Aniston at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February, 2012
February 11, 1969 |
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, film director, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Brad Pitt (m. 2000; d. 2005)|
|Partner(s)||Justin Theroux (2011–present)|
|Parents||John Aniston and Nancy Dow|
Jennifer Joanna Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is an American actress, film director, and producer. Aniston made her screen debut in the 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 a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, Men's Health magazine voted Aniston the "Sexiest Woman of All Time".
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), Horrible Bosses (2011) and We're the Millers (2013). She is the co-founder of the production company Echo Films.
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. 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.
1989–93: Career beginnings
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 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.
Aniston's biggest box office success to date was her appearance in 2003's Bruce Almighty, in which she played the live-in girlfriend of Jim Carrey's title character. Aniston then starred in the 2004 film Along Came Polly opposite Ben Stiller. In late 2005, Aniston appeared in two major studio films, Derailed and Rumor Has It…. In 2006, Aniston appeared in the low-budget drama Friends with Money, which was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited release. Aniston's next film, The Break-Up, which was released on June 2, grossed approximately $39.17 million during its opening weekend, despite lukewarm reviews. In 2006, Aniston directed a hospital emergency room-set short film called Room 10, starring Robin Wright Penn and Kris Kristofferson as part of Glamour's Reel Moments film series. Aniston 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 Courteney Cox Arquette's series Dirt, playing Arquette's rival, Tina Harrod. She appeared in the third episode of Season 3 of NBC's 30 Rock playing Liz Lemon's old college roommate who stalks Jack Donaghy.
On December 25, 2008, Marley & Me, in which Aniston starred alongside Owen Wilson, was released. It set a record for the largest Christmas Day box office ever with $14.75 million in ticket sales. It earned a total of $51.7 million over the four-day weekend and placed #1 at the box office, a position it maintained for two weeks. The total worldwide gross was $242,717,113. Her next film in wide release, He's Just Not That Into You, where she starred opposite Ben Affleck, opened in February 2009. The movie made $178,390,243 globally and ranked at #1 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.
On July 16, 2009, Aniston received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on 30 Rock. Aniston was a guest star on the season 2 premiere of ABC's sitcom Cougar Town, playing a psychiatrist.
In March 2010, Aniston appeared in The Bounty Hunter, which costarred Gerard Butler. While the film received scathing reviews from critics, it was a modest box office success, garnering over $130 million worldwide. A lukewarm box-office reception greeted her next film, The Switch, in which she co-starred with Jason Bateman. The film's opening weekend drew what The Hollywood Reporter dubbed "a dispiriting $8.4 million". The film received generally mixed reviews, with review site Metacritic showing 13 out of 30 critics delivering a positive verdict.
By June 20, 2010, Aniston's movies had grossed more than $1 billion in the United States and over $1.7 billion worldwide. Aniston's Just Go with It, with Adam Sandler, was released on Valentine's Day weekend in 2011. The story is about a plastic surgeon, played by Sandler, who asks his office manager, played by Aniston, to pose as his wife, to prove his honesty to his much younger girlfriend, played by Brooklyn Decker. Also in 2011, Aniston starred in the comedy movie Horrible Bosses, with Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jamie Foxx, directed by Seth Gordon. The film focuses on a trio of employees who plot to murder their titular tyrannical supervisors. Aniston played one of the bosses, a sexually aggressive dentist who harasses Charlie Day's character.
In 2012, Aniston appeared in Wanderlust with Paul Rudd, with whom she co-starred in the 1998 movie The Object of My Affection and also Friends. The script, bought by Universal Pictures, was written by Rudd, Ken Marino, and David Wain, with the latter also directing the film, and was produced by Judd Apatow. The movie was about a married couple who join a commune after losing their money and deciding modern life is not for them.
Aniston starred with Jason Sudeikis in EUE/Screen Gems Productions' We're the Millers, filmed in summer 2012 in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. The film, a comedy about a drug dealer with a fake family, was released on August 7, 2013, receiving mixed reviews. We're the Millers was a financial success grossing $269 million against a budget of $37 million.
Aniston has appeared in various commercials and music videos. 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 Perry shot a 60-minute instructional video for the release of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating 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 Kristin Hahn formed the production company Echo Films.
Aniston worked for over a year on a new perfume, which was released on July 21, 2010, at Harrods in London. 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 simply Jennifer Aniston. In an interview following the launch, Aniston said that she would also like to create a fragrance for men.
Since 2007, Aniston has worked in a publicity campaign for the drink SmartWater; on March 7, 2011, she released a YouTube video, "Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral", for SmartWater, which tripled online interest in the product within 24 hours of its release. In January 2013, Aniston became the new spokesperson and face of Aveeno Skincare. The commercials began airing on TV in May 2013.
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 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 $500,000 to Doctors Without Borders, Haitian health care provider Partners in Health and AmeriCares, and also participated in the megastar-studded 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.
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
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 four to one. 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 actor 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 is the godmother of Coco Riley Arquette, the daughter of her good friends, actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
In the media
In 2007, Forbes rated Aniston as one of the top 10 richest women in entertainment and estimated her net worth to be about $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 $27 million.
In 2005, Aniston became the first-ever GQ Woman of the Year. She has frequently appeared on People's annual list of The Most Beautiful, and came in at #1 in 2004. She also topped the magazine's Best Dressed List in 2006. She has been a regular on FHMs 100 Sexiest Women list since 1996, ranking at #79 in 2012, #81 in 2010, #24 in 2009 and #27 in 2008. In 2011 The Telegraph reported the most sought after body parts of the rich and famous revealed by two Hollywood plastic surgeons who carried out a survey among their patients to build up the picture of what the perfect woman would look like. Under the category of the most sought after body shape Aniston was voted in the top three alongside Gisele Bündchen and Penélope Cruz. In the same year, readers of Men's Health magazine voted Aniston the "Sexiest Woman of All Time".
Although Aniston disliked the hairstyle she wore during her first two years on Friends, "The Rachel" became and remains very popular among women. Aniston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 22, 2012. The star is located at 6270 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of The W Hollywood Hotel. It is recognized as STAR 2,462nd. On Forbes' list of the 100 Most Powerful Actresses in Hollywood, Aniston was ranked number 8 in 2009, number 2 in both 2011 and 2012, and number 3 in 2013.
Awards and nominations
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- Smith, Sean (2008). Jennifer: The Unauthorized Biography. Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-0330449977.
- Marshall, Sarah (2007). Jennifer Aniston: The Biography of Hollywood's Sweetheart. John Blake. ISBN 978-1844544004.
- Lynette, Rachel (2010). Jennifer Aniston. Lucent Books. ISBN 978-1420502350.
- Bonner, Mike (2001). Jennifer Aniston. Chelsea House Publications. ISBN 978-0791064658.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jennifer Aniston.|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jennifer Aniston|
- Jennifer Aniston at the Internet Movie Database
- Jennifer Aniston at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jennifer Aniston at AllRovi
- Jennifer Aniston at People.com