Jennifer Aniston Biography: Her Rise to Fame

Jennifer Aniston is a very influential American television and film actress, producer, director and a well-respected philanthropist. She is famous mostly for her comedic roles on both the big and small screen, including the decade-long TV sitcom "Friends", independent films such as "The Good Girl", "Friends with Money" and "Office Space" as well as blockbusters such as "Bruce Almighty", "Marley & Me", "The Switch" and "The Break-Up". She earned 5 Emmy nominations and a "Lead Actress" Emmy for her role as "Rachel" in "Friends". People magazine has repeatedly and in good reason saluted her as one of the most beautiful people in the world. GQ magazine has named her "Woman of the Year" and she has won 4 "People s Choice" awards as America s favorite television performer.

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9 Jennifer Aniston Childhood

Jennifer Joanna Aniston was born on February 11th, 1969 in Sherman Oaks, San Fernando Valley, California. Her father is Greek-American actor John Aniston, whose birth name is Iannis Anastassakis and he was born in Crete, Greece. Her mother is American actress Nancy Dow and she is of Scottish, Irish and Italian descent. Her godfather is the late Telly Savalas, a close friend of her father s. The family lived in Greece for one year, when Jen was 5 years old and then the family moved to Eddystone, Pennsylvania. When her father got a role in the soap opera "Love of Life", the family moved to New York. In a recent interview on "Inside the Actors Studio", she told host John Lipton that the "best times" in her childhood came right after her father landed this part, because the family could now "afford cereals" and "a nicer life", given the fact that they were "pretty broke". Nevertheless, she remembers growing up in a house "filled with laughter". Her parents were "hysterical" and she attributes her comedic genes to them and she learned this film genre from watching them, as they would constantly laugh.

The first school Jennifer attended was the famous Rudolph Steiner School, based on anthroposophy and where the arts are integrated. This was an "enchanting" period for her, because she could get all "crafty"( sculpting, drawing, playing instruments, performing theater plays). Academically she did "terribly", because she would drift a lot and daydream and she was sent to the principal s office for "goofing around". She was not allowed to watch TV and movies while growing up, her mother especially being very strict about this. Jen was however exposed to the NY theater scene from an early age and her favorite musical was "Annie", which she has seen at least three times. She was so obsessed with "Annie" that she played the record "over and over again". Art was a big part of her family s life and they always had museum trips. When she was 11 years old, while studying at Steiner, she had a painting, a beeswax crayon drawing of David and Goliath exposed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She was also in the volleyball, softball, baseball and basketball team at Steiner, however she " would sit on the bench most of the time". She even broke her nose during a baseball game, but as she says "it is not broke anymore", because she had two rhinoplasties, in 1994 and in 2007, for deviated septum.

8 Jennifer Aniston Career Path - A Survival Technique 

Her parents separated when she was nine years old. She learned abruptly that her father had moved out, when she came home from a birthday party. The parental loss has contributed to her choice of a career path - "I have learned to make a living doing what I did to try to heal myself as a kid", she said in an interview. Nevertheless, she would not change any part of her childhood and teenage years, because it helped her discover what she wanted to do with her life - finding the humor in things, making people laugh and lightening up the mood between disgruntled parents - but basically it was a survival technique. As a teenager, her ambition was to become an actress, because of the rush of hearing a live audience. She loved to be on stage and this is why she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. After graduation, she got a job as a waitress at Jackson Hall Hamburger. Other part -time jobs to support herself included receptionist at a beauty salon and at an advertising agency, bike messenger and telemarketer.

Aniston was very proud of making Al Pacino and Diane Keaton laugh when she played a role in a Public Theater (Off Broadway) production called "For Dear Life". However, her dream was to pursue an acting career and this is why she moved to Los Angeles when she was 20 years old, in 1989. She debuted in television a year later in the series "Molloy". She prefers to forget her big screen debut which occurred in 1992 in the horror movie "Leprechaun", because she does not like scary movies where she has to scream "ridiculously".

7 Jennifer Aniston Big Break in Television

Her big break came on a Tuesday in 1994, when she auditioned for the NBC s sitcom "Friends". She got the part of "Rachel" the next day. The director Jimmy Burrows took the entire cast on the Warner Bro. jet and headed to Las Vegas to play casino, because he said that it would be the last time they could enter a casino without being bothered by the paparazzi and he was entirely right. Aniston was involved in the development of the character "Rachel", because the writers of this TV show observed the cast in their daily activities, sometimes giving them the impression that their rooms were bugged. She describes her character as a "frail, vulnerable, corky, funny, loving woman", who was trying to get through life together with her friends.

Moreover, she considers this character as autobiographical in a way, because the entire cast grew up on this show which was shot in front of a live audience, the closest to theater. The last episode of "Friends" which aired in 2004 was watched by more than 51 million viewers. Deemed one of the best TV shows of all times, "Friends" earned 63 Emmy nominations. It also gave Aniston "everything", a "ridiculous blessed career" and the super-funny actress says it was the best time she has ever had. Turning down "Saturday Night Live" to star in "Friends" was somewhat "written in the stars". For the last two seasons ( numbers 9 and 10) of this sitcom, she was paid $1 million per episode, becoming the highest paid television actress of all time. "The Rachel" haircut is, to this day, one of the most asked for in hair salons. She is the godmother of her best friend Courteney Cox's daughter.

6 Jennifer Aniston Big Screen Performances

In 1997, while still appearing on "Friends", Jen got her big screen break playing "Kate" in the romantic comedy "Picture Perfect", alongside Kevin Bacon. Her "screen presence" was remarked by film critics and she was again critically acclaimed, a year later in 1998 for her part in "The Object of My Affection", starring also Paul Rudd, one of her closest friends. In 1999, she starred in "Office Space", a comedy with a late blooming popularity, ranking number 5 in the list of the greatest 25 comedies in the last 25 years. A change of direction, from comedy to drama, came with the 2002 film "The Good Girl". Her biggest box office success was her role in 2003 fantasy comedy "Bruce Almighty", in which she starred opposite Jim Carrey, with whom she was very excited to work.

Other commercially successful movies in which she played lead roles include "Along Came Polly" (2004) with Ben Stiller, "The Break-Up" (2006) with Vince Vaughn, "Marley & Me" (2008) with Owen Wilson, "He s Just Not That Into You" (2009) with Ben Affleck, "The Bounty Hunter" (2010) with Gerard Butler, "The Switch" (2010) with Jason Bateman, on which she was also executive producer, "Just Go With It" (2011) with Adam Sandler and the black comedy "Horrible Bosses"(2011) with Charlie Day, in which she played the sexual predator "Dr. Julia". In the 2012 comedy "Wanderlust" she was reunited with Paul Rudd and on the set of this movie she met her fiancee Justin Theroux. Aniston is the narrator of the educational documentary "Unity" which will be released in September 2013.

5 Jennifer Aniston Endorsement Deals and Production Company

In addition to acting, Jen has an endorsement deal with L Oreal for hair care products and with Smart Water, ever since 2007. Her YouTube video "Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral" released in 2011 tripled the sales of Smart Water in just one day. In 2005, Aniston withdrew from "Plan B Entertainment", a film production company which was founded in 2002 by her, Brad Grey (CEO of Paramount Pictures) and Brad Pitt. In 2008, she founded with Kristin Hahn another film production company, "Echo Films". Her net worth in 2012 was well over $138million.

Aniston starred in 2001 in Melissa Etheridge s ( a close friend) music video "I Want to Be In Love" and in 1996 in Tom Petty s "Walls". Jen has a floral and sensual perfume "Jennifer Aniston", "a personal library of scent memories" which was initially named "Lolavie" and it was released in 2010. She also plans to launch a fragrance for men.

4 Jennifer Aniston Cars, Gadgets and Favorite Fashion Accessories

Jen owns two cars, a white Toyota Prius and a black Range Rover. Toyota Prius is very popular with Hollywood stars, because it is a posh, eco-friendly and safe model, thanks to its advanced braking system and other traffic safety features. She has her Range Rover ever since she was married to Brad Pitt and this car includes a drive-based innovative navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity. Jennifer also owns a Blackberry Bold smartphone with a sleek black exterior, high-end user interface and advanced multimedia abilities. Aniston loves her chic Paul Smith Rhian sunglasses, her luxurious Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, her elegant Hermes handbags as well as her top-performance Nikon D200 digital camera.

3 Jennifer Aniston Hobbies

Her favorite hobby is interior design and she even says that she would like to attempt working as an interior designer. She appreciates a 1970s design style which features dark-colored wood, country antiques from the 1800s and womb-like, darker rooms for a cozy, homey feel. Her interior design ideas consist of an airy and industrial design style. Another hobby is regular exercise to keep her fit and healthy, mainly yoga, running and spinning. She is also devoted to transcendental meditation. She had two dogs, Norman and Dolly. Norman passed away in 2011 and in its memory, she got a tattoo with its name "Norman" on her foot, because she says this is her favorite word.

Jen also has a great passion for paintings and art in general. In September 2011, while her beau Justin Theroux did the bidding, she purchased at the "Artists for Haiti" auction a Glenn Ligon painting named "Stranger #44" for a whopping $450,000. It was for a good cause, because this NY auction, hosted by her good friend Ben Stiller benefits education and health systems in Haiti. Jen spent the summer holidays of 2011 in Hawaii together with Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor.

The charities that she supports financially include "St. Jude Children s Research Hospital", "Stand Up to Cancer", "Feeding America", "Friends of El Faro", "AmeriCares", "Doctors Without Borders", "OmniPeace" and "Habitat For Humanity", to mention just a few.

2 Jennifer Aniston Relationships 

She was romantically involved in the early 1990s with actors Charlie Schlatter, Daniel MacDonald, with the lead singer of "Counting Crowes" Adam Duritz and she was engaged with actor Tate Donovan in 1996, but their 3-year relationship ended in 1998, when she began dating Brad Pitt. The couple married in July 2000, in an extravagant wedding ceremony in Malibu. They had no children. Although this Hollywood couple was considered perfect, Jennifer filed for divorce in March 2005, after a "seven intense years" of living together. The divorce has seen Jennifer reunite with her decade-long estranged mother, who wrote the book about her " From Mother to Daughter to Friends: A Memoir". After her divorce from Brad Pitt, she had a one-year relationship respectively with Vince Vaughn and with Paul Sculfor in 2007. She also dated John Mayer and allegedly Gerard Butler.

In May 2011, Jen met American actor Justin Theroux on the set of "Wanderlust" and they began dating. They got engaged on August 12th, 2012 and this year they plan a stress-free, private, low-key wedding, only with families and close friends. She appreciates her "eye for design" when shopping for furnishings and they have spent over 14 months renovating and redecorating their Bel Air private mansion. While she is busy promoting her new film "Call Me Crazy:A Five Film" (as executive producer), for which she gathered a "dream team cast", Justin is in charge of finding the love nest for the couple. He was recently seen searching for a downtown New York apartment, where the couple plan to settle after their soon-to-be wedding and where they can enjoy their privacy. Although Jen thinks that kids do not automatically mean a "happier life", they want to start a family together.

1 Jennifer Aniston Homes

Jennifer sold in 2011 her Beverly Hills zen-like, very private mansion for $38 million, in order to purchase a NY deluxe apartment and the Bel Air mansion, which she shares with her fiancee. In 2012 she sold her elegant New York apartment for $6,5 million, although she paid $7 million for it. Jen bought her 8,500 square foot private Bel Air mansion for $21 million and it includes 4 bedrooms, a spacious living room with posh glass windows, 6 bathrooms, a huge kitchen, a vineyard, a wine cellar, a large swimming pool and large green shrubbery for a private and breathtaking oasis.

The future looks extremely bright for one of the funniest Hollywood actresses, whom says that comedy has allowed her to stay "immature", given her soon-to-be wedding to her beau Justin Theroux and her diverse movie projects, such as "We re the Millers", set for release in 2013. She says that she looks for parts she can have fun with and she feels lucky and fortunate that is entertaining people and giving them a good full escape, which is very rewarding for Jennifer Aniston.


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