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His first acting gig was in an off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, followed by an appearance in A View from the Bridge, where he succeeded Robert Duvall as Eddie Carbone. Over the years, Mascolo appeared in numerous theatrical productions on and off-Broadway, as well as at Lincoln Center. One of Mascolo's greatest memories is his role as Enrico Caruso in the world premiere of the play Bravo Caruso!, which was an opportunity for him to combine his love of opera with his acting career.
His feature film debut came in Diary of a Mad Housewife, followed by roles in Sharky's Machine and Heat with Burt Reynolds, who describes his friend as "one of Hollywood's best kept secrets." Other films include Jaws II, Shaft's Big Score, and Yes Giorgio!, in which he realized a life-long dream as well as the challenge of singing a duet with his friend, renowned opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
In television, he attracted much attention and a primetime Emmy nomination as Poppa in the NBC mini-series Poppa and Me. He made television history on the award-winning series All in the Family, as the first person to ever sit in Archie Bucker's beloved chair, which is now in the Smithsonian Museum. But it was his appearance in the made-for-television mini-series The Gangster Chronicles that attracted the attention of Pat Falcon-Smith, then head writer for Days of our Lives, that took his career in an unexpected new direction. She created the role of Stefano DiMera specifically with him in mind.
In 2001 Stefano DiMera said farewell to Salem and Mascolo left Days of our Lives. However, The Bold and the Beautiful quickly came calling. The character of Massimo Marone was created and the history of that show was shaken when viewers found out that Massimo, not Eric Forrester, was the real father of Ridge. He left The Bold and the Beautiful in August 2006.
Aside from his career, Mascolo has given freely of his time and talents to a wide variety of causes. He is very involved in the fund raising efforts of New Horizons, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that offers guidance, counseling and careers for adults with developmental disabilities.
Mascolo currently resides in the Los Angeles area and also has recently built his "dream house" in Lake Arrowhead, CA. His favorite activities include gardening, playing tennis, reading and listening to music. His parents still live in West Harford, CT., he has a sister in Yucca Valley, CA and his grown son lives nearby in Los Angeles. Mascolo celebrates his birthday on March 13.
When Roman Brady interfered with Stefano's criminal enterprises, Stefano's revenge on the Brady family became a mild obsession. Stefano hated John Black so much that he erased his memory many years ago. While holding Hope Brady captive at Maison Blanche, Stefano made sure that she, too, had a major memory lapse. In an ironic twist of fate, Stefano learned that Lexie Carver, the wife of Salem's then Chief of Police, Abe Carver, was his daughter by long-time confidante Celeste.
Stefano was fascinated with Dr. Marlena Evans. He kidnapped her many times and came closest to winning her when he made nightly secret visits to her bedroom and led her away on hypnotic trips to a romantic world of his own making. Unfortunately for both of them, her mind-altering experience made Marlena susceptible to demonic possession. Stefano suffered several broken bones after being tossed out a window by one of her resident demons. After her exorcism, Marlena nursed Stefano back to health, but a lightning bolt jolted his memory and restored him to his evil ways.
A connoisseur of fine art, Stefano jumped at the opportunity to marry Vivian Alamain so that he could gain control of the priceless artwork in her possession. He brainwashed Hope to steal artwork for him. Greta Von Amburg led a team of Salemites to Europe where Hope was being held captive. During her time locked in a turret, Hope actually shared several tender moments with her captor, Stefano. The two even shared one night of passion. Hope was saved and her identity verified when the imposter "Hope" (Princess Gina) was shot and killed back in Salem.
Convinced that he was the father of Hope's baby, Stefano arranged to have her child switched with that of Rolf's drunken niece, Marlo. Lexie and Abe adopted Marlo's child, so they were raising Hope's child and the Bradys had Marlo's baby.
Stefano revealed that the Brady/DiMera feud began when the Bradys murdered Colleen, Sami's great-aunt and her dead ringer. EJ is a dead ringer for his grandfather, Santo, who was in love with Colleen. Stefano forced Sami and Lucas to get an annulment so she could marry EJ and he would end the feud. Unfortunately, Lucas shot EJ during the ceremony.
Amnesiac and presumed dead John Black turned up at the DiMera mansion! Stefano was arrested, and Marlena questioned him, eventually giving him an injection that paralyzed him, but left him conscious. It turned out that Stefano and Rolf had erased John's memory and put it on a computer disk. When Stefano recovered, he tried to once again turn John into his pawn.
When EJ and Nicole apparently had a child and married, she thought she had gotten away with covering up her miscarriage and ultimately the baby switch. What Nicole didn't know was that wily Stefano was onto her from the very beginning. He agreed to keep her secret. Eventually, EJ found out the truth. He refused to have anything more to do with his father. EJ kidnapped Sydney in an effort to gain the upper hand with Sami. Stefano didn't realize his son was responsible and was devastated. It looked as if Anna was behind the kidnapping, so Stefano caught her and made her admit the truth. He used this information as leverage to rekindle his relationship with EJ.
When Kate got in trouble for trying to poison Chloe and for imprisoning Daniel, there was a price to pay for Stefano's help: the two of them were married! A woman from both Kate and Stefano's past resurfaced, Madeline Peterson-Woods, the District Attorney's wife. It turned out that her son, Chad, has an interesting paternity. Stefano is his father!
Stefano came up with a plan to remove Rafe from Johnny and Sydney's life. He and EJ hired a small-time criminal to impersonate Rafe. He had surgery to look exactly like Rafe, and they tutored him on all things Brady. When Rafe went into the hospital following a car accident, Stefano made the switch. Rafe2 went home with Sami and began destroying her marriage. Stefano gave the real Rafe a drug that erased his memory and sent him to live in an institution.
When Stefano learned that Rafe2 had been arrested, he made plans to leave Salem. Rafe2 agreed to testify against the DiMeras in return for immunity and witness protection. Just as he was about to give an official statement, however some other inmates recognized him as Rafe and beat him to death. Stefano and EJ were released.
Hope uncovered some information that indicated that her grandmother Alice had shared a secret with Stefano. They had each locked up some information on the other in a safe deposit box, and each had a key. They opened the box. The envelope Bo and Hope received indicated she was married to John Black and they would have to travel to Alamainia to get a divorce. The secret Alice had on Stefano? EJ is not really his son! In Alamainia, Stefano turned John Black and Hope back into "the Pawn" and "Princess Gina" so they could find a priceless Anastasia egg they had stolen for him years before, but never delivered. In the meantime, he was having Marlena followed, in a scheme to gain leverage over John. Unfortunately for him (and for her), Kate thought he was having Marlena followed because he was still in love with her. She slept with Ian in a weak moment. Stefano learned about it and kicked her to the curb.
Shortly thereafter, Stefano was murdered, or so it seemed. There were many suspects, but the police focused on EJ. It turned out that it was all a ploy of Ian's. Stefano was still alive. Another ploy of Ian's? The letter that stated Stefano wasn't EJ's son. Turns out, he is!