There are actors we’ve spent so much time watching that it can sometimes feel like we know them.
Jennifer Aniston has played Rachel Green on Friends for a decade – and we were there with her every step of the way.
So, who is Jennifer Aniston? What secrets and surprising facts does her life story hold? How did her on-screen relationships on Friends inform it? And what does the future hold in store for her?
Jennifer Joanna Aniston was born in Los Angeles on February 11, 1969.
Studying at the Waldorf school meant she was exposed to many extracurricular activities: at age 11, Aniston discovered acting.
In early 1994, Jennifer Aniston auditioned for the role of Monica Geller for a new sitcom on NBC called Friends.
Friends aired between 1994 and 2004 – a whole decade – and made TV history as one of the most successful television sitcoms of all time.
If you’ve followed celebrity culture for any time, you know about The Great Debate – or, as gossip columnists call it, the Love Triangle That Keeps on Giving.
Brad Pitt. Jennifer Aniston. Angelina Jolie.
But how did it all start? How did Brad and Jennifer even meet?
1998: Brad and Jen go on their first date after their agents set it up.
September 1999: Jen and Brad make their first public debut on the red carpet of the Emmy Awards – stunning fans and reporters the world over.
July 2000: Brad and Jen get married in an expensive – nay, lavish wedding – which is, naturally, besieged by paparazzi.
In May 2004, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie began filming their joint action/spy adventure, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
And while Brad was still married to Jennifer, the chemistry he and Jolie felt was undeniable.
In January 2005, Jen and Brad announced their separation in a joint statement meant to beat the gossip columns’ speculations:
In 2011, Jennifer met the recently single Justin Theroux on the set of Wanderlust – a film that would be released a year later.
The two hit it off immediately, and it wasn’t long before paparazzi and gossip columns reported they were in a relationship.
In early 2012, at 43, Jen finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On August 10, 2012 – Justin Theroux’s birthday – Jen’s boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed. A starry-eyed Aniston replied with an overjoyed “yes.”
Two years after Jen and Justin’s ceremony, in 2017, a source close to Aniston told Us Weekly that Brad Pitt – recently divorced from Angelina – called Jen up to wish her a happy birthday.
In February 2018, Justin and Jen announced their separation.
After years of anticipation, in May 2021, the cast of Friends reunited for an HBO Max special that showcased iconic scenes from the show and had the original cast members reminiscing about their time on the show.