Jennifer Joanna Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is an American actress, film producer, and businessperson. Aniston is known for portraying Rachel Green on the television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), for which she earned a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG). The character was widely popular during the airing of the series and was later recognized as one of the greatest female characters in American television.
Aniston has played the female lead in a number of comedies and romantic comedies. 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 Office Space(1999), The Good Girl (2002), for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, Friends with Money (2006), and the drama Cake (2014), for which she received nominations for the Golden Globe Award, Critics' Choice Movie Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. In 2008, she co-founded the production company Echo Films.
She is the daughter of Greek-born actor John Aniston and American actress Nancy Dow. Divorced from actor Brad Pitt, to whom she was married for five years, Aniston is separated from actor Justin Theroux, whom she married in 2015. 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 2017, her net worth is estimated to be US$200 million. She has also been included in magazines' lists of the world's most beautiful women.
Early life Edit
Aniston was born on February 11, 1969 in Sherman Oaks, California, the daughter of actor John Aniston and actress Nancy Dow (1936–2016). Her father is Greek, while her mother was born in Connecticut. One of her maternal great-grandfathers, Louise Grieco, was an Arbëreshë immigrant. and her mother's other ancestry includes English, Irish, Scottish, and a small amount of Greek. Aniston has two half-brothers, John Melick, her older maternal 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 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, she began attending a Waldorf school. Her mother and father split up 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 age 11 at the Waldorf school, Aniston enrolled in and graduated from Manhattan's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she joined the school's drama society.Anthony Abeson was her drama teacher. She was in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window by Lorraine Hansberry and Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov.
Beginnings (1988–1993) Edit
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 1988, Aniston had an uncredited minor role in the critically panned sci-fi adventure film Mac and Me. In 1989, she appeared on The Howard Stern Show, as a spokesmodel for Nutrisystem, and moved back to Los Angeles.
In 1990, Aniston obtained her first television role, as a regular, on the series Molloy, and appeared in Ferris Bueller, a television adaptation of the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off; both series were quickly canceled. She starred as a teenager going to summer camp in the made-for-television film Camp Cucamonga (1990), and as a spoiled daughter followed by a vengeful leprechaun in the horror film Leprechaun (1993). A 2014 retrospective from Entertainment Weekly identified Leprechaun as Aniston's worst role to date,and Aniston herself has expressed embarrassment over it.
Aniston also appeared in two more failed television comedy series, The Edgeand Muddling Through, and guest-starred in Quantum Leap, Herman's Head, and Burke's Law.
Friends (1994–2004) Edit
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 Coxwas 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 worldwide recognition among television viewers. Her character was widely popular during the airing of the series and was later recognized as one of the greatest female characters in American television. The actress received a salary of US$1 million per episode for the last two seasons of Friends, as well as five Primetime Emmy Award nominations (two for Supporting Actress, three for Lead Actress), including a win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and won, in 2003, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy. 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 US$1 million-per-episode paycheck for the final season of Friends.Her character's relationship with Ross Geller, portrayed by David Schwimmer in the show, was widely popular among audiences, and the couple were frequently voted as TV's favorite couple by polls and magazines.
Following a four-year hiatus from cinema, Aniston returned to film work in 1996, when she performed in the ensemble cast of the romantic comedy She's the One, with Cameron Diaz. Aniston's first starring vehicle was the film Picture Perfect (1997), in which she starred as a struggling young advertising executive, opposite Kevin Bacon and Jay Mohr. While the film received mixed reviews, it was a moderate commercial success, and Aniston's performance was more warmly received, with many critics suggesting that she had screen presence.In 1998, she appeared as a woman who falls for a gay man (played by Paul Rudd) in the romantic comedy The Object of My Affection, and in 1999, she starred as a restaurant waitress in the cult film Office Space for director Mike Judge.
Aniston starred in the independent dramedy The Good Girl (2002), as an unglamorous cashier who cheats on her husband. The film was a commercial success in limited release, taking in over US$14 million in North America.Film critic Roger Ebert declared the role as her breakthrough film, stating that, "after languishing in a series of overlooked movies that ranged from the entertaining Office Space to the disposable Picture Perfect, Jennifer Aniston has at last decisively broken with her "Friends" image in an independent film of satiric fire and emotional turmoil. It will no longer be possible to consider her in the same way."
Aniston's biggest commercial success to date is the comedy Bruce Almighty (2003), in which she played the girlfriend of a television field reporter (Jim Carrey) offered the chance to be God himself for one week. With a worldwide box office gross of US$484 million, the film was the fifth highest-grossing big screen production of the year. Aniston next starred as the old classmate of a tightly-wound newly-wed in the romantic comedy Along Came Polly (2004), opposite Ben Stiller, which placed number one at the North American box office, earning US$27.7 million in its opening weekend; it eventually made US$172 million globally.
Continued film success (2005–2013) Edit
In 2005, Aniston appeared as an alluring woman having an affair with an advertising executive in the thriller Derailed, and as an obituary and wedding announcement writer in the romantic comedy Rumor Has It...; Both films were moderate box office hits. Aniston took on the role of a single, cash-strapped woman working as a maid in the independent drama Friends with Money (2006), which was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited release.
Aniston's next film was the romantic comedy The Break-Up (2006), alongside Vince Vaughn, in which she starred as one half of a couple having a crumbling complicated split when both refuse to move out of the pair's recently purchased condo. The film received mixed reviews but grossed approximately US$39.17 million during its opening weekend and US$204 million worldwide.The A.V. Club's Keith Phipps gave the film a negative review stating, "It's like watching the 'we were on a break' episode of Friends stretched to feature length, and without the blessed relief of commercial breaks or the promise of Seinfeldaround the corner." CinemaBlend gave the film a positive review stating, "In an era of formulaic romantic movies that bear no resemblance to reality, The Break-Up offers a refreshing flipside."
In 2006, Aniston directed a hospital emergency room-set short film called Room 10, starring Robin Wright and Kris Kristofferson as part of Glamour's Reel Moments film series. She noted that she was inspired to direct by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who also directed a short film in 2006. In 2007, Aniston guest-starred in an episode of Dirt, playing the rival of Courteney Cox'scharacter, and in the third episode of season three of 30 Rock, playing a woman who stalks Jack Donaghy. She received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the latter.
On December 25, 2008, the comedy drama Marley & Me, in which Aniston starred alongside Owen Wilson as the owners of the titular dog, was released. It set a record for the largest Christmas Day box office ever with US$14.75 million in ticket sales. It earned a total of US$51.7 million over the four-day weekend and placed number one at the box office, a position it maintained for two weeks. The total worldwide gross was US$242.7 million. Her next film in wide release, the romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You (2009), where she starred opposite Ben Affleck, opened in February. The movie grossed US$178.8 million globally and ranked at number one at the United States box office for its opening weekend. While the film received mixed reviews, Aniston, along with Affleck, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jennifer Connelly, were often praised by critics as being the stand-outs in the film.
Aniston appeared as the former wife of a bounty hunter in the romantic comedy action film The Bounty Hunter (2010), which also starred Gerard Butler. The film was panned by critics, with The Hollywood Reporter describing it as a "mishmash ends up as a thoroughly unfunny adult cartoon." Nevertheless, it was a box office success, garnering over US$130 million worldwide. A lukewarm box office reception greeted her next film, the romantic comedy The Switch (2010), in which she starred with Jason Bateman as a 30-something single woman who decides to have a child using a sperm bank. The film's opening weekend drew what The Hollywood Reporter dubbed "a dispiriting US$8.4 million." The film received generally mixed reviews, with review site Metacritic showing 13 out of 30 critics delivering a positive verdict.
In 2010, Aniston was also a guest star on the season 2 premiere of ABC'ssitcom Cougar Town, playing a psychiatrist. Her announcement to appear on Cougar Town garnered excitement and was dubbed as her return to television. The A.V. Club wrote, "Aniston plays Jules' therapist, and the part is more or less a twist on the old, 'The psychiatrist is crazier than the patient!' gimmick, though the show has a lot of fun with the idea that the therapist is obviously batshit [...] It's a funny bit, and it highlights just how much Jennifer Aniston is built to be a TV star." Numerous media outlets also praised her performance.
In 2011, she starred with Adam Sandler as an office manager posing as the wife of a plastic surgeon in the romantic comedy Just Go with It, which was released on Valentine's Day weekend, and played a sexually aggressive dentist who harasses his employee in the comedy Horrible Bosses, opposite Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jamie Foxx, directed by Seth Gordon. Just Go with It and Horrible Bosses both made over US$100 million in North America and US$200 million worldwide.
Aniston appeared in the comedy Wanderlust (2012) with Paul Rudd, with whom she acted in The Object of My Affection and also Friends, as a married couple who join a commune after losing their money and deciding modern life is not for them. The script for Wanderlust, bought by Universal Pictures, was produced by Judd Apatow. Wanderlust received positive reviews but was a box office failure, grossing only US$21 million worldwide, against a production budget of US$35 million. Aniston starred as a struggling stripper who agrees to pose as a wife for a drug deal, with Jason Sudeikis, in EUE/Screen GemsProductions' We're the Millers (2013), filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina and in the state of New Mexico. The film received mixed reviews from critics,but was a financial success, grossing US$269 million against a budget of US$37 million.
Recent roles (2014–present) Edit
Aniston played the role of a stoic socialite who becomes the target of an ill-planned kidnapping plot in Life of Crime (2014), a film adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1978 novel The Switch, with Tim Robbins, John Hawkes, Mos Def, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Junior. The film was released in limited theaters, to positive reviews. Catherine Shoard of The Guardian described her performance as "endearingly comic" and Eric Kohn of Indie Wire wrote that her role in the film outshone every recent film performance by her stating, "Aniston tops any of her recent performances with a spirited turn that harkens back to her neurotic days on Friends." She also reprised her role in the sequel Horrible Bosses 2 (2014).
Aniston starred in the film Cake (2014), directed by Daniel Barnz, portraying an astringent woman named Claire Simmons who struggles with chronic pain.The film received mixed reviews; however, Aniston's performance was highly praised, dubbed by some critics as "Oscar-worthy." The Toronto International Film Festival called her performance "heartbreakingly good",Gregory Ellwood of HitFix stated, "It's really on most people's radar for being a rare dramatic turn for Jennifer Aniston, and she doesn't disappoint." He further stated, "Aniston makes you believe in Claire's pain. She makes you believe this character is at her lowest point and only she can pull herself out of it. [...] It's a complete performance from beginning to end and she deserves the appropriate accolades for it." For her portrayal, Aniston was nominated for the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.
In 2015, Aniston starred as a reluctant therapist in the screwball comedy She's Funny That Way, directed by Peter Bogdanovich. The film, which was produced by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach and also starred Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Rhys Ifans, and Will Forte, received mixed reviews and found a limited release in theaters, but Aniston's performance was once again noticed. Wesley Morris of The Grantland called her "one of the great screen comedians. [...] Most of her scenes here are extraneous, but her vulgarity and tartness are so sharp that the movie needs them. [...] This isn't just Aniston having the best stuff. It's her having the most fun with her talent. She's funny in every way." She's "one of the film's few bright spots" for Lou Lumenick from The New York Post.
Aniston starred as a recently divorced mother of two children in the romantic comedy Mother's Day (2016), directed by Garry Marshall and opposite Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Timothy Olyphant, and Jason Sudeikis. The film was panned by critics and a moderate commercial success. In 2016, she voiced a workaholic and overprotective mother in the animated film Storks, alongside Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammer, which was released to mostly positive reviews, while it grossed over US$183.4 million with a US$70 million budget. Her last 2016 film role was that of a frigidly cold head honcho of a company in the comedy Office Christmas Party, directed by Josh Gordon & Will Speck and opposite Jason Bateman and Kate McKinnon. It made US$114.5 million globally.
In The Yellow Birds, a war drama directed by Alexandre Moors, Aniston portrayed the mother of a deceased soldier, alongside Alden Ehrenreich, Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, and Toni Collette. While she does not "normally gravitate toward being in war films", she made an exception with The Yellow Birds as it was "written so beautifully and in such a way [she] had never experienced". The film, first presented during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, received a VOD release in June 2018. Los Angeles Times wrote in its review: "Toni Collette and Jennifer Aniston as the soldiers' quite different but equally concerned mothers, deliver uniformly naturalistic performances".
In December 2018, Netflix released the Aniston-executive produced musical comedy Dumplin', in which she also starred, marking her first project for a streaming service. In 2018, her first original Netflix projects were also announced: Murder Mystery, a mystery comedy that reunites her with Adam Sandler, and First Ladies, a film about the first lesbian President of the United States, with Tig Notaro as her wife. Aniston and Reese Witherspoonare currently filming the morning show drama series The Morning Show for Apple. The series has been given a two season order and will be the first time Aniston returns to television in a main role since Friends. 
Other ventures Edit
Aniston has appeared in various commercials and music videos throughout her career. In 1996, she was in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers music video for "Walls". In 2001, Aniston was in Melissa Etheridge's music video for "I Want To Be In Love". She was cast in a Heineken commercial which was later banned in the U.S. due to branding issues. Aniston has also been in commercials for L'Oreal hair products. In 1995, Aniston and her Friends co-star Matthew Perryshot a 60-minute instructional video for the release of Microsoft's Windows 95operating system. Along with Brad Pitt and Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures, Aniston founded the film production company Plan B Entertainment in 2002, although she and Grey withdrew in 2005. In 2008, she and producer Kristin Hahn formed the production company Echo Films.
Under a contract with Elizabeth Arden, Inc., Aniston worked for over a year on her first perfume, which was released in July 2010. Original plans called for the perfume to be named Lolavie by Jennifer Aniston, but to avoid confusion with a similarly named perfume, the name was changed to Jennifer Aniston. In 2014, she launched her second perfume named J,followed by Near Dusk (2015), Beachscape (2016), Luxe and Chapter One(both in 2017).
Since 2007, she has worked in a publicity campaign for the drink SmartWater; on March 7, 2011, she released a YouTube video, titled "Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral", for SmartWater, which tripled online interest in the product within 24 hours of its release. In 2012, Aniston co-founded a hair care brand Living Proof and also became its spokesperson. The company was sold in 2016 to Unilever and Aniston left at that time. In January 2013, she became the new spokesperson and face of Aveeno Skincare. The commercials began airing in May 2013. In 2015, she became the new face of Emirates airline in a deal reported to be roughly US$5 million.Aniston's marketing campaign for the Dubai-based Emirates airline was reportedly a success, with the airline bagging No.1 position as the most popular brand in the UAE for the second consecutive year. The second ad was released in October 2016. In 2016, Aniston became a spokesperson for the Eyelove campaign to raise awareness of chronic dry eye.
Aniston is a supporter of Friends of El Faro, a grassroots non-profit organization that helps raise money for Casa Hogar Sion, an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. She has appeared in many TV commercials for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, which she supports. She also hosted September 2008's Stand Up to Cancer show. In the "It Can't Wait" campaign to free Burma, Aniston directed and starred in a video.
On April 14, 2007, Aniston received GLAAD's Vanguard Award for her contributions to increased visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. On Earth Day 2010, she joined Courteney Cox, Woody Harrelson, Ben Stiller and others, in "The Cove PSA: My Friend is...", an effort to stop the slaughter of dolphins and protect the Japanese people from the toxic levels of mercury found in dolphin meat. Other charities that Aniston has supported include AmeriCares, Clothes Off Our Back, Feeding America, EB Medical Research Foundation, Project A.L.S., OmniPeace, and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
Aniston donated US$500,000 to Doctors Without Borders, Haitian health care provider Partners In Health and AmeriCares, and also participated in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. In 2013, she was named the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) ambassador for the Saks Fifth Avenue Key To The Cure campaign, which raises funds for the EIF Women's Cancer Research Fund to support research into the detection, treatment, and cures for women's cancers. In 2015, she supported the Comic Relief, Inc. charity.
In 2016, Aniston was honored by SmartWater for her ongoing philanthropic work for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital at a special event in LA for the hospital that was attended by numerous celebrities. During the event, Aniston spoke of the importance of philanthropy in her life to InStyle magazine stating, "We live an extremely beautiful, fortunate life being able to do what we get to do for a living. And so it's a way of being able to be in a position to do something for people who are less able. It's something that makes my heart smile."
On October 12, 2017, it was reported that Aniston had donated US$500,000 to the Red Cross and another US$500,000 to the Ricky Martin Foundation to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Personal life Edit
Aniston met Brad Pitt in 1998; their relationship became high-profile as it was widely publicized in the press. She married Pitt, after two years of dating, on July 29, 2000 in a lavish Malibu wedding. For a few years, their marriage was considered the rare Hollywood success. On January 7, 2005, they announced their separation and finalized their divorce on October 2, 2005. During their divorce proceedings, there was intense speculation in the media that Pitt had been unfaithful to Aniston with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie, whom he started dating soon after the split. In the following months, the public's reaction toward the divorce was reported in the press, and "Team Aniston" and "Team Jolie" T-shirts appeared throughout the country.The divorce made the front-pages of tabloid magazines for years, and it still continues to be discussed in the media. Aniston commented on the divorce in a January 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, stating that "Nobody did anything wrong.... It was just like, sometimes things [happen]."
In 2005, amid reports that Pitt and Aniston's divorce was due to Aniston's refusal to have children with Pitt, Aniston stated to Vanity Fair, "I've never in my life said I didn't want to have children. I did and I do and I will... I would never give up that experience for a career." Aniston also 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 talked about her daughter on a television show and later wrote a book entitled, 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".
Aniston started a relationship with actor, director, and screenwriter Justin Theroux in May 2011. In January 2012, Aniston and Theroux purchased a home in Los Angeles's Bel-Air neighborhood for roughly US$22 million. They became engaged on August 10, 2012 and were married on August 5, 2015 at their Bel-Air estate. On February 15, 2018, Aniston and Theroux announced in a statement to the Associated Press their decision to separate at the end of 2017.
Aniston is a Democrat, donating to Barack Obama's presidential campaign and taking part in a fund-raising lunch for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 Presidential campaign.
Health and fitness Edit
Aniston practices yoga and Budokan karate. In 2014, Aniston spoke of her Transcendental Meditation practice.
Aniston said she had undiagnosed dyslexia, which had affected her education and self-esteem, and that after being diagnosed in her 20s, her outlook toward life changed. She stated, "I thought I wasn't smart. I just couldn't retain anything. Now I had this great discovery. I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained."
In the media Edit
Aniston is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. In 2007, Forbes rated her as one of the top 20 richest women in entertainment and estimated her net worth to be about US$110 million. Aniston was also included in the annual Star Salary Top 10 of trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter for 2006. According to Forbes, in October 2007, Aniston was the top-selling celebrity face of the entertainment industry. She was also Hollywood's most profitable actress. Aniston has been on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, based on "earnings and fame", every year since 2001, topping the list in 2003. For the year of 2008, Forbes listed Aniston's earnings as US$27 million. In 2014, Aniston ranked 3rd on Forbes Top Earning Actresses, earning US$31 million in that year. Her net worth is estimated to be US$150 million as of 2014. In 2015, Aniston ranked 5th on Forbes Top Earning Actresses, earning US$16.5 million in that year. In 2016, Aniston ranked 4th on Forbes Top Earning Actresses, earning US$21 million in that year. She has been on the Forbes Top Earning Actresses for 15 years, every year since 2001. In May 2017, Forbes estimated Aniston's net worth to be US$200 million. The following August, the magazine ranked her as the world's second highest-paid actress with yearly earnings of $25.5 million.