John Aniston, Veteran Soap Opera Star and Father of Jennifer Aniston, Dies at 89

John Aniston, Days of Our Lives actor and Jennifer Aniston’s father, has died. The veteran soap opera star passed away on November 11, He was 89. Jennifer confirmed the sad news with a sweet tribute posted to her Instagram captioned: “Sweet papa…⁣ John Anthony Aniston. You were one of the most beautiful humans I ever knew. 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. Don’t forget to visit.”

John is best recognized for his decades-long portrayal of Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives. He has portrayed the sometimes villainous character, on and off, since 1985, last appearing on Friday’s episode. Earlier this year, John was honored for his commitment to the role with a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. Although he was not present at the ceremony, Jennifer gave a speech celebrating her father’s long-standing career:

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“For over 30 years, his dedication [to Days of Our Lives] has gained him respect and admiration of his fellow actors, deep friendships and thrilled millions of fans around the world. His career is literally the definition of lifetime achievement,” she said.

NBC

John was born in Crete, Greece in 1934. When his family emigrated to the United States, they changed their surname, originally Anastassakis, to Aniston. The family lived in Pennsylvania where John would later attend Pennsylvania State University and earn a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. After college and prior to taking up acting professionally, Aniston served in the US Navy, where he attained the rank of lieutenant commander.

Before appearing in Days of Our Lives, Aniston was a regular on another soap opera: Love of Life (later renamed Search for Tomorrow) from 1975-1984, in two different roles. Throughout his 60- year career, Aniston also had smaller roles in series including The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, That Girl, and Stark Trek: Voyager, among others.

Days of Our Lives shared their own tribute video as an homage to the actor and included the caption: “Our hearts are broken over the loss of our beloved family member John Aniston.We love you John. Your legend will live on.”

John is survived by Jennifer, his wife Sherry Rooney, and their son Alex. May he rest in peace.