22. Stefano DiMera, Days of Our Lives
Played By: Joseph Mascalo
We imagine that most of you never got down with soap operas unless you were laid up on a sick day from school with a soap-loving relative. In that case, you probably don't know exactly how ubiquitous Stefano DiMera was to soap opera fans in the '80s and '90s. Fun fact: Soap Opera Digest named DiMera the greatest soap opera villain of all time. But that just begins to tell the tale of the character's immense popularity.
In 2001, when contract negotiations failed between actor Joseph Mascalo and the Days team, Mascalo showed up in short order in the role of Massimo Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful. In Stefano's on-again-off-again relationship with Days of Our Lives, DiMera has had 30 henchmen and has faked his own death over a dozen times. We may not be done counting fake deaths for Stefano yet: Six months after DiMera's most recent fake death, the character reappeared last October.
May Stefano's Rasputin-level soap opera swag continue to live on.