- Veteran actor John Aniston, best known for his work on the daytime serial “Days of Our Lives,” has passed away, his daughter Jennifer Aniston revealed on Monday.
- He was 89.
“You were among the most attractive people I have ever met. I am so grateful that your ascent into the sky was peaceful and painless. And on 11/11 of all days! You always had impeccable timing,” Jennifer Aniston commented in an Instagram post. This number will forever hold a higher significance for me.
The “Friends” star wrote “Sweet papa… John Anthony Aniston” at the beginning of her message.
Throughout his lengthy career, the actor participated in various television series including nearly three thousand episodes of “Days of Our Lives.”
Aniston closed her caption with the phrase, “I’ll adore you forever.” “Don’t forget to visit.”
John Anastassakis was born on the Greek island of Crete in 1933. When he was 10 and his family immigrated to the United States, they shortened their surname to Aniston.
Before becoming a soap star, Aniston served in the United States Navy and performed in an off-Broadway musical, according to Soap Opera Digest.
When he was cast in the long-running soap operas “Love of Life” and “Search for Tomorrow,” he received his big break. Before joining “Days of our Lives” in 1985 as the “romantic villain” Victor Kiriakis, a criminal with a knack for seducing the women of Salem, Illinois, he was not a household name.
Kirakis, like Aniston, was from Greece, but he was far more dangerous: he operated a prostitution ring in the city. Throughout the course of the series, Kiriakis underwent several changes of heart and oscillated between his law-breaking gangster persona and loving family man attempting to regain custody of his adult children. Aniston appears intermittently on the series for a total of 37 years.
According to a 1986 Soap Opera Digest profile of Aniston, he opened a restaurant in New York, divorced his first wife, Nancy Dow, and married co-star Sherry Rooney before relocating to Los Angeles.
Aniston was startled that his daughter intended to follow him into the entertainment industry. Aniston revealed in a 2019 interview with the Television Academy Foundation that he discovered his daughter was calling his agent to request auditions while he was on “Search for Tomorrow.”
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“I told her, ‘You don’t want to be in the entertainment industry. “The entertainment industry stinks,” he said. “I tell everyone who wants to be an actor to be something else besides an actor. Because if my telling (them) to stay out of show business is going to keep them out, they should never have been in it.”
She went on to star in one of the most successful sitcoms in history and become one of the most famous actresses in the world.
In a 1990 interview with E! News alongside his daughter, Aniston offered both fatherly praise and sobering advice: “Jennifer is a natural talent,” he said to the embarrassment of his daughter, but he reminded her that talent does not always translate into a long career.
However, Aniston’s own soap opera career spanned over 50 years, and in June he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy at the Daytime Emmy Awards. He did not attend the ceremony, but his daughter gave a moving speech in his honor.
She stated, “His dedication to “Days” for over 30 years has earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow actors, cultivated deep friendships, and thrilled millions of fans around the world.” His career is the literal definition of a lifetime of accomplishments.