Jennifer Aniston’s Parents Were Both Actors — and They Tried Convincing Her Not to Join the Industry

Jennifer Aniston is famous for her work in the cult classic TV series, Friends, receiving praise for her ability to effortlessly portray comedic and dramatic roles. Aniston rose to fame for her television roles before transitioning to primarily film.

These days, at the age of 52, she’s doing better than ever. Still, Aniston revealed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that her parents, both renowned actors in their own right, didn’t completely support the idea of her becoming an actress. They pushed her to become a doctor instead. 

Jennifer Aniston’s parents were both TV stars

Aniston was born in California in 1969. Her parents, Nancy Dow and John Aniston, were both experienced actors, having appeared in many TV shows and movies. John, a Greek-born performer, started acting regularly in the ’60s. He is best known for a longstanding role on the TV soap opera Days of Our Lives. John also appeared in such TV shows as Love of Life and Gilmore Girls.

Nancy Dow’s career never reached the heights of her husband’s. But she still landed a number of parts in TV shows including The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West. Despite both of Jennifer Aniston’s parents being in the entertainment industry, they kept her somewhat distanced from pop culture.

As Jennifer revealed in a 2015 interview with Collider, her parents rarely allowed her to watch TV. “I was also going to a Waldorf school, which didn’t allow you to watch television, but I could go to the theater,” Jennifer said. “And my dad was on a soap opera and is still on a soap opera.  So, I wasn’t really allowed to watch television, unless I was homesick, and then they allowed me to watch TV.”

What did Jennifer say about her parents supporting her acting ambitions?

Actor John Aniston and daughter actor Jennifer Aniston attend a party in 2006
Actor John Aniston (L) and daughter Jennifer Aniston in 2006 | Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Jennifer admitted she always had the acting bug, but it took a while to get her parents on board with her career plans. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the Friends actress said her father tried to convince her for a long time to choose a different path.

“My dad’s advice has always been: ‘Don’t do it. Become a doctor. Become a lawyer,'” Jennifer said. “He didn’t want me to be heartbroken because he knew it was a tough business. It compelled me to go for it even harder. Do what keeps you happy, and don’t ever let people box you in.”

Jennifer is now one of Hollywood’s most beloved performers

Ultimately, it’s a good thing Jennifer opted to ignore her father’s advice. It took a few years of working in low-budget TV shows and smaller films, but eventually, she broke through with her role on Friends. As Rachel Green, Jennifer became one of TV’s hottest stars. She used the platform that she earned with her TV success to springboard to a massive movie career.

Over the years, Jennifer has appeared in movies like Marley & Me, Bruce Almighty, Just Go with It, Horrible Bosses, and We’re the Millers.

Widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful women, Jennifer’s personal life has often made headlines. Through it all, the actress has always kept the focus on her work. It’s clear that even after so many years in the entertainment business, Jen still has a passion for the family business.

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