Jennifer Aniston honored her father, John Aniston, during the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
The former “Friends” star appeared in one pre-recorded segment during the live ceremony held Friday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to present her father with a lifetime achievement award for his decades-long acting career. Aniston called the moment “really special” as she began her speech dedicated to her 88-year-old father.
“It’s an opportunity not only to pay tribute to a true icon in the world of daytime television, but also to recognize the lifetime achievement of a great and respected actor who also happens to be my father,” she said. “John Aniston has consistently worked for television for over half a century.”
Aniston listed just a few of her father’s acting accomplishments, including roles on classic television shows like Combat, Mission Impossible, and Kojak, as well as guest spots on Gilmore Girls, Airwolf, The West Wing, Star Trek: Voyager” and “Mad Men”.
The 53-year-old actor joked that her father has appeared on “just about every soap opera imaginable” concurrent with his burgeoning television career — every cover of Soap Opera Digest. He’s also had roles on shows like Search for Tomorrow and Love Letters “.
“You name it, I’m sure he was there,” Aniston joked. “But since 1985 his television home has been with the cast and crew of the long-running soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives,’ where he has given masterful performances as the dangerously handsome, always suave businessman Victor Kiriakis,” Aniston continued.
Her father has played Victor Kiriakis for over 37 years.
“For over 30 years, his dedication to this show has earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow cast members, deep friendships, and delighted millions of fans around the world,” Aniston continued. “His career is literally the definition of a lifetime achievement.”
While the soap opera actor has a fan in his daughter, the feeling is mutual.
“Jennifer is a natural,” said John Aniston E! news during a father-daughter interview in 1990. “There are certain things you can learn in this business and certain things you can’t learn. Your comic instinct is unfailing. That is their greatest asset.”
Two months after Aniston joined Instagram in October 2019, she shared a post the day after Christmas to show her dad some love. In the post, she shared a snap from her childhood when she and her dad posed in earnest for the camera. In a second photo taken in recent years, father and daughter posed side-by-side in their coordinating black ensembles.
“Christmas with one of my creators,” she said wrote in the caption. “Then and now #TBT love you dad.”
Beyond her acting skills, Aniston also shaped her outlook on life based on her parents’ actions growing up. In a 2020 Q&A for Interview Magazine Aniston spoke to Sandra Bullock about her childhood, citing her “destabilized” household as one of the reasons she’s been able to stay positive both professionally and personally.
“Seeing adults being unkind to each other and witnessing certain things about human behavior that made me think, ‘I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be. I don’t want to experience this feeling that I’m having in my body right now,” she said at the time. “I don’t want anyone else I ever come in contact with to ever feel that.”
Aniston added, “So I guess I have to thank my parents. You can either be angry or be a martyr, or you can say, “You have lemons? Let’s make lemonade.’”