Childhood & Early Life
Jennifer Aniston was born on February 11, 1969 in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles. Both her parents were well-known actors. Her father, John Aniston was best known for his role as Victor Kiriakis on ‘Days of Our Lives’, a popular soap opera on NBC TV network. Her Mother, Nancy Dow also made name for herself by her performances in a number of films and TV shows.
Jennifer spent the first part of her childhood in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, where the family shared a three bedroom house with her grandmother. There she started her education in an elementary school. Later the family shifted to New York City.
She was admitted to Waldorf School when she was six years old. Three years later her parents were separated. The divorce came through in 1980. She has a half brother named Alexander Aniston from her father’s second marriage.
Jennifer first started acting at the age of eleven while she was studying in Waldorf School. Later, she enrolled at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and graduated from there.
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In 1988, Jennifer Aniston started her acting career by working in Off Broadway shows like ‘For Dear Life’ and ‘Dancing on Checker's Grave’. However, she could not make much money out of her acting career. Instead, to support herself, she had to take up different part time jobs, such as that of telemarketer, waitress, and bike messenger.
In 1989, Jennifer appeared on ‘The Howard Stern Show’, the American radio show hosted by Howard Stern. She also worked as a spokesmodel for Nutrisystem, the company that deals in weight management.
In the same year she moved to Los Angeles, where her father used to stay. In 1990, she was cast in her first television serial named ‘Molloy’. It was aired from July 25, 1990 until August 29, 1990 on Fox. Next she acted in another short elevision serial called ‘Ferris Buller’; it was first aired on August 23, 1990 on NBC; but could not last the season.
Undeterred, she kept on acting in different television serials such as ‘The Edge’, ‘Muddling Through’; but none of them could last long. In fact, her casting in the ‘Muddling Through’ might have deprived her from being selected as the main cast in ‘Friends’.
In 1993, Jennifer Aniston made her film debut in ‘Leprechaun’. It was a horror film that received mostly negative reviews. Although it later became a cult film, it could not do much to improve Jennifer’s standing.
The breakthrough came with ‘Friends’, the famed American sitcom, which was aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004. Jennifer played the part of Rachel Green. The show, which was a huge success, helped to establish her in her chosen field.
In 1996, she returned to film with a role in ‘She’s The One’. There she played the role of Renee Fitzpatrick, the wife of the Wall Street stock investor Francis Fitzpatrick. The film received positive review and so did Jennifer Aniston.
In 1997, Jennifer Aniston received the star role in ‘The Picture Perfect’. It was a romantic comedy that also had many other well-known actors starring in important roles. In this film Jennifer portrayed the role of Kate Mosely and received a warm review for her performance.
Jennifer Aniston also received critical acclaim for her role in ‘Good Girl’. Meanwhile, she had also acted in a number of successful films like ‘Dream for an Insomniac’ (1998), ‘The Object of My Affection’ (1998), ‘Office Space’ (1999) etc.
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Later, she had star roles in different genre of films such as ‘Bruce Almighty’ (2003), ‘Along Came Polly’ (2004), ‘Derailed’ (2005), ‘Friends with Money’ (2006), ‘The Break Up’ (2006), ‘Marley and Me’ (2008), ’The Bounty Hunter” (2010) . ‘The Switch’ (2010), ‘Just Go with It’ (2011), ‘Horrible Boss’ (2011), Wanderlust’ (2012), ‘We’re the Millers’ (2013), ‘Life of Crime’ (2014), ’The Cake’ (2014) etc.
Other than acting in films, Jennifer Joana Ariston did numerous commercials and became brand ambassador for many well-known companies. She also appeared in many music videos such as ‘Walls’ and ‘I Want to be in Love’.
In 2015, Aniston made the heads turn with her performance as a reluctant therapist in the screwball comedy 'She's Funny That Way'.
In 2016, she was seen in the romantic comedy 'Mother's Day', opposite Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson. In the same year, she was also seen in the comedy ' Office Christmas Party'.
In 2017, Jennifer Aniston starred in the war drama 'The Yellow Birds'.
In 2018, she made her Netflix debut with the musical comedy Dumplin'.
In 2019, she will be seen alongside Reese Witherspoon in the Apple TV+ drama series 'The Morning Show'.
In 2002, she also founded a film production company named Plan B Entertainment. It was joint venture with Brad Pitt and Brad Grey. Later she withdrew from it to form Echo Films, another production company, with Kristin Hahn. Besides, she is the co-owner of a hair care company called ‘Living Proof’.
In 2014, she was seen in the black comedy crime film ' Life of Crime' and in the drama film 'Cake'. In both the movie her performance was highly praised.
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’Friends’, the popular American sitcom, was the first major work to come her way. It not only helped her gain worldwide recognition, but she also received US$1 million-per-episode during the last two seasons of the show.
’Good Girl’, the comedy drama released in 2002, is the next major landmark in her career. Until then, she was typecast in the role of Rachel Green of ‘Friends. ‘Good Girl’ helped her to break that image. She was also highly appreciated for performances in the film and got positive review.
’We’re the Millers’ (2013) is another major film of Jennifer Aniston. The film, with a budget of $37 million, grossed $270 million worldwide. Her 2006 film, ‘The break Up’ too grossed US$204 million worldwide.
‘Marley & Me’, released on December 25 2008, set a record for the largest ever Christmas Day ticket sales. On that very day, the film grossed over US$14.75 million and earned a total of US$51.7 million over the four-day weekend. The total worldwide gross was US$242.7 million.
Jennifer Ariston is a well-known activist and a philanthropist. She has donated generously to different philanthropic organizations such as Doctors without Borders, AmeriCares, Feeding America, Clothes Off Our Back, EB Medical Research Foundation, OmniPeace, and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, Project A.L.S., Friends of Al Faro etc.
Aniston has also contributed appreciably for the cause of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) and has hosted shows like Stand Up For Cancer and It Can’t Wait.
Awards & Achievements
Jennifer Aniston received five Emmy nominations for her work in ’Friends’ and won in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category. She was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for the same work and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2003.
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In 2004, Aniston was named "The Most Beautiful Woman" by People magazine. In fact she has been on such a list in many contemporary magazines.
In 2007, Jennifer Aniston won Vanguard Award for her role in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. It is presented annually by Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards to the select member of entertainment community.
In 2011, Men's Health magazine also voted her the "Sexiest Woman of All Time".
In 2012, Jennifer Aniston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2015, Aniston was awarded the Best Actress Award for her role in ‘Cake’ by Capri Hollywood Film Festival. She also received nomination for the same work in the same category for Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, but failed to win.
In addition, she won several People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards for her role in different TV shows and films.
Family & Personal Life
Jennifer Aniston married actor Brad Pitt on July 29, 2000 after two years of courtship. However, the marriage broke down within five years. The couple announced their separation on January 7, 2005 and finalized their divorce on October 2, 2005. They did not have any offspring.
The divorce reunited her with her mother, with whom she was estranged because of certain remarks made by her in a television show.
From May 2011, Jennifer began see Justin Theroux. The couple became engaged on August 10, 2012 and married after three years on August 5, 2015. They separated at the end of 2017.
Although both her parents were actors, young Jennifer was not allowed to watch television. However, she always found ways to bypass such strictures.
In her twenties Jennifer was diagnosed with dyslexia. Until then, she was suffering from low self-esteem. The diagnosis helped her to understand her shortcoming. She soon overcame all her troubles.
She also admitted of fear of water. Because of an accident in childhood she cannot make herself to go underwater. A scene that required her to get into a swimming pool had to be shot thirty times before it was cleared.
Her portrayal of Rachel Green made her a fashion icon and the hairstyle she wore began to be called ‘the Rachel’.
To keep fit, Jennifer Aniston practices yoga. From 2014 onwards, she has also started practicing transcendental meditation twice a day.