Greece is the ancestral home of many of Hollywood’s celebrities, but is Jennifer Aniston one of them?
Yes, Jennifer Aniston is predominantly Greek! Her father is Greek. Her mother is Italian, but even she has some Greek heritage. Jennifer is proud of her Greek roots and speaks about them often.
With ancestry DNA tests gaining popularity on the internet and in real life, it is natural to feel curious about your favorite celebrities’ roots as well. Read on to learn more about Jennifer’s!
Jennifer’s Roots Include Famous Greek Actors
Historians say that Greece is responsible for launching Western Civilization, but it seems to be the home of many celebrities as well. Greek names are notoriously difficult to pronounce, which is why many celebrities end up changing them when they move to a Western country. For celebs like Zach Galifianakis who have kept their last names, you can tell that they are Greek. For others, like Jennifer herself, the news is more surprising.
Jennifer Aniston’s birth name is Joanna Anastasakis. Her father’s birth name is Yiannis Anitios Anastassakis, and he was born in Chania, Crete. He changed his name to John Aniston and his daughter’s to Jennifer Aniston when he migrated to the United States in the 1960s.
Not only does Jennifer come from Greek roots, but she also comes from Greek acting roots. Her father John starred on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, for about 30 years. He played the character Victor Kiriakis. In addition to this, Jennifer Aniston’s godfather was Telly Savalas, who is the late legendary actor of the 1970’s TV series Kojak.
Jennifer has spent most of her life in the United States. She was born here, and even though she moved to Greece with her family when she was 5 years old, they moved back after a year. Since then, she claims to have visited Greece only occasionally.
Jennifer’s family settled in New York City when she was a child after they moved back from Greece. Jennifer’s upbringing had a lot to do with her eventually becoming an actor like her father. She enrolled in a Waldorf school when she was 6 years old, and discovered acting at the same school when she was 11 years old. She later went to Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Jennifer Is Proud Of Her Greek Heritage
When Jennifer spent a year living in Greece with her family as a child, it was mainly in Athens and Crete; the latter being where her father is from, and the former being where some of her father’s family is from. People often wonder how Jennifer looks so flawless at her age, and she proudly attributes this, in part, to her Greek ancestry. ‘My dad is 100 percent Greek; he turned 84 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither did my grandmother, who was 95 when she died, she has said.
Jennifer further attributes her youthful glow to her Transcendental Meditation, or TM, which she began in 2015. ‘I started doing TM and that’s really changed everything. Starting your day off with that and ending with that is pretty powerful,’ said the Friends star, commenting on her regular meditation practice.