Born on March 13, 1935 in West Hartford, Connecticut, Joseph Mascolo played the clarinet as a child. In fact, he was so blessed with abilities in classical music that he played with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for two years. He never considered pursuing an acting career until a music scholarship at the University of Miami seemed to have guided him to such path. There, a drama coach suggested that he go onstage, after hearing his hearty basso voice.
Off-Broadway, Joseph Mascolo first appeared in a production of The Threepenny Opera. He then worked with Dustin Hoffman in a breakthrough performance in another off-Broadway production View from the Bridge. He debut in Broadway via Dinner at Eight, a production mounted by theater legend Tyrone Guthrie. Other than theatre, Mascolo also had some notable film credits to his name such as in Sharkey's Machine, Heat, Jaws II, Shaft's Big Score, and Yes, Giorgio!, where he sang a duet with legendary tenor and friend Luciano Pavarotti.
Outside show business, Joseph Mascolo does charity work for handicapped people and counts reading, tennis, and gardening as his hobbies. A one-mile street in Ocilla, Georgia is named after him for the humanitarian work he has done in the area. His favorite actors are Marlon Brando and Marcello Mastroianni, while his favorite actresses are Meryl Streep, Anna Magnani. He loves pasta and vanilla ice cream and considers his intuition as his best quality. He also enjoys gardening. In fact, he has flowers, such as roses, and fruit-bearing trees, such as grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, peach, apricot and tangelos, strawberries.
His most recognizable role is with the NBC soap Days of our Lives as Stefano DiMera
. After more than ten years in the soap, he returns on 2007. Asked how he was convinced to return to the soap, he said the producers and him managed to work through their disagreements and they eventually discussed what the writers had in mind, which was to get to the heart of a long-standing feud which is central to the plot.