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  Joseph Mascolo  
Joseph Mascolo






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  Joseph Mascolo

Just like Stefano DiMera, the character he plays on NBC’s daytime drama Days of Our Lives, Joseph Mascolo is somewhat of a Phoenix as well.  He’s had the good fortune to have been successful in two very competitive fields, first as a musician and then as an actor. 


Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, Mascolo attended both the University of Miami and West Point Academy.   From his early years, Mascolo seemed headed for a brilliant career as a classical musician. Through his teen years he played in various local bands and studied with some of the finest musicians in the country.  He earned a scholarship to attend the University of Miami and became a candidate for a Fulbright Scholarship to study orchestral conducting; his dream was to submerge himself in the study of opera in Italy. But there was a snag: the lack of an available conducting position was in Germany. 

Although he had never considered acting, a drama coach at the University heard his hearty Basso voice, and suggested that he give theatre a try.  Ultimately, he passed on the Fulbright and began his path into an acting career. 


His drama professor recommended him to Stella Adler, who for decades was regarded as America’s foremost acting teacher, and she quickly took him under her wing. Of all the ways an actor supports himself while studying theatre and auditioning in New York City, Mascolo’s way is probably among the most unique.  He took a coveted seat as a concert clarinetist with the orchestras of the Metropolitan Opera and Paul Lavalle, thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy his musical career as he studied for his future career in acting.


His first acting “gig” was in an off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, followed by an appearance in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge , where he succeeded Robert Duvall as Eddie Carbone and joined an ensemble including co-star Jon Voight and assistant director Dustin Hoffman. 

His first Broadway venture found him as an understudy to Neville Brand in Sidney Kingsley’s  Night Life.  His actual Broadway debut came in Dinner at Eight, mounted by theater legend Tyrone Guthrie. Over the years, Mascolo appeared in numerous theatrical productions, on and off-Broadway as well as at Lincoln Center.  

His theatrical roles also included three different productions as Harry Brock in Born Yesterday and Mangiacavallo in The Rose Tattoo opposite Olympia Dukakis.  After a run in London’s West End, Mascolo was back on Broadway starring with Charles Durning and Richard Dysart in the Pulitzer Prize-winning That Championship Season.  And it was the national tour of that play that brought Mascolo to Los Angeles for the first time where he appeared at the Ahmanson Theatre with Greer Garson.

He remained active in regional theatre appearing with the Hartford Stage Co., Buffalo’s Studio Arena, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, in the musicals Catch My Soul and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as leading characters in plays by Shakespeare, Shaw, Arthur Miller and Neil Simon, and numerous starring engagements at the Burt Reynolds Theatre in Juniper, FL.

One of Mascolo’s greatest memories is his role as Enrico Caruso in the World Premiere of the play Bravo Caruso! – 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 Papa 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.  He went on to appear in a wide range of classic shows, from Kojak, to Hill Street Blues and Lou Grant to It’s  Garry Shandling’s  Show.   Ironically, his first foray into television was in the role of Domino in the daytime drama General Hospital.  


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 and though he at first turned the role down because he did not want to be tied down to a long-time contract, she was relentless in her desire to have him be her Stefano and persisted after him until he finally accepted her offer. He became such a fan favorite on that show, that he stayed on for 18 years, taking time off now and then to do theatre which continues to be his first love. He has been nominated numerous times for a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Villain, and was awarded two successive Favorite Villain Awards by the editors and readers of  Soap Opera Digest.

In 2001 Stefano DiMera said farewell to Salem and Mascolo left Days of Our Lives to take a well-deserved vacation and pursue other career options.  But very quickly Bradley Bell, Executive Producer of the CBS daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful called and offered to create a role for him on his show.   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 – a startling revelation which set the course for years of exciting new storyline.  He left The Bold and the Beautiful in August 2006. 


Aside from his career, Mascolo has given generously of his time and talents to a wide variety of causes.  A street in Ocilla, Georgia was renamed Mascolo Drive in recognition of the efforts he made in helping to build a group home for mentally and emotionally impaired citizens in the remote southeast corner of that state.  He is very involved in the fundraising efforts of New Horizons, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that offers guidance, counseling and careers for adults with developmental disabilities, among numerous other charities that he supports.


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.


Joseph Mascolo

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