John Aniston, a veteran actor known for his work on the daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” has died, his daughter, actress Jennifer Aniston, shared on Monday.
NEW YORK — John Aniston, the Emmy-winning star of the daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives” and father of Jennifer Aniston, has died at age 89.
The actor’s daughter posted a tribute to him Monday morning on Instagram, announcing that he had died Friday, Veteran’s Day. John Aniston served in the U.S. Navy.
“Sweet papa… John Anthony Aniston,” Jennifer Aniston wrote. “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.”
John Aniston’s acting credits included “Search for Tomorrow,” “The West Wing” and “Gilmore Girls.” But he was best-known for his long-running role on “Days of Our Lives” as family patriarch Victor Kiriakis, the former drug lord who goes on to found the powerful Titan Industries.
In 2017, his work on “Days of Our Lives” brought him an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series. Earlier this year, he was presented a lifetime achievement Emmy, with Jennifer Aniston honoring him via video.
“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 achievements of a great and well-respected actor, who also happens to be my dad,” Jennifer Aniston said at the time. “John Aniston has been working in television consistently for over half a century.”
John Aniston was born Yannis Anastassakis in Crete, Greece, and emigrated with his family to Pennsylvania when he was a child. A theater major at Pennsylvania State University, he began his professional acting career in the 1960s, with early roles in “Combat!”, “I Spy” and “The Virginian.”
Aniston was married twice, most recently to Sherry Rooney. He had two children, Jennifer and Alexander Aniston, and a stepson, John Melick.
Jen said in her emotional post that her father passed away on Friday, November 11. She says, “Sweet papa … 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.”
John famously played Victor Kiriakis on “Days of Our Lives” for nearly as long as his daughter’s been alive. He joined the soap cast in 1970 and remained on the show right up until his death. In fact, his final credited show is listed as Friday.
Noting that he passed on 11/11, Jennifer says, “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 💔
As Friday was Veteran’s Day, it’s worth noting John served in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer in the 1950s.
After 52 years with ‘Days,’ he earned the Daytime Emmy Awards’ Lifetime Achievement trophy in 2022. He also won Soap Opera Digest awards in 1986 and 2001.
John was born in Greece, and before his TV fame, he acted in several dozen theater productions. He’s also had roles in “The West Wing,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Kojak.”
He and “Kojak” star Telly Savalas were best friends, and John even picked him to be Jennifer’s godfather.
John is survived by Jennifer, his son Alexander and his wife Sherry Rooney.
He was 89.