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John Aniston, ‘Days of Our Lives’ Actor, Dies at 89


John Aniston, a veteran television actor who was born in Greece and played the identical Greek villain for greater than three a long time on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” has died. He was 89.

Mr. Aniston died on Nov. 11, his daughter, the actor Jennifer Aniston, said in an Instagram post on Monday. She didn’t specify a cause or a spot of death.

Starting in 1985, he appeared often on “Days of Our Lives,” a long-running soap opera that is about in a fictional Midwestern town, as Victor Kiriakis, a personality from Greece that Soap Opera Digest once described as a “romantic villain.”

Mr. Aniston appeared in several movies and Broadway shows through the years, and in television series that included “Mad Men,” “Gilmore Girls” and “The West Wing.” But he was best known for his work on “Days,” for which he earned a lifetime achievement award at this yr’s Daytime Emmy Awards.

Mr. Aniston’s daughter was from his first marriage, to the actor Nancy Dow. His son, Alexander Aniston, was from his second marriage, to the actor Sherry Rooney. His daughter, his son and Ms. Rooney survive him, in response to a press release from Mr. Aniston’s family.

NBC moved “Days of Our Lives” to Peacock, its streaming service, in September. Representatives for the network didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment on Monday night.

John Anthony Aniston was born Yannis Anastassakis on July 24, 1933, on the Greek island of Crete, his family said in a press release. His parents were Anthony Aniston and Stella “Yiayia” Joanna Aniston, in response to the entertainment database IMDb.

After the family emigrated to Chester, Pa., Mr. Aniston and his brother and sisters worked alongside their parents at their diner, the family statement said.

A theater graduate from Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Aniston served in the US Navy as an intelligence officer. He left with the rank of lieutenant commander.

Mr. Aniston began acting in 1962, his daughter told the Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony in June. His early television roles included an appearance on the show “Mission: Not possible,” the precursor to the movie franchise of the identical title, in 1969, the yr his daughter was born. The next yr he also played a health care provider on “Days of Our Lives,” a show that had debuted on NBC in 1965.

But Mr. Aniston can be best known for an additional, later role on “Days,” as Victor Kiriakis, a personality his daughter described in June as a “dangerously handsome, perpetually suave businessman.” An episode featuring him in that role was released on the day he died.

A 1986 profile of Mr. Aniston in Soap Opera Digest said that Kiriakis made “men cringe in fear and ladies’s hearts go pitter-patter.”

“Victor is a superb character,” Mr. Aniston told the magazine on the time. “Most heavies are utilitarian. They’re just there to advance the plot and present some form of problem for Our Hero.”

Eventually, Mr. Aniston’s fame was eclipsed by that of his daughter, now 53, who became a superstar for her role on the hit television show “Friends.”

In 1990, 4 years before “Friends” debuted, Mr. Aniston said in an interview with E! Entertainment that her early success in Hollywood had been “all deserved.”

“Nevertheless, that’s not what this business is admittedly like,” he added. “For most individuals, it doesn’t occur that quickly. And I do know some very talented people on this business who’ve a tough time.”

In 2019, Mr. Aniston said in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation that his daughter had once called his agent without his permission in an try to ask about auditioning for a movie, long before she was a star.

“That’s after I knew she desired to be in show business,” he said.

He normally urged aspiring actors to search out other careers, he said, and he gave his daughter the identical advice on the time.

“But I knew right from the start, when she began auditioning for things, because she at all times got a call back,” he recalled. “All the time. And I said, ‘Well, it’s only a matter of time.’”

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