She’s a huge celebrity with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and millions of adoring fans all around the world, but Jennifer Aniston has worked very hard to get to where she is now. Before landing her big break in TV and later on the silver screen, the talented actress, 52, worked regular jobs and — much like her Friends character Rachel Green that propelled her to stardom — supported herself through waitressing at one point.
Now boasting an estimated net worth of $300 million and 38.9 million followers on Instagram, Aniston’s road to success started small. Here’s what came before Rachel-mania. Introduced to the New York theater scene from an early age, Aniston’s first brush with the stage came at 11 when she joined the Rudolf Steiner School’s drama club. The daughter of actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow, she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.
While she was born in Sherman Oaks, San Fernando Valley, California, her parents moved to New York after her father got his big break in Days of Our Lives, with the Friends alumn reportedly telling John Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio that those were the “best times” in her childhood because the family could now “afford cereals” and “a nicer life,” having been “pretty broke” before that. Her first job after graduation was at Jackson Hall Hamburger, where she worked as a waitress. She was also a receptionist at a beauty salon and worked at an advertising agency for a time, with other part-time jobs including bike messenger and telemarketer.
Aniston, who is of Greek descent on her father’s side, paid a sweet Christmas tribute to her dad on Instagram a couple of years back, sharing an old childhood photo of them along with a second one taken in 2019. “Christmas with one of my creators,” she wrote in the caption, adding: “Love you, papa.” See the post below!
According to The Richest, Aniston wanted to become an actress ever since she was a teenager. Looking back, the Hollywood star acknowledged that her parents’ divorce at age 9 had a lot to do with her career choice, with Aniston being quoted as saying: “I have learned to make a living doing what I did to try to heal myself as a kid.”
Aniston started off her career with a few Off-Broadway productions, appearing in For Dear Life and Dancing on Checker’s Grave in 1987. Two years later, at age 20, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dream, lading her first TV role the following year in the series Molloy.
She appeared in Ferris Bueller the same year and got a recurring part on Herman’s Head in 1991, which she followed up with The Edge in 1992. Her big-screen debut came the same year with the 1992 horror movie Leprechaun.