Jennifer Aniston, born February 11, 1969 in Los Angeles, is an American actress, director and producer.
She rose to international notoriety by playing, from 1994 to 2004, the character of Rachel Green in the worldwide hit sitcom Friends. Thanks to this role, she won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
She then continued her film career, alternating popular cinema (Almighty Bruce, Polly and I, The Rupture, Marley and Me, The Mytho, Comment Killing His Boss?, The Millers, a budding family, etc.) and films independent (35 hours is already too much, The Good Girl, Friends with Money, Life of Crime, Cake, etc.).
Jennifer Aniston is the daughter of Greek actor John Aniston (real name Anastassakis) and Nancy Dow, an actress of Scottish and Italian descent1,2. She has two half-brothers, John Melick and Alex Aniston. Her godfather is actor Telly Savalas, a close friend of her father3. She lived in Greece for a year. Some time later, she moved to New York2. Her parents divorced when she was 9 years old4.
She went to a Waldorf school when she was 6 and discovered acting. Later, she studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts with Anthony Abeson, her drama teacher. She plays there pieces like The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry or classics like Les Trois Sœurs by Anton Tchekhov5.
At the end of the 80s, she finished her studies and began to play various plays in small Broadway theaters. There is first Dancing on Checker’s Grave in 1988 then For Dear Life the following year alongside Tony Shalhoub6. At the same time, she does some odd jobs as a waitress and letter carrier. In 1989, she left New York for Los Angeles.
Newly arrived in Los Angeles, Jennifer Aniston begins by doing extras in Mac and I, considered a nanar. She quickly made her television debut in the Molloy series where she got the recurring role of Courtney Walker, a young waitress whose mother has just been released from prison. The series will last only one season8. The same year, she also landed the role of Jeannie Bueller in the television adaptation of La Folle Journée by Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller (en) 8, but this one was quickly canceled2. She also holds one of the main roles of the TV movie Camp Cucamonga where she plays the daughter of John Ratzenberger. Jennifer Aniston then appeared as a guest star on Quantum Code (1992), Herman’s Head (1993) and The Man with the Rolls (1994).
In the early 90s, she played recurring roles in two other series: The Edge, a sketch series that would last two seasons and Muddling Through, a sitcom that ended at the end of its first season, in 1994.
In 1993, she took her first steps in the cinema in the horror film Leprechaun. Descended by critics, the low-budget film met with great commercial success.
The success Friends (1994-2004)
Jennifer Aniston’s career will take a turning point after she auditioned for Friends, a sitcom slated to debut on NBC in the fall of 1994-1995. The producers first audition her for the role of Monica Geller9, but Courteney Cox is preferred to her. Jennifer Aniston is then chosen to play Rachel Green. At the same time, she is offered to join Saturday Night Live, but refuses, preferring to devote herself to Friends10. She will, however, make guest appearances there11. She also appeared in series such as The Larry Sanders Show in 1995 and Ménage à trois in 1996.
Jennifer Aniston will play Rachel from 1994 until the end of the series, in 200412,13. The immense success of Friends will allow Jennifer Aniston and her partners to acquire a worldwide reputation1. According to the Guinness Book of Records 2005, Jennifer Aniston and her female co-stars were then the highest paid television actresses of all time, earning a salary of $ 1,000,000 per episode in the tenth season14. She also received five Emmy nominations (two for Best Supporting Actress, three for Best Actress) and one award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series15,16,17,18. She also received two Golden Globe nominations for best actress in a musical or comedy television series (which she won in 2003) and nine at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including two as best actress in a comedy television series.
Independent cinema (1996-2002)
While continuing his filming of Friends, Jennifer Aniston begins to chain roles in the cinema. After three years of absence, she turns in 1996 in two independent films: Dream for an insomniac (in) with Ione Skye and Seymour Cassel, and Petits mensonges between brothers of Edward Burns, with Cameron Diaz, John Mahoney, Leslie Mann and Amanda Peet. The films receive a rather satisfactory reception from critics, and Jennifer Aniston is praised for her work. At the same time, she participates in the video game Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair. The purpose of this game is to introduce young filmmakers to filming and editing a film. Steven Spielberg directs a story in which Quentin Tarantino and Aniston are the two main characters.
She obtained her first film role and her first relative success in 1997 with Trait pour trait, alongside Kevin Bacon and Jay Mohr; we find him “a certain presence” on the screen, although the film received mixed reviews20. She then played small roles in ‘Til There Was You (1997) with Dylan McDermott and Sarah Jessica Parker and in The Thin Pink Line (1998).
In 1999, she lent her voice for an animated film for the first time with the character of Annie Hughes in the Brad Bird film, The Iron Giant. The film was a box office failure but met with a very warm reception from critics21. She continued her experience in voice acting with appearances in the series Hercules (Galatea) 22, South Park (Mrs. Stevens) and Kings of Texas (Pepperoni Sue) 23. That same year, she played in the comedy 35 hours, it’s already too much Mike Judge who depicts the weariness of employees of an open space. The film was once again acclaimed by critics but did not make a splash at the box office. However, DVD sales exploded shortly after the film’s release and it gradually became cult in the United States24. Judge will admit later that it was by casting Aniston that he was able to have the choice of other actors, the studios wanting at least one famous name in the credits25.
She also received excellent reviews for her performance in The Object of My Affection (1998), a melodramatic comedy directed by Britain’s Nicholas Hytner. She plays Nina Borowski, a young woman in love with a homosexual, played by Paul Rudd26
In 2001, she played Emily Poule, the manager and girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rock Star which takes place in the universe of heavy metal. Directed by Stephen Herek, the film is produced by George Clooney but despite a larger budget, it struggles to meet its audience27.
The following year, she starred in the drama The Good Girl (2002), in which she played a cashier living in a small provincial town, torn between her husband (John C. Reilly) and her lover (Jake Gyllenhaal) 28 . The film received very good reviews, especially for the performance of Aniston who won the Hollywood Film Award for Best Actress and was nominated for the Film Independent’s Spirit Award for Best Actress.
Commercial cinema (2003-2011)
Jennifer Aniston gets her biggest US box office hit with Almighty Bruce, alongside Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman29. The film reached an impressive 485 million worldwide receipts and opened at the top of the box office when it was released in the United States, a first for Jennifer30.
The following year, the final season of Friends aired and Aniston was starring in a new movie starring an American comedy figure: Ben Stiller. She plays Polly in Polly and Me31, this comedy is also a big success and is also at the top of the box office.
In 2005, she first tried her hand at psychological thriller with Dérapage, alongside Clive Owen and Vincent Cassel. She then takes the lead in the romantic comedy Rumor has it …, directed by Rob Reiner, where Kevin Costner, Mark Ruffalo and Shirley MacLaine give her the answer. Both films received average critical acclaim, but box office results remained decent.
The following year, she regained success with her third # 1 at the American box office thanks to The Rupture of Peyton Reed where she shared the screen with Vince Vaughn. The film follows the breakup of a couple, alternating between comedy and drama. She did not leave independent cinema, however, since she played in Friends with Money, directed by Nicole Holofcener, with Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack. They form a group of four friends in which Olivia (Aniston) has financial worries. After quitting her job as a teacher due to depression, she is forced to do housework to make ends meet. Unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival, the film received good reviews34 and turned out to be a box office success35.
In 2007, the actress was invited to play the role of Tina Harrod, the main character’s rival, in Courteney Cox’s new series36. She appears in the third episode of season 3 of NBC 30 Rock as Claire, a former college mate of Liz Lemon who harasses Jack Donaghy37. On July 16, 2009, she received an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in 30 Rock. In season 2 of the sitcom Cougar Town, she played a psychiatrist as a guest38.
In 2008, she played in Marley and I, alongside Owen Wilson, a film which reaped quite a good international success, especially in the United States thanks to the Christmas period with $ 51.7 million over the weekend of four days, and number one at the box office for two weeks39, ending his career with $ 242 million in worldwide revenue40. Then come Love Happens with Aaron Eckhart, What Men Think with Ben Affleck and Love Manager with Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson, which earn her critical acclaim, despite mixed reception of the films41,42.
In 2010, she co-starred with Gerard Butler in another romantic comedy, The Bounty Hunter, which met with critical failure but was a commercial success. His next project, A Very Modern Family with Jason Bateman, met with modest success and the press praised Jennifer Aniston’s acting, but the film received moderate reception.40,43
In early 2011, The Mytho, a comedy where she co-starred with Adam Sandler44, was released, which tells the story of a plastic surgeon, played by Sandler, who asks his secretary, played by Jennifer Aniston, to introduce herself as his wife to prove his honesty to his young girlfriend, played by Brooklyn Decker. Nicole Kidman is also part of the cast. Despite a negative critical reception, the film came first at the American box office in its first week of release, and met with great success with nearly $ 215 million in worldwide box office 40.
The actress will try to extricate herself from these very family and commercial romantic comedies at the end of this year 2011. And a few years later, she will admit being a little ashamed of some of her films.
Towards less family humor (2011-2013)
At the end of 2011, Jennifer Aniston breaks her image by playing a nymphomaniac dentist in How to kill your boss ?. The film focuses on a trio of employees who plot to assassinate their tyrannical superiors. She plays there a dentist who harasses the character played by Charlie Day46. Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx complete the cast. Rather well received by critics, the film is a huge commercial success, winning $ 214 million worldwide for a production budget of 35 million40.
In 2012, the actress confirmed her wish to trust specialists of a more irreverent humor by playing in Peace, Love and more if affinities with Paul Rudd, with whom she co-starred in The Object of my affection and Friends47. The script, which was acquired by Universal Pictures48, was written by Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, and David Wain, also director of the film, and is produced by Judd Apatow49. The film tells the story of a married couple who, after losing their money, join a community, and decide that modern life is not for them. Despite rather positive reviews, the film51 suffered a commercial failure at the box office52 with 24.1 million dollars of worldwide receipts53.
On May 22, 2013, she co-presented with her friend Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, of which she was the first guest when it premiered in 2004. The same year, she starred in the comedy Les Miller, une famille budding, where she plays a stripper posing as Jason Sudeikis’ wife in order to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border without raising suspicion. The film received a mixed reception from critics54 but was a huge success, accumulating more than 270 million receipts for a production cost of only 37 million55. It was the success of summer 2013, surpassing Les Flingueuses.
Diversification (since 2014)
In 2014, Jennifer Aniston starred in the crime comedy Life of Crime adapted from Elmore Leonard’s short story The Switch. Directed by Daniel Schechter, this feature film features a middle-class woman named Mickey Dawson (Jennifer) kidnapped by two ex-prisoners (John Hawkes and Mos Def). The bourgeois husband (Tim Robbins), seeing this as an opportunity to get rid of his wife, whom he no longer supports, and to spend more time with his mistress (Isla Fisher), does not pay the ransom. Mickey then sets up a plot with the criminals to get revenge on her husband. The film was only released in a few American theaters and saw its international release canceled56, despite a positive critical reception57.
She shoots the New York choral comedy Broadway Therapy (She’s Funny That Way) by Peter Bogdanovich, in a supporting role. His character, Jane, is the shrink of one of the central characters of the plot. The film receives average critical reception, but Jennifer Aniston is hailed by the majority of critics as the best element of the film.
That same year, she was announced to reprise her role as Dr. Julia Harris, in the sequel to How to Kill Your Boss? 61 which was released on November 26, 201462. The comedy, called How to Kill Your Boss 2, performed well at the box office63, but is less well received by critics than the first part of the film64.
On April 3, 2014, Jennifer Aniston begins filming an independent drama in Los Angeles: Cake. She stars and co-stars in the film with Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman. While the film received mixed reviews, 65 its performance was hailed. She received a nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Dramatic Film and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.
In early 2016, she was part of the four-star cast assembled by director Garry Marshall for the choral comedy Happy Mothers Day, alongside Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson. The film concludes a trilogy that began in 2010 with Valentine’s Day, and continued in 2011 with Happy New Year. Critics severely tackle the film66 but again conclude that Jennifer Aniston offers a good performance67,68,69. Comedy works only moderately in theaters70. This film is the last directed by Marshall who died a few months after the film’s release71.
At the end of 2015, she shot her first war film, under the direction of French filmmaker Alexandre Moors. In The Yellow Birds, she plays the mother of a soldier who went to fight in Iraq, and plays Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Tye Sheridan and Toni Collette. The film premiered in January 2017, at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Between March and June 2016, she appeared in Joyeux Bordel !, a comedy produced by DreamWorks SKG. She reunites with Jason Bateman and directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck with whom she had worked on A Very Modern Family in 2010. The film was released on December 9, 2016 in the United States and performed well despite mixed reviews.
She made her second animated film (after The Iron Giant in 1999), under the direction of Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. In Cigognes et Cie, she gives her voice to Sarah Gardner, the mother of a little boy who dreams of having a little brother. The film runs at the box office and is fairly well received by critics.
In September 2017, she made her return to the film sets after a year of absence with the film Dumplin ‘. Directed by Anne Fletcher, it is an adaptation of the novel Dumplin ‘, written by Julie Murphy in 2015. In this musical, Jennifer plays the mother of the main character, played by Danielle Macdonald. She is also a producer of the film, with her production company Echo Films. The film was acquired by Netflix and premiered on the platform in December 2018. Hailed by audiences and critics alike, the film received a Golden Globe nomination for best original song.
In June 2018, filming begins on Murder Mystery, an action comedy produced for Netflix in which she finds Adam Sandler, following their first success, seven years previously in The Mytho. The film is shot in Montreal and Italy73 and is directed by Kyle Newacheck. The film was released on June 14, 2019 and was a huge success, becoming the most viewed film of 2019 on the platform.
Jennifer Aniston announced that she wanted to return to a television series for some time when Apple TV announced that it had bought the rights to a series in which she would have the lead role, with Reese Witherspoon. The group’s new platform has ordered 2 seasons of 10 episodes of the series, based on the behind the scenes of American morning shows. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon star and also produce the series through their respective companies. Steve Carell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup, Nestor Carbonell, Mark Duplass and Bel Powley complete the cast75. Filming for the first season begins in October 2018 and ends on April 29, 2019.
Netflix announced in April 2018, that Tig Notaro and his partner Stephanie Allynne are writing First Ladies, a feature film in which Jennifer Aniston will play the first American and lesbian president, who will settle in the White House with her companion76.
Jennifer Aniston returns to television on November 1, 2019, alongside Reese Witherspoon on Apple TV +’s The Morning Show. This is Jennifer Aniston’s first leading TV role since Friends ended in 200477.
In 1996, Jennifer Aniston starred in Tom Petty and The HeartBreakers music video titled Walls (Circus).
In 2001, she appeared in Melissa Etheridge’s music video titled I Want to Be in Love.
In 2010, she signed a contract with the Elizabeth Arden, Inc. brand, allowing her to work on the development of a perfume. Her first fragrance was released on July 21, 2010 in Harrods, London and was called Jennifer Aniston. In 2014, she released her second fragrance called J78 and in 2015, she released Near Dusk, her third fragrance79. Her fourth fragrance, Beachscape, was released in 2016.
In the late 1990s, Jennifer Aniston appeared in an advertisement for Heineken. She also participated in commercials for L’Oréal productions.
In 1994, Jennifer Aniston and her friend from Friends, Matthew Perry, got together to film a 30-minute ad warning about new features in Windows 95.
Since 2007, she has become the face of the beverage company SmartWater.
In 2012, she became the face of the brand for skin cream Aveeno (en) 80 and the shampoo brand Living Proof, of which she is also the co-founder with her friend Chris McMillan81.
In January 2013, she also appeared in a British advertisement for an Internet network brand, Sky Switch Squad.
In 2015, she became the ambassador of the airline, Emirates for the sum of 5 million dollars82. On October 5, 2015, a first advertisement featuring the actress was unveiled83
In 2002, Jennifer Aniston, her husband Brad Pitt and Brad Gray founded the film production company Plan B Entertainment. After their divorce in 2005, Jennifer Aniston sold her shares to Brad Pitt, who continued to run the company alone.
Three years later, in 2008, she set up a new company with her friend Kristin Hahn, called Echo Films, with which they produced some films in which Jennifer Aniston played.
Jennifer Aniston supports many charities. She is a supporter of the Friends of El Faro, a community non-profit organization that helps raise funds for “Casa Hogar Sion”, an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. She has appeared in numerous commercials for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She made an appearance on Big Oprah’s Give to support the cause. Jennifer Aniston took part in a September 2008 edition to show the causes of cancer84. She plays in the “It Can’t Wait” campaign aimed at liberating Burma85.
On April 14, 2007, Jennifer Aniston received the Vanguard GLAAD Award for her contribution to increasing the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community86. On Earth Day 2010, she joined her friend Courteney Cox, along with Woody Harrelson, Ben Stiller and other Hollywood stars in “The Cove PSA” 87, an effort to stop dolphin fishing and to prevent the poisoning of Japanese consumers by the mercury found in dolphin meat88. She is also involved in supporting AmeriCares, Clothes Off Our Back, Feeding America, EB Medical Research Foundation, Project ALS, OmniPeace, and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network88.
Jennifer Aniston has donated over $ 500,000 to help the people of Haiti and participated in the Haiti Telethon89,90.
In 2013, she became the face of Financial Executives International to advance research against cancers that affect women.
During the campaign for the 2016 US presidential election, she supported Hillary Clinton91.
In June 2020, the 51-year-old actress decides to auction a portrait of her taken in 1995. The funds from this black and white photo will be used by the most disadvantaged to provide them with screening tests and treatment. facing the coronavirus.92
In 1989, Jennifer Aniston briefly saw Charlie Schlatter, whom he had met on the set of the Ferris Bueller93 series.
The following year, she met her “first love” in the person of Daniel McDonald, American actor and brother of Christopher McDonald. They will stay together for 4 years94.
In 1995, she began a relationship with actor Tate Donovan. Their relationship will last 3 years and they will go so far as to get engaged but will finally put an end to their story before marriage95.
In May 1998, Jennifer Aniston and actor Brad Pitt began a relationship. They get married on July 29, 2000. The private ceremony took place in Malibu96. For a few years, their marriage was considered one of the few Hollywood successes2. However, they announced their breakup on January 6, 200597. The divorce was pronounced on October 2, 200598 and Jennifer Aniston resumed her birth name. During this time there were rumors that Brad Pitt had been unfaithful, cheating on her with his movie partner Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie99.
In the following months, the strong public reaction was carried over to the press. This love triangle was and still is today; “Team Aniston” and “Team Jolie” t-shirts have even been created99. Despite his split from Brad Pitt, he and Jennifer Aniston have always kept in touch100,101.
After her divorce, she began a relationship with her partner from the movie The Rupture, Vince Vaughn. Their relationship lasted until their breakup was announced in December 200697. She dated English supermodel Paul Sculfor for a few months in 2007102. In February 2008, she started a relationship with singer John Mayer97. The couple announced their breakup in August 2008 before getting back together in October 2008 and finally breaking up in March 2009.
She is the godmother of Coco Riley Arquette, the daughter of Courteney Cox (actress of Friends). Her best friends are Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow, her partners in Friends.
She had her nose redone in 1994 as well as in 2007, due to a deviated nasal septum103.
She’s a Buddhist. She does not intend to change her belief in the near future, as confirmed by her press officer104.
From May 2011, she is in a relationship with Justin Theroux, met on the set of Peace, Love et plus si affinités (Wanderlust), with whom she bought a house in Los Angeles, in the Bel-Air district. , after selling his house in the Beverly Hills neighborhood105. They got engaged in August 2012106. They got married on August 5, 2015 at their Bel Air property in Los Angeles. Sia sings during the ceremony. Among the guests, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow are present107. In February 2018, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announced their divorce after two and a half years of marriage and nearly seven years together.
Since February 22, 2012, she has her star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On May 25, 2016, his mother Nancy Dow died of a stroke at the age of 79.
Jennifer Aniston has appeared on the tops of the most beautiful women in the world since 1995, and even arrived first in 2004, at the end of Friends. In April 2016, at the age of 47, she was again acclaimed by the American magazine People as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Since 2001, she is considered one of the most famous or influential actresses, arriving the first of the most famous personalities in 2003110.
In 2005, she became the very first woman to reach the Top of the GQ.
In 2006, she was voted the sexiest woman according to FHM, she arrived 81st in 2010, 24th in 2009 and 27th in 2008111.
She appeared in the Top 10 Star Salary in several magazines for her work in 2006112. In 2007, Forbes magazine placed Jennifer Aniston as the tenth richest woman in the world in the entertainment industry113. According to Forbes magazine, she was one of the best women in entertainment in 2007114.
In 2008, she won $ 27 million.
In February 2011, she was voted the Most Desirable Woman for Valentine’s Day. On August 31, 2011, she posed with Demi Moore and Alicia Keys for the cover of Glamor magazine, which aims to fight breast cancer. The three women participated in the making of five short films that will air on the American channel Life Style on October 10, 2011. In December 2011, Jennifer Aniston was named the sexiest woman of all time, according to Men’s magazine. Health.
In 2013, she was voted 34th sexiest woman of the year by FHM magazine. In this ranking, only four women are over 40 and Jennifer Aniston is the best ranked of the four since the others are at the bottom of the ranking (Linda Barker is 93rd, Susanna Reid is 96th and Sofía Vergara is 100th). Jennifer Aniston is also the second oldest woman in this ranking, behind Linda Barker who is 51 years old116.
In Forbes magazine’s list of Hollywood’s most powerful actresses, Jennifer Aniston is ranked 8th in 2009117, 2nd in 2011 and 2012118,119, and 3rd in 2013