Stefano DiMera's Many Deaths on 'Days of Our Lives'

A look back at the "Days of our Lives" villain who refused to die

Joseph Mascolo. Courtesy: NBC

When it comes to dying, nobody did it more elaborately or more often on "Days of our Lives" than Stefano DiMera. Since arriving in Salem in 1982, the character has met his maker numerous times, only to rise from the ashes months or years later. He's survived fires, gunshots, and explosions, not to mention more mundane maladies like a stroke, brain tumor, and heart attack.

It is unlikely fans will see Stefano rise from the dead again; the actor who portrayed him for more than 30 years, Joseph Mascolo, died in 2016. 

Here's a look back at the villainous Stefano DiMera's memorable "deaths."

Driving His Car Into the Salem River

In 1984, Stefano arrived in Salem to retrieve the Baka, a supposedly magical talisman, and to bring down his nemesis, Roman Brady. Stefano orchestrated a series of murders and framed Roman for all of them. When he finally obtained the Baka, Stefano used it to create a bomb which he planned to use to kill Roman's wife Marlena. 

Stefano planted the bomb at a charity benefit Marlena was attending, but the plot was foiled and she, survived. Stefano made a desperate getaway in a limo, which plunged into the Salem River. The driver's body was found, but Stefano's was not. He was presumed dead.

Stefano Burns at the Ice Show

After Stefano kidnapped her twins, Eric and Sami in 1985, Marlena confronted Stefano on the rafters above an ice show. She fired a shot at him and he dropped one of his valuable prisms, setting the arena on fire. The pair struggled and fell. While Bo rescued Marlena, Stefano plummeted into the blaze beneath them and was believed to have burned to death.

Fiery Ending: The Sequel

Stefano turned up inside a Mayan temple in Chichen Itzá in 1991 and admitted that he had masterminded Marlena's five-year disappearance and the real Roman Brady's "death" and return. It meant his pawn, John Black, was once again a man without an identity.

So after Roman and John discovered the location of the extremely valuable Mayan codices, Stefano revealed himself and made John an offer. In exchange for the codices, Stefano would give him a briefcase containing information about who he really was. John accepted, but as the exchange was being made, they struggled and a gun went off, Stefano was shot and fell into a fire, seemingly killed.

The Big Bang: Andre/Tony's Wedding

In 1994, Kristen's wedding day to "Tony," who was actually Andre, finally arrived. John interrupted the nuptials, and he and Stefano fought. Stefano took off, and John followed him and shot at the back of his car. The vehicle exploded into a giant fireball, and Stefano was believed to have perished yet again.

Hurricane Hijinks at Maison Blanche

Stefano somehow survived the wedding day explosion and retreated to his Louisiana estate, Maison Blanche, where he put his next evil plan into motion. He captured John and shackled him in the basement, then he kidnapped Marlena.

Roman, however, was hot on their trail and tracked them down. As the walls began closing in on Stefano, he tried to escape with "Gina," before anyone discovered she was really Hope. Celeste, Stefano's former mistress, torched the mansion as the pair fled off in a boat during a hurricane. After going missing, Stefano was believed to be dead.

Stefano Fakes a Plane Crash

In 1996, Stefano plotted to kidnap Marlena while she was flying to San Francisco with Rachel Blake, but the police foiled his plan. He arranged for the cops to "capture" him, so Marlena and Rachel could fly off safely.

After their plane left the ground, John discovered the man in police custody was wearing a latex mask of Stefano. The real Stefano had sneaked aboard Marlena's plane disguised as Rachel. He proceeded to fake a plane crash, which convinced everyone in Salem that he and Marlena had been killed.

Nightmare in Paris

In reality, Stefano had whisked Marlena off to the caverns below Paris, where he ruled as King and planned to make her his Queen of the Night. Eventually, John found Marlena, and the pair ran off through the tunnels with Stefano hot on their trail.

Meanwhile, Kristen, who was desperate to save John, showed up with her mother, Rachel, as did Abe and Lexie. They all survived an explosion and, eventually, found John holding a gun on Stefano. John was eager to carry Marlena, who had been injured in the blast, to safety. So he gave Rachel his gun to hold on Stefano. However, Stefano escaped, and Rachel ran after him.

The pair ended up near a gas tank. Rachel, determined to stop Stefano once and for all, shot at him and the tank exploded. Stefano and Rachel were both presumed dead.

Killer Crash in Monte Carlo

In 2002, Andre DiMera, posing as his cousin Tony, returned to Salem claiming Stefano had died from injuries sustained from a car crash in Monte Carlo.

The Salem Stalker 'Kills' Stefano

In 2004, Marlena and the other presumed dead victims of the Salem Stalker made a grisly discovery on Melaswen. They happened upon a room with a desk, turned the chair around, and found a totally charred, unrecognizable corpse. Andre, who was once again masquerading as Tony, argued that it was Stefano. Then, he coldly explained how he had killed his "father" and drained his blood to cure his own blood disease.

Ian Shoots Stefano, Framing EJ

When it appeared Stefano was shot and killed in 2012, his son EJ was the prime suspect. EJ and Sami Brady leave town but are kidnapped by Ian McAllister, who confesses he framed EJ for Stefano's murder.

Hope Shoots Stefano

Believing he killed her longtime love, Bo, Hope Brady shot Stefano in 2016. Rafe Hernandez helps her hide Stefano's body, and the pair framed Andre. Hope goes to jail for her crime. But when Stefano was spotted alive in Prague, it looked as if Hope would be off the hook. It was actually Shane Donovan dressed like Stefano. Later, however, photos surfaced that appeared to show the real Stefano alive and well.