John Aniston, a veteran actor best known for his work on the daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” has died, his daughter, actress Jennifer Aniston, announced Monday.
He was 89 years old.
“You were one of the most beautiful humans I have ever known. I am so grateful that you soared to the heavens in peace – and pain free. And 11/11 no less! You always had a perfect timing,” Jennifer Aniston wrote in a statement shared on Instagram. “This number will forever have even greater meaning to me now.”
The ‘Friends’ star began her post by writing, “Sweet dad… John Anthony Aniston”.
The actor has appeared in numerous television series and nearly three thousand episodes of “Days of Our Lives” during his long career.
“I will love you until the end of time,” Aniston concluded in her caption. “Don’t forget to visit.”
Aniston was born John Anastassakis on the Greek island of Crete in 1933. He emigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old and his family shortened his surname to Aniston.
Before becoming a soap opera star, Aniston served in the United States Navy and appeared in an off-Broadway musical, Soap Opera Digest reported.
He got his big break when he was cast in the long-running soap opera “Love of Life” and later “Search for Tomorrow.” But he didn’t become a household name until he joined “Days of our Lives” in 1985 as “romantic villain” Victor Kiriakis, a criminal with a penchant for charming women from Salem, Illinois.
Kirakis, like Aniston, was originally from Greece but was much more sinister: he was a gangster who ran a prostitution ring in town. Over the course of the series, Kiriakis has experienced several changes of heart and has bounced between his law-breaking mobster persona and his loving family man in hopes of winning his adult children back. In total, Aniston appeared on the show on and off for 37 years.
During her stints on soaps, Aniston opened a restaurant in New York, divorced his first wife, Nancy Dow, and married costar Sherry Rooney and moved to Los Angeles, according to a 1986 Soap Opera Digest profile. of Aniston.
Aniston was surprised that her daughter was considering following him into show business. In a 2019 interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Aniston said he found out his daughter had called his agent asking for auditions while he was appearing on “Search for Tomorrow.”
“I said to him, ‘You don’t want to be in show business. Show business stinks,'” he said. “I say to anyone who wants to be an actor, don’t be an actor, be something else. Because if I tell (them) to stay out of show business is going to drive them away, they shouldn’t be in it in the first place.
Of course, Aniston’s daughter didn’t listen and starred in one of the most successful sitcoms of all time and became one of the most famous actresses in the world.
In a 1990 interview with E! Alongside her daughter, Aniston offered both fatherly praise and sobering advice: “Jennifer is a natural talent,” he said to his daughter’s embarrassment, but reminded her that talent does not always lead to a long career.
But Aniston’s own career in soaps spanned more than 50 years, and in June, he received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy at the Daytime Emmy Awards. He did not attend the ceremony, but his daughter toasted him in an emotional speech.
“For more than 30 years, his dedication to ‘Days’ has earned him the respect and admiration of fellow actors, deep friendships, and the delight of millions of fans around the world,” she said. . “His career is literally the definition of lifetime achievement.”