Jennifer Joanna Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is an American actress, film director, and producer. Aniston made her screen debut in the short-lived television series Molloy (1990), but her film career began in the horror film Leprechaun (1993). She gained worldwide recognition in the 1990s for portraying Rachel Green on the television sitcom Friends (1994-2004), a role which earned her an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2012, she received the 2,462nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions in motion pictures.
Aniston has also enjoyed a successful Hollywood film career. She gained critical acclaim for her performances in the independent films She's the One (1996), Office Space (1999), The Good Girl (2002), and Friends with Money (2006). She has had her greatest commercial successes with the films Bruce Almighty (2003), Along Came Polly (2004), The Break-Up (2006), Marley & Me (2008), He's Just Not That into You (2009), The Bounty Hunter (2010), Just Go with It (2011), and Horrible Bosses (2011).
Jennifer Aniston was born on 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 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 moved to Eddystone, Pennsylvania, then to New York City. Aniston attended the Rudolf Steiner School in New York.
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 the Rudolf Steiner School, a Waldorf educational school that applied the Rudolf Steiner philosophy. During that time, Aniston's father and mother split when she was nine years old.
Meanwhile, after discovering acting at eleven while attending Rudolf Steiner, Aniston enrolled and graduated at the Manhattan's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she joined the school's drama society.
1989-1993: Career beginningsEdit
Aniston worked in Off Broadway productions such as For Dear Life and Dancing on Checker's Grave, and supported herself with several part-time jobs, which included working as a telemarketer, waitress, and bike messenger. In 1989, Aniston appeared on The Howard Stern Show, as a spokesmodel for Nutrisystem. That year, Aniston moved back to Los Angeles.
Aniston was cast in her first television role in 1990, starring as a regular on the short-lived series Molloy. She then co-starred in Ferris Bueller, a television adaptation of the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and like Molloy also got quickly canceled. Aniston then appeared in two more failed television comedy series, The Edge and Muddling Through. Other roles included the critically derided 1993 horror film Leprechaun, the TV movie Camp Cucamonga, and guest roles on Quantum Leap, Herman's Head, and Burke's Law.
Depressed over her four unsuccessful television shows, Aniston approached Warren Littlefield at a Los Angeles gas station asking for reassurance about her career. The head of NBC entertainment encouraged Aniston to continue acting, and a few months later helped cast her for Friends, a sitcom that was set to debut on NBC's 1994-1995 fall lineup. The producers of the show originally wanted Aniston to audition for the role of Monica Geller, but Courteney Cox was considered to be better suited to the role. Thus, Aniston was cast as Rachel Green. She was also offered a spot as a featured player on Saturday Night Live, but turned it down to do Friends. She played the character of Rachel from 1994 until the show ended in 2004. The program was successful and Aniston, along with her co-stars, gained world-wide reputation among television viewers. Aniston received a salary of $1 million per episode for the last two seasons of Friends, as well as five Emmy nominations (two for Supporting Actress, three for Lead Actress), including a win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. According to the Guinness World Book of Records (2005), Aniston (along with her female costars) became the highest paid TV actress of all time with her $1 million-per-episode paycheck for the tenth season of Friends.
Following a four-year hiatus from cinema, Aniston returned to film work in 1996, when she played supporting roles in the independent films Dream for an Insomniac, and She's the One, alongside Edward Burns and Cameron Diaz. Aniston's first starring vehicle was the film Picture Perfect (1997), in which she starred opposite Kevin Bacon and Jay Mohr. While the film received mixed reviews, Aniston's performance was more warmly received, with many critics suggesting that she had screen presence. During the second half of the 1990s she starred in several films such as the ensemble romantic film 'Til There Was You (1997) with Dylan McDermott and Sarah Jessica Parker, The Thin Pink Line (1998), the animated feature The Iron Giant (1999), and the critically acclaimed comedy Office Space (1999). She gained critical acclaim for her performances in The Object of My Affection (1998), a comedy-drama about a woman who falls for a gay man (played by Paul Rudd), and in the low-budget 2002 film The Good Girl, playing an unglamorous cashier in a small town. The latter film opened in relatively few theaters - under 700 in total - taking $14M in the U.S. box office.
Between 1990 and 1994, Aniston had relationships with actor Daniel McDonald and musician Adam Duritz. In November 1995, Aniston began dating actor Tate Donovan; they became engaged in 1996 but ended the relationship in April 1998.
In May 1998, Aniston began dating actor Brad Pitt. They married on July 29, 2000, in a private wedding ceremony in Malibu. For a few years, their marriage was considered the rare Hollywood success. They announced their separation on January 6, 2005. Pitt and Aniston were seen together publicly after announcing their separation, even at a dinner party for Aniston's 36th birthday, and friends of the couple had declared they were reconciling. Aniston, however, filed for divorce on March 25, 2005. It was finalized on October 2, 2005. During this period there was intense speculation in the media that Pitt had been unfaithful to Aniston with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star, Angelina Jolie.
In the following months, the public's reaction towards the divorce was reported in the press. The story became the headline news of media shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, and made the front-pages of tabloid magazines for years. "Team Aniston" and "Team Jolie" T-shirts appeared, with "Team Aniston" shirts out-selling the "Team Jolie" shirts 4 to 1. Aniston revealed that her divorce prompted her to reach out to her mother, Nancy, from whom she was estranged for nearly a decade. They initially became estranged when Nancy spoke about her daughter on a television show and later wrote a book titled, From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir (1999). Aniston has also stated she was devastated by the death of her longtime therapist, whose work helped make her separation from Pitt easier. Aniston said her relationship with Pitt, which she does not regret, was "seven very intense years together" and that "it was a beautiful, complicated relationship."
After her divorce, Aniston began a relationship with actor Vince Vaughn, with whom she co-starred in The Break-Up. Relationship troubles were reported in September 2006, followed by a confirmed split in December of that year. In February 2008, she began dating singer John Mayer. The couple broke up in August, but they resumed the relationship in October before splitting again in March 2009. In May 2011, Aniston began a relationship with Justin Theroux. In January 2012, Aniston and Theroux purchased a home in Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood for roughly $22 million. On August 12, 2012 Aniston and Theroux announced their engagement.
Aniston has had two septoplasties to correct her deviated septum - one which was incorrectly done in 1994 and the second in January 2007. Aniston is a follower of Transcendental Meditation. Aniston is the godmother of Coco Riley Arquette, the daughter of her good friends, actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
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