Jennifer Aniston sweetly honored her father, John Aniston, during the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
The former “Friends” star appeared in a pre-recorded segment during the live ceremony, which was held on 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 “truly special” as she began her speech dedicated to her 88-year-old father.
“It’s an opportunity to not only pay tribute to a true icon in the daytime television world, but it’s also a chance to recognize the lifelong achievement of a great and well respected actor who also happens to be my dad,” she said. “John Aniston has been working in television consistently for over half a century.”
Aniston listed off just a few of her father’s acting credits, including roles in classic television shows such as “Combat,” “Mission Impossible,” and “Kojak,” as well as guest appearances on “Gilmore Girls,” “Airwolf,” “The West Wing,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Mad Men.”
The 53-year-old actor joked that at the same time as his burgeoning television career, her father had appeared in “nearly every soap opera imaginable." In fact, he's been such a staple of the daytime shows that he appeared on the first-ever cover of "Soap Opera Digest." He also had roles on shows like "Search for Tomorrow" and "Love Letters."
“You name it, I’m sure he’s been on it," Aniston joked. “But since 1985, his TV 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, perpetually suave businessman Victor Kiriakis,” Aniston continued.
Her father has played Victor Kiriakis for over 37 years.
“For over 30 years, his dedication to that show has gained him respect and admiration of his fellow actors, deep friendships, and thrilled millions of fans around the world,” Aniston continued. “His career is literally the definition of lifetime achievement.”
While the soap opera actor has a fan in his daughter, the feeling is mutual.
“Jennifer is a natural talent,” John Aniston told E! News during a father-and-daughter interview in 1990. “There are certain things you can learn in this business, and there are certain things you can’t learn. The comic instinct that she has is unerring. That’s her greatest asset.”
Two months after Aniston joined Instagram in October 2019, she shared a post the day after Christmas to show some love to her father. In the post, she shared a throwback photo from her childhood as she and her father posed seriously for the camera. In a second photo that was taken in more recent years, the father-daughter posed side-by-side in their coordinating all black ensembles.
“Christmas with one of my creators,” she wrote in the caption. “Then and now #TBT Love you, papa.”
Beyond her acting chops, Aniston also molded her outlook on life based on her parents' actions growing up. In a 2020 Q&A for Interview magazine with Sandra Bullock, Aniston opened up about her childhood, citing her “destabilized” household as one of the reasons that she has been able to remain positive both professionally and personally.
“Watching 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 that. I don’t want to experience this feeling I’m having in my body right now,” she said at the time. “I don’t want anyone else that I ever come in contact with ever to feel that.’”
Aniston added, ”So I guess I have my parents to thank. You can either be angry or be a martyr, or you can say, ‘You’ve got lemons? Let’s make lemonade.’”