.