Jennifer Joanna Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is an American actress, producer, and businesswoman. She is the daughter of actor John Aniston and actress Nancy Dow. Aniston gained worldwide recognition for portraying Rachel Green on the popular television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), a role which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. The character was widely popular during the airing of the series and became recognized as one of the 100 greatest female characters in United States television.
Aniston has played the female protagonist in a number of comedies and romantic comedy films. Her box office hits include Bruce Almighty (2003), The Break-Up (2006), Marley & Me (2008), Just Go with It (2011), Horrible Bosses (2011) and We’re the Millers (2013), each of which have grossed over US$200 million in worldwide receipts. Her most critically acclaimed roles were in The Good Girl (2002), for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, and the drama Cake (2014), for which she received nominations for the Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. Her other films include Along Came Polly (2004) and He’s Just Not That Into You (2009). In 2008, she co-founded the production company Echo Films.
In 2012, Aniston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood and as of 2014, her net worth is estimated to be US$150 million. She has also been included in magazines’ lists of the world’s most beautiful women. In 2004, Aniston was named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine, and Men’s Health magazine voted her the “Sexiest Woman of All Time” in 2011. Her personal life is also the subject of wide publicity. Divorced from actor Brad Pitt, to whom she was married for five years, she has been married to actor Justin Theroux since 2015.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 1988–93: Career beginnings
- 2.2 1994–02: Television breakthrough and rising film career
- 2.3 2003–11: Film career
- 2.4 2012–present
- 3 Other work and business ventures
- 4 Philanthropy
- 5 Personal life
- 5.1 Relationships
- 5.2 Health and fitness
- 6 In the media
- 6.1 Wealth
- 6.2 Public image
- 7 Accolades
- 8 Filmography
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Aniston was born February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek and a native of Crete, while her mother was born in New York City. One of her maternal great-grandfathers was an Italian immigrant and her mother’s other ancestry is English, Scottish, Irish and a small amount of Greek. Aniston has two half-brothers, John Melick, her maternal older half-brother, and Alex Aniston, her younger paternal half-brother. Aniston’s godfather was actor Telly Savalas, one of her father’s best friends.
As a child, Aniston lived in Greece for a year with her family. They then moved to Eddystone, Pennsylvania, where they lived with her grandmother Stella Anastassakis in a three-bedroom home. While living in Eddystone, Aniston was enrolled at a local elementary school. She and her family later moved to New York City. Despite her father’s television career, Aniston was discouraged from watching TV, though she found ways around the prohibition. When she was six, Aniston began attending a Waldorf school. During that time, Aniston’s father and mother split when she was nine years old. Her father is best known for his role as Victor Kiriakis on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives, which he originated in 1985. Her mother appeared in two 1960s TV series, The Wild Wild West and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Having discovered acting at eleven at the Waldorf school, Aniston enrolled and graduated at Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she joined the school’s drama society.
In 2015, Aniston spoke about a childhood incident that led to lifelong fear of water. She stated during a special event for her film Cake (2015), “I basically have a real fear of going underwater. I was a kid and I was riding this tricycle around a swimming pool and I drove my tricycle into the swimming pool and I didn’t let go and my brother tried to (help). So, I can’t go underwater and no one will believe me. I honestly can’t.” The incident led to filming a swimming pool scene 30 times on the set of the film with director Daniel Barnz before getting it right.