John Aniston, the actor who starred as Victor Kiriakis in the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives, has sadly passed away at the age of 89. The actor died on Friday and had worked on the show for 30 year, even appearing on an episode on the day of his passing. He had also appeared in two other daytime series, Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow. His sad passing has been confirmed by his daughter, actress Jennifer Aniston, on Monday, who put out a moving tribute to her “sweet papa.”
Accompanied by a beautiful photo of father and daughter, the actress wrote on Instagram:
“Sweet papa … John Anthony Aniston. 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. I’ll love you till the end of time… Don’t forget to visit.”
Aniston first began playing the role of Victor Kiriakis for Days in 1985. The actor had previously played a different character of a doctor on the soap opera between 1969 and 1970. His hiatus from the show would last fifteen years before his return in ’85. The show, via its official Twitter account, put out a moving tribute of their own to the man who was integral to the show for three decades. The tribute read, “Our hearts are broken over the loss of our beloved family member John Aniston. We love you, John. Your legend will live on.”
Aniston was born on the island of Crete on July 24, 1933. He and his family would move to the United States two years later, where Aniston would go on to attend Pennsylvania State University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. He began his career in acting in 1962 on the series New Man in the Precinct. Aniston had served in the Navy before taking up acting. He was a man dedicated to soap operas, beginning first on Days of Our Lives, then Love of Live, Search for Tomorrow, and back again to Days, starring in the role of the villain Kiriakis till the end of his life.
In an interview with Adrienne Faillace in 2018, Aniston referred to soap operas as “just the right amount of recognition,” stating it both satisfied one’s ego but didn’t disrupt life in general. Aniston did go on to receive a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on Days in June of this year. He is survived by his wife, Sherry Rooney, his daughter, Jennifer, and his son, Alexander. His talent and skill will be missed.
Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this difficult time.