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‘Days of Our Lives’ bad guy Joseph Mascolo dies at 87

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Actor Joseph Mascolo attends the Days Of Our Lives' 50th Anniversary Celebration at Hollywood Palladium on November 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Days Of Our lives)

LOS ANGELES — Joseph Mascolo, who played bad guy Stefano DiMera on NBC’s daytime serial “Days of Our Lives,” has died. He was 87.

A statement released Friday by NBC on behalf of Mascolo’s wife said he died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Mascolo was born in West Hartford.

Although best known for his soap opera role, Mascolo was a classically trained musician and appeared on Broadway in plays including “Dinner at Eight” and “That Championship Season.”

His wide-ranging TV credits included the prime-time series “Kojak,” ”Hill Street Blues” and “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” Besides starring on “Days of Our Lives,” Mascolo also appeared in the daytime serials “The Bold and the Beautiful,” ”General Hospital” and “Santa Barbara.”

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