Jennifer Aniston Says Goodbye to ‘Sweet Papa’

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Jennifer Aniston said goodbye to her “sweet papa” in an Instagram post Monday. Her father John Aniston, an actor best known for playing the charming but villainous Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives from 1985 onward, died Friday at age 89, People reports. Aniston, like Kiriakis, was a Greek American, CNN notes. He was born Yannis Anastassakis in 1933. His family anglicized the name when they moved from Crete to Pennsylvania when he was a boy. After attending Penn State University, he served as an intelligence officer in the Navy before moving to New York and launching his acting career.


Aniston’s many other TV roles including appearances in Airwolf, I Spy, Mad Men, and Star Trek: Voyager, per the Hollywood Reporter. He also appeared in two episodes of Kojak alongside his friend Telly Savalas, who is Jennifer Aniston’s godfather. Acting “beats working for a living. Especially when you’re doing theater you can feel the beast,” Aniston said in a 2018 Television Academy Foundation interview. “When you’re in a play and you really control the audience, it’s a lot of fun.” In the same interview, he discussed his daughter’s fame, saying that as a soap star, the recognition is “just enough to satisfy your ego but not enough to disrupt your life. Whereas some people, my daughter being one of them, can’t go anywhere.”


Jennifer Aniston praised the lifelong achievements of “a great and well-respected actor, who also happens to be my dad,” when her father was honored with a Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award this year. “You were one of the most beautiful humans I ever knew,” she wrote on Instagram Monday. “I am so grateful that you went soaring into the heavens in peace—and without pain. And on 11/11 no less! You always had perfect timing. That number will forever hold an even greater meaning for me now. I’ll love you till the end of time.” Her mother, Nancy Dow, John Aniston’s first wife, died in 2016. (Read more obituary stories.)

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