Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California. Her family moved to New York City when her father was cast in a role on the daytime drama Love of Life. As an 11-year-old student at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, she joined the drama club and her experience there encouraged her to pursue acting as a career. She studied further at New York’s High School of Performing Arts. She graduated in 1987 and landed roles in the off-Broadway production For Dear Life, at New York’s Public Theater, and Dancing on Checkers’ Grave.
Aniston’s television career began after being cast as a series regular on Molloy and The Edge. She had guest-starring roles on Quantum Leap and Burke’s Law, and a starring role on Ferris Bueller, the television series. She was then cast in perhaps her most well-known role as Rachel Green in the classic television comedy, Friends. For her role as Rachel, she received five Emmy nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. She won an Emmy (2002) and a Golden Globe (2003) for Lead Actress in a Comedy. The generosity of her fans lead to her winning five People’s Choice Awards.
While on hiatus from Friends, Aniston pursued a budding film career. She had roles in ’Til There Was You, Picture Perfect, Dream for an Insomniac, She’s the One, Rock Star and The Object of My Affection—the first of her roles opposite Paul Rudd—and Bruce Almighty, with Jim Carrey. One of her most critically acclaimed roles was in 2002’s The Good Girl, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. Aniston received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance.
With the emotional end of Friends and her time as Rachel Green, Aniston devoted herself full-time to her movie career. She had starring roles in Rumor Has It…, with Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine; Derailed, with Clive Owen; and the box-office hit The Break-Up, with Vince Vaughn. For her role as a depressed housekeeper in director Nicole Holofcener’s independent film Friends With Money, which also starred Frances McDormand and Catherine Keener, Aniston received some of the best reviews of her career.
Proving her ability to navigate the world of both independent and studio-financed films, Aniston also co-starred in the emotionally moving box-office hit Marley & Me, with Owen Wilson, and He’s Just Not That Into You. She also starred alongside leading men Gerard Butler, in The Bounty Hunter, and Aaron Eckhart, in Love Happens. Adam Sandler played her leading man in the comedy hit Just Go With It. After co-starring in The Switch, her first film with Jason Bateman, Aniston and Bateman co-starred in the box-office hit Horrible Bosses, which also starred Jason Sudeikis and Colin Farrell, and in which Aniston played a sexually insatiable dentist.
In addition to acting, Aniston has pursued her interest in directing. Her directorial debut was the short Room 10, which was part of an award-winning short film series. She most recently directed one of an anthology of five short films called Five, which explores the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives.
Filmography courtesy of Universal Pictures and Relativity Media. Wanderlust opens March 24th, 2012.