Monday 24 September, 2018

Stefano is dead? Barbadians react to death of Days of Our Lives’ actor

The US soap opera Days of Our Lives was a staple on Barbados television from 1977 to 2014.

With the passing of legendary Days of Our Lives actor, Joseph Mascolo, the show’s fans have lost one of their most indomitable villains.

Reactions to the news of his death from Loop readers illustrated his popularity:

- Wow there will never be another like him. RIP

- Barbados feeling this death on a personal level. WHERE’S MARLENA?

- This man has died so much I can’t take this serious

- Is he really dead for he back up to his tricks? RIP TO THE BIG ONE!

- How much time Stefano dead doe... Loop ya get trick again!

- Watch him raise from the dead next week

- Oooor is he?

- Omg my grandma might have a heart attack if I tell her this

- My mother says she is going to the funeral

It was well-known that even when cable channels were introduced to Barbados, fans of the show continued to watch the series on the local channel, CBC – which was behind by decades – rather than watch the current episodes being aired on the network channel. Calypso group MADD released a song in 1989 entitled Days of Our Lives, satirising the impact the soap opera had on Barbadian society.

The soap opera was aired each weekday at 6 p.m. and in later years the week’s episodes were replayed in a five-hour marathon on Saturday afternoon.

CBC stopped airing the show on October 13, 2014.

The decision generated much conversation among Barbadians – despair from fans and delight from detractors who had argued that it promoted questionable morals and called for the show not to be given such pride of place on local television.

Mascolo portrayed the diabolical Stefano DiMera, the super villain who seemingly could not die – always returning to the show after every attempt to get rid of him. According to soaps.com, Stefano DiMera last appeared on the show as a ghost on Wednesday, June 8 2016, after being shot and killed by Hope Brady in an episode aired in January 2016.

While he was known as the Phoenix of Salem, perhaps it would be more fitting to describe Stefano as a cat since he was survived nine deaths on the show.

A comprehensive overview of the nine deaths of Stefano DiMera appears on about.com. Here’s a roundup:

1. 1984 – Stefano's limousine plunged into the Salem River. His body was not recovered and he was presumed dead.

2. 1985 – Marlena shot Stefano who then fell from the rafters into a burning building,

3. 1991 – John Black and Stefano got involved in a physical struggle in a Mayan temple in Mexico. Stefano was shot and fell into a fire.

4. 1994 – A car chase with John Black led to Stefano’s vehicle exploding and him seemingly dying in the blast.

5. During a hurricane, he escaped in a boat from his burning mansion. He went missing and was presumed dead.

6. 1996 – Stefano faked his and Marlena’s deaths in a plane crash.

7. Stefano was thought to have died in yet another explosion - this time in an underground tunnel in Paris.

8. 2002 – Stefano was said to have died in a car crash in Monte Carlo.

9. 2004 – Stefano was presumed to be one of the victims of the Salem Stalker.

Now with Mascolo gone, it seems that Stefano DiMera is well and truly gone from Days Of Our Lives. But then again... the world of soap operas is unpredictable!