Jennifer Aniston attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 07, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Jennifer Joanna Aniston was born on February 11, 1969, in Los Angeles. Her parents, John Aniston and Nancy Dow, were actors, too. After moving to New York as a child, Aniston discovered acting at 11 while attending school. By high school, she joined the school’s drama society and performed in two plays. She first worked in off-Broadway productions and supported herself with part-time jobs as a telemarketer, waitress, and bike messenger. By the late ’80s, Anniston had an uncredited minor role in Mac and Me before moving back to Los Angeles.

Flops Before Friends

Her first regular television role was on Molloy in 1990 with Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik. That same year, she appeared in the television adaptation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Both series were quickly canceled. She starred in the horror film Leprechaun (1993) at 24 years old, which she has expressed embarrassment over. Aniston also appeared in two failed television comedy series: The Edge and Muddling Through.

Depressed over four back-to-back unsuccessful television shows, Aniston approached the head of NBC entertainment, Warren Littlefield, at an LA gas station, asking for reassurance. Littlefield encouraged her to continue acting, and just a few months later, he helped to cast her in Friends. The producer wanted Aniston to audition for the role of Monica Geller, but Courteney Cox snagged the character. Instead, Aniston was cast as Rachel Green. At the same time, Aniston was also offered a spot as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, but she turned it down in favor of Friends. Adam Sandler was a SNL cast member at the time and really wanted Aniston to join. She played Rachel on Friends for the show’s entire run, from 1994 until the show ended in 2004.

RELATED: Jennifer Aniston: ‘Friends’ Is Offensive To Younger Generation

With 75 acting credits below her belt, Aniston is known for more than just being Rachel on Friends. She has starred in some of our favorite movies of the romance and comedy genres, sometimes a mix of both. Her acting range has expanded from comedic roles to serious dramas. Take a look below at our five favorite film and television roles starring Jennifer Aniston:

  • 'Marley & Me'

    It’s just a movie, but the movie rips your heart out. In this 2008 rom-com based on the autobiographical book by journalist John Grogan, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. For those unfamiliar with the book, the film was seemingly just a comedy with this rambunctious dog who was untrainable and caused chaos wherever he was present. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play newspaper writers, and Wilson’s John gifts her Marley as a puppy in an attempt to stall her “biological clock.” As Marley ages and loses none of his chaotic tendencies, John writes a newspaper column about the golden retriever. We love Wilson and Aniston together as an onscreen couple. The film’s ending was one we weren’t prepared for and made us weep.

  • 'We're The Millers'

    Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston make a hilarious fake married couple in this 2013 crime-comedy film. The two have starred in five movies together so far: Horrible Bosses 1 and 2, Mother’s Day, and Bounty Hunter. In We’re The Millers, Sudeikis is a pot dealer who convinces his neighbors to help him smuggle drugs from Mexico into the United States by pretending to be his family. In the R-rated film, Aniston portrays a broke stripper named Rose and she is so funny and really surprises us with her vulgarity. The scene where she has to show off her pole dancing skills is pretty amazing. Aniston was already in great shape doing Pilates, yoga, and intense training for five days a week. One of the wildest, funniest scenes in the film is when Aniston takes turns making out with her “son” (played by Will Poulter) with her “daughter” (played by Emma Roberts).

  • 'Wanderlust'

    In one of our favorite comedic films of all time, Paul Rudd and Aniston stumble into a hippie commune called Elysium. As a two-week trial suggested by Rudd’s George, things start to get messy as Aniston’s Linda fits right in. She drinks drug-laced tea, flashes her breasts for a protest, and participates in “free love.” The film’s star-studded cast engaging in wild behavior is what makes this film so great. For those who are fans of offbeat humor and ridiculous improv, this film is for you.

  • 'The Break-Up'

    Following her divorce from Brad Pitt after being married for five years, this highly underrated rom-com explores the downside of being in a relationship. Aniston and Vince Vaughn’s characters are total opposites. Once they break up, things get uglier and nastier as each tries to keep their luxurious condo from the other with horrible advice from their friends and family. The feelings and events are authentically portrayed in the film, making this film turn more into a drama by the end. Aniston’s character makes it out of the situation clear-minded and really upstages the efforts made by Vaughn’s. There is no clear happy ending in the film, and its ambiguity makes it feel that. much more realistic.

  • 'The Morning Show'

    In this fantastic AppleTV+ drama series, Aniston stars along with Reese Witherspoon as anchors of a popular news program. With three seasons in the books and more to come, Aniston’s Alex Levy has had a whirlwind of a career. The show itself explores the very real culture that goes behind the scenes (and sometimes on-camera) on a network broadcast morning news show. At first, Alex Levy comes off as a nasty woman to Reese’s Bradley Jackson, making you wonder if she is fake and does everything solely for her own success. As the show progresses, however, Levy regards Bradley as her friend and stands up to the corruption of the network board and fights against the public’s perception of her. Aniston’s acting is fantastic and we can’t wait to see more of her character in the upcoming fourth season.

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