Days of Our Lives star John Aniston passed away last week (Friday 11 November), aged 89, his family have confirmed. The Greek American actor was born Yannis Anastassakis in Crete in 1933 and moved to America when his daughter, Friends star Jennifer Aniston was two years old - he changed his name on moving to America.
John was married twice - he married his first wife, American actress Nancy Dow, with whom he had a daughter, Jennifer Aniston, in 1965 - they divorced in 1980. John married actress Sherry Rooney in 1984 - the couple had a son, Alex Aniston. John is survived by his wife Sherry, and children Jennifer and Alex.
Who was John Aniston?
John Aniston began acting in the early 1960s - his first screen role was as a police officer in the American crime drama 87th Precinct. He had a long-running role in the American soap opera Search for Tomorrow, playing Martin Tourneur over five years.
John’s best known role came in 1985 when he began playing Victor Kiriakis in the soap Days of Our Lives - the show became a major plotline in Friends, which starred John’s daughter Jennifer Aniston, as the character of Joey Tribiani was cast in the fictional version of the show. Kirakis was a crime boss in the soap, and John played the character in almost 3,000 episodes between 1985 and 2022.
John also had guest roles in several well known shows including Diagnosis Murder, Star Trek: Voyager, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, and Mad Men. His last screen role outside of Days of Our Lives was as Ned in the 2014 drama film Return to Zero.
He was honoured with the 2022 Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony in June, and his daughter attended the event on his behalf - she said at the time: "It’s an opportunity to not only pay tribute to a true icon in the daytime television world, but it’s also a chance to recognize the lifelong achievements of a great and well-respected actor, who also happens to be my dad."
Who are John Aniston’s children?
John Aniston has two children - his daughter Jennifer Aniston, 53, is best known for playing Rachel Green in Friends. She also starred in several romantic comedies including Along Came Polly, The Break-Up, Marley and Me, and Just Go With It.
John’s son, Alex, aged 33, lives mostly out of the public eye and is known as an artist. It was previously reported that he made a living from selling taxidermy made from roadkill. He has two children with his ex-girlfriend, tattoo artist Adriane Hallek.
What has Jennifer Aniston said about her father’s death?
John’s daughter, Jennifer Aniston, shared a tribute to her father on Instagram today (Monday 14 November) - she wrote: “Sweet papa… John Anthony Aniston. You were one of the most beautiful humans I ever knew. I am so grateful that you went soaring into the heavens in peace - and without pain.
“And on 11/11 no less! You always had perfect timing. That number will forever hold an even greater meaning for me now. I’ll love you till the end of time. Don’t forget to visit.”
Jennifer’s ex-husband Justin Theroux reacted to her post with a love heart emoji, as did fellow sitcom actress Kaley Cuoco, who played Penny in The Big Bang Theory.