Of all the villains who have made the town of Salem and Days of Our Lives their home, there has been none more evil than Stefano DiMera.
The diabolical DiMera first appeared in the fictional town of Salem in 1982 alongside his son Tony, after being introduced to viewers as the pal of Lee DuMonde. He was soon revealed as the father of Lee’s daughter, Renee.
Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) began his trail of terror in Salem by attempting to help Tony win back his wife, Liz Chandler. After being blackmailed by Stuart Wyland, Stefano killed him. After several other heinous acts, he was sent to prison where he allegedly died from a stroke.
Upon his return, Stefano and Andre (Thaao Penghlis), Tony’s cousin who got plastic surgery to look like him, blackmailed Roman Brady and attempted to frame him for a series of suspicious murders in Salem.
Stefano then reconnected with his biological daughter, Megan Hathaway, who had access to three prisms that could cure a recently diagnosed brain tumor in the evildoer.
In a quest to obtain one of the prisms, Stefano killed Roman after pushing him off a cliff.
Megan was later killed in a hot tub accident and Stefano vowed revenge on the entire Brady family. He soon kidnapped Roman’s twins Sami and Eric, from their mother Marlena (Deidre Hall).
Stefano was later shot and “killed’ by the good Doctor Evans.
Through the years, Stefano would die and return to life, soon gaining the nickname, The Phoenix. More children were revealed as his, including Lexie Carver and a deaf boy named Benjy. Stefano even dressed as an Elvis impersonator and impregnated Susan Banks, who gave birth to a son she named Elvis Jr., who later became known as E.J.
Stefano was so evil that even his presence caused Marlena to be possessed by the devil himself.
Years later, Stefano set up a potential love affair between Sami Brady and his son EJ so she could get pregnant and Stefano could use the fetus’s stem cells to improve his health. Stefano later agreed to help EJ’s second wife, Nicole, hide the fact that she switched another baby with Sami’s child upon its birth.
After time in and out of Salem, Stefano suffered a stroke last year and was left wheelchair-bound. Hope (Kristian Alfonso) killed Stefano by shooting him three times point blank in the chest. It seemed The Phoenix would never rise on Days of Our Lives again, but sometimes he appears to son, Chad, in his dreams.
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