After a long-standing battle with Alzheimer’s disease popular actor Joseph Mascolo has died at the age of 87.

The actor was known across the globe for playing the hugely popular villain‚ Stefano DiMera in the NBC’s soapie Days of Our Lives.
According to Hollywood Reporter‚ Jospeh died on Thursday‚ however‚ his family confirmed the news during the early hours of Saturday morning.
"Joseph was a big 'ol bear with a puppy dog heart. I’m so blessed to have had these many years with him. I will miss him every day‚” said his wife‚ Patricia Schultz-Mascolo in a statement. Joseph first appeared on Days of Our Lives in 1982 and had a recurring role on the soapie ever since then.
As South Africans woke up to the news on Saturday morning‚ Twitter has been inundated with tributes and memes surrounding the antics the actor’s character Stefano was popularly known for.