John Aniston may have a very successful daughter, but he’s certainly had a great career in Hollywood himself. While he’s best known for playing Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives, the actor has been on shows such as Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, The West Wing, and many others over the years.
Prior to starting his career in acting, Aniston had lived quite the life. From where he was originally born to the famous role that got away, here are five fast facts about the longtime Days of Our Lives star.
In The Beginning
Aniston was born on the island of Crete, Greece with the birth name Giannis Anastasakis. His family moved to the United States when he was 2, which was when his father changed his name. The family resided in Chester, Pennsylvania, and Aniston attended Penn State University. He graduated with a degree in Theater Arts.
Following college, Aniston served in the United States Navy as an intelligence officer. He was based in Panama on active duty, and then later in the reserve. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Along with his television and movie career, Aniston has performed in over 40 theatrical productions. He made his Broadway debut in the musical Little Mary Sunshine, and the most recent production was in the classic Arthur Miller play, Death of a Salesman.
The Role That Got Away
Aniston was originally supposed to play the character of Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show — that is until Ted Knight was cast instead. Also, long before he played Victor on DAYS, he auditioned for the role of Doug Williams, losing out to Bill Hayes. Hopefully, he feels okay about that since Hayes went on to marry co-star, Susan Seaforth (Julie).
Aniston has been married two times. He married his first wife, Nancy Dow, in 1965 but they divorced in 1980. They had one daughter together, actress Jennifer Aniston (her godfather was his best friend, actor Telly Savalas of Kojack fame). He went on to marry his Love on Life co-star Sherry Rooney in 1984. The couple has a son named Alexander.