Stefano DiMera, Days of our Lives’ preeminent baddie, was the brainchild of soapsmith Pat Falken Smith and actor Joseph Mascolo’s crowning glory. The character debuted 40 years ago today – a milestone born out of a partnership between his creator and his portrayer.
Days of our Lives Character Confidential – Stefano DiMera
The role had been tailor-made for Joseph Mascolo, so impressed was Smith with the work he had done on the NBC miniseries The Gangster Chronicles.
Over a series of meetings, the details and the faults of Stefano were ironed out. The Italian stallion was to be as power-mad as he was charming. He was a connoisseur of all things fine. His game of choice was chess. And he possessed a peculiar accent that Mascolo would adopt from the moment he walked into the studio and continue to speak in until he again crossed the threshold.
On January 18, 1982, Mascolo, and Stefano made their first appearance. As dictated by the storyline, Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) paid his father a visit, bringing with him a slideshow featuring stills of various Salemites in order that Stefano might acquaint himself with the townsfolk he’d soon be meeting.
Of the plethora of female specimens, Stefano zeroed in on Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes), Kayla Brady (then, Catherine Mary Stewart; now, Mary Beth Evans), and Marlena Evans Brady (Deidre Hall).
His interest in the latter would evolve into an outright obsession that never waned. His eventual relocation to Salem would bring trouble, strife, and uncontrolled mania. Lives would be taken, families torn asunder. A mark would well and truly be made.
Any attempt to quantify Stefano’s offspring would smack of folly – such is the propensity of DiMera offspring to emerge from the ether. Their number may very well be legion.
Eleven have so far been accounted for: Renee DuMonde, Andre DiMera, Megan Hathaway, Lexie Brooks Carver, Benjy Hawk, EJ DiMera, Chad DiMera, twins Stefan O. DiMera and Jake DiMera, and adoptees Peter Blake and Kristen Blake.
Equally undeterminable is the number of wives and lovers that Stefano has taken. Among their number are Daphne DiMera, Foxy Humdinger, Vivian Alamain, Gina Von Amberg, Lee DuMonde, and Celeste Perrault.
Days of our Lives: Skipping the River Styx
Stefano’s predilection for cheating death (he’s been immolated, defenestrated, seemingly exsanguinated, and plugged full of lead) seems to bear out DiMera family lore that immortality would be bestowed upon the seventh son born to a seventh son and earned him his nickname of The Phoenix.
What Is In A Name
Rudolpho Meradi, Serge Anatol, Dr. Joesph M. Wagner, Mrs. Lafferty, and Elvis Presley are but a few of the names and guises that Stefano adopted in order to personally plunder, kidnap, maim, sleuth, and surveil.
Days of our Lives Stefano DiMera Facts
* During his three+ decades of evil-doing, Stefano employed some 25 henchpersons, most notably Wilhelm Rolf, May Chin, Delia Abernathy, Petrov, Nurse Honeycutt, and Bart Beiderbecke.
* In addition to Mascolo, the part of Stefano has been played by Con Covert (1984), Frank Fata (1991), and Davide Schiavone (2006, 2007).
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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