Everyone knows Jennifer Aniston. The Friends actress is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood after all and is consistently appearing in A-list films and TV shows. But did you know that she followed in her father's footsteps when she first pursued a career in front of the camera? That's right, John Aniston is also an actor who has been a regular face on soap operas for over three decades.
Originally from the island of Crete, Aniston's birthname was Yannis Anastassakis but it was changed to John Anthony Aniston after his family moved from Greece to America when he was just a boy. Originally, his family settled in Pennsylvania where they owned and operated a restaurant. Aniston stayed close to home and obtained a Bachelor's degree from Penn State before joining the United States Navy where he served as an intelligence officer. He eventually even made the rank of Lieutenant Commander. But he decided to move out to New York City where he got his start acting on the stage in off-Broadway productions.
Aniston appeared in numerous TV shows and films at the beginning of his career including The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Virginian, and Mission: Impossible. But he was first introduced to daytime TV fans when he played the role of Eddie Aleata on Love of Life in the 70s. That was followed by the role of Martin Tourneur on Search for Tomorrow before he landed the role he is still playing today on Days of Our Lives — the Greek mogul Victor Kiriakis. The role of Victor earned Aniston a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2017 and two Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1986.
Though the actor has appeared on countless other shows over the years like Diagnosis Murder, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, and Star Trek: Voyager, he's best known for his recurring role as the crime boss Victor Kiriakis on the daytime drama who wreaks havoc in the town of Salem, Illinois.
Aniston had his daughter Jennifer with his first wife, model and actress Nancy Dow. The couple broke up when Jennifer was a young girl and Aniston went on to marry Sherry Rooney, whom he met on the set of Love of Life. They welcomed son Alexander and currently live together in Los Angeles. Last year, Jen shared an adorable throwback photo with her father on Instagram and we hope there are more coming!
It's clear from past interviews that Aniston is incredibly proud of his daughter and everything she has accomplished in her career. He knew early on that she had something special to share with the world.
"Jennifer is a natural talent," John raved in an interview with E! back in 1990. "There are certain things you can learn in this business, and there are certain things you can't learn. The comic instinct that she has is unerring. That's her greatest asset."
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