John Aniston, Soap Star & Jennifer’s ‘Papa,’ Dies @ 89

"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💔⁣."

With that, superstar Jennifer Aniston, 53, memorialized her late dad John Aniston, whose death at 89 she was announcing Monday.

Giving a co-star something to remember! (Image via NBC)

Aniston was a success in his own right, a near-constant present on soap operas for over 50 years, the last 37 of them as Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives (1985-2022).

Though nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his performance on the show, he never won. Instead, Aniston was presented with a lifetime achievement honor at the Daytime Emmys this year via a video intro by Jennifer, who underscored his talent as well as his longevity on Days.

Aniston was born July 24, 1933, in Chania, Greece, on the isle of Crete. He moved to the U.S. with his family as a toddler, where his dad chose the surname Aniston to blend in better.

He served in the Navy and studied acting in college at Pennsylvania State University, later making his TV debut on 87th Precinct (1962).

He appeared on Days as early as 1970, albeit as a different character from the one he would eventually play, and also popped up on Love of Life (1975-1978) and Search for Tomorrow (1979-1984).

Other TV work included Combat! (1964), I Spy (1967), The Virginian (1968), Mission: Impossible (1969), That Girl (1970), Kojak (1974), Airwolf (1985), Diagnosis Murder (1997), Star Trek: Voyager (2001), The West Wing (2002), Gilmore Girls (2002), Cold Case (2009), Mad Men (2010) and The Paul Reiser Show (2011).

His performance as Victor has been called "both scary and hilarious." (Image via NBC)

He also made a 2004 appearance on the series American Dreams with his Days co-star Frances Reid (1914-2010).

Though Aniston's movie work was limited, he did appear uncredited in Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) and The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) ahead of a credited film debut in 2008's The Awakening of Spring. His only other films were Fixing Rhonda (2008), The Gold & the Beautiful (2009) and his final film, Return to Zero (2014).

Aniston was wed to actress Nancy Dow (1936-2016) from 1965-1980. It was with she that he fathered Jennifer. He wed Love of Life co-star Sherry Rooney (b. 1946) in 1984, and had a son, Alexander.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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