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Jennifer Aniston Biography

Jennifer Aniston


Name: Jennifer Aniston
Profession: Actress
Birth Date: February 11, 1969
Height: 5' 5"

Jennifer Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning American actress. She grew up in Greece, California, and New York City, and began appearing in stage productions in the late 1980s. After several lesser-known film and television roles during the early 1990s, Aniston came to fame playing Rachel Greene on the highly-popular television sitcom Friends. She has since established a film career as a leading actress, having starred in several notable Hollywood films, including Bruce Almighty and Rumor Has It. Aniston has also become known for her marriage to, and eventual divorce from, actor Brad Pitt, and for her much-rumored subsequent relationship with actor Vince Vaughn.

Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California to actor John Aniston (originally Ioannis Anastassakis) and his then-wife Nancy Dow, who was also an actress; she has two half-brothers, John Melick (older) and Alex Aniston, who is younger. Aniston's father is Greek and her mother has Scottish and Italian ancestry. Aniston's godfather was the late Greek American actor Telly Savalas, who was her father's best friend, and Aniston spent some of her childhood in Greece, but most of it in New York City, where her father appeared in the soap operas Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow. In 1985, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Aniston's father starred on the soap opera Days of our Lives.

Aniston attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, and was a member of the drama club; among her high school friends was future human rights activist Chastity Bono. Aniston's desire to become an actress grew as she worked in Off-Broadway productions such as For Dear Life and Dancing on Checker's Grave. During this time, she supported herself with several part time jobs, including working as a telemarketer and bike messenger.

Aniston appeared as a "Nutri-System" girl on The Howard Stern Radio Show in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She moved to Hollywood and was cast in her first television roles in 1990, starring as a regular on the short-lived series Molloy and in the TV movie Camp Cucamonga. That same year, she also co-starred in Ferris Bueller, a television adaptation of the 1986 teen movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The series was quickly cancelled. Aniston then appeared in two more failed sitcoms, The Edge and Muddling Through, and guest-starred on Quantum Leap, Herman's Head and Burke's Law. After this string of canceled shows, along with her appearance in the critically-derided 1993 horror film, Leprechaun, Aniston seriously considered giving up acting.

Aniston's plans changed, however, after auditioning for Friends, a sitcom which was set to debut on NBC's 1994-1995 fall line-up. The producers of the show originally wanted Aniston to audition for the role of Monica Geller, but she persuaded them that she was better suited for the role of Rachel Green. She was cast in the role and played the character from 1994 until the show ended in 2004. The program was very successful and Aniston, along with her co-stars, gained wide renown fame among television watchers. Her hairstyle at the time, which became known as a "Rachel," was widely copied. Aniston received a salary of $1 million per episode for the last three seasons of Friends, as well as five Emmy nominations, including a win for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series."

Aniston has starred in several theatrical films, including the cult hit Office Space. She gained the most critical acclaim for her role in the low-budget 2002 film, The Good Girl, playing an unglamorous cashier in a small town. The filmed opened in just four theatres on opening weekend. Aniston's biggest box office success was her appearance in 2003's Bruce Almighty, in which she played the girlfriend of the title character (Jim Carrey); the film grossed $243 million in the U.S. and almost twice that worldwide. Aniston's 2004 film, Along Came Polly (opposite Ben Stiller), also did well at the box office.

In late 2005, Aniston headlined two major studio films, Derailed and Rumor Has It, both of which performed fairly at the box office, grossing over $30 million each. Derailed earned her much praise for taking a different role and doing it well. In the same year, she appeared in a European Heineken television commercial frequently aired before UEFA Champions League.

Also in 2006, Aniston appeared in the low-budget drama, Friends with Money, which received a limited release. This was another low budget film for the star following The Good Girl and Dreams of an Insomniac. Aniston also starred in the comedy The Break-Up, which was released on June 2 and grossed approximately $39 million during its opening weekend.