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When Jennifer Aniston Celebrated Her Greek Heritage on “Friends”

Jennifer Aniston Greek Friends reunion
Jennifer Aniston is half Greek. Credit: Angela George/Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA-3.0

After the “Friends: The Reunion” episode aired in late May, many fans of the show rushed to re-watch the Friends series in its entirety.

Any Greeks catching up on the popular show may have caught a special reference to the Greek heritage of star Jennifer Aniston in a particular episode.

The much-buzzed about special episode, which featured not only the show’s main castmembers Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, but also a slew of celebrity guests.

Stars like David Beckham, Justin Bieber, Reese Witherspoon, and even Malala Yousafzai appeared on the special to show their love for the show that so many around the world absolutely adore.

The reunion special, during which cast and crew discussed the impact and creation of the mega-popular show, caused many fans to fall back in love with Friends and start watching the whole series over again.

One episode in particular may have caught the eye of any Greek “Friends” fans, as it features a nod to Aniston’s family history.

During the season seven finale of Friends, titled “The One with Chandler and Monica’s Wedding,” Aniston’s character Rachel has to scramble to find an officiant for Monica and Chandler’s wedding.

While running around the venue, searching for someone to marry the couple, Rachel bumps into a familiar figure for most viewers of Greek descent — a mustachioed Greek Orthodox priest wearing his iconic vestments.

The priest was there to conduct a Greek wedding between a couple named Anastassakis and Papasifakis, as shown by a sign behind Rachel and the priest.

Although it may just seem like a nod to Greeks generally, the sign actually refers to Jennifer Aniston’s own Greek heritage.

Jennifer Aniston’s father is Greek

Aniston’s father, John Aniston, was born Yiannis Anastassakis in Chania, Crete but moved to the US as a very small child.

Like many Greek immigrants to America, he decided to shorten his name from Anastassakis to Aniston.

John Aniston is most famous for playing a Greek character, Victor Kiriakis, on the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

The Hollywood star, who is one of the highest paid actresses in the world, is quite proud of her Greek roots off screen as well.

When Jennifer was a young girl, she got to experience Greece up close. Aniston lived in Athens and then Crete for a short while with her family when she was five years of age.

Hollywood star credits Greek heritage for ageless beauty

She is even connected to other famous Greeks in Hollywood, such as Telly Savalas, most famous for playing “Kojak”, who is her godfather.

Frequently ranking on lists of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston is known for her ageless beauty and radiant smile.

Her beauty, and particularly her agelessness, are things that the actress credits to her Greek heritage. In an interview, Aniston stated:

“My dad is 100 percent Greek; he turned 81 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither does my grandmother, who was 95 when she died.”

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