John Aniston Dies: Longtime ‘Days of our Lives’ Star Was 89

John Aniston "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 08/19/13 © Howard Wise/ 310-657-9661

John Aniston, the beloved actor who played Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives, has passed away at age 89.

John was born on the island of Crete in Greece and came to the United States with his family when he was 2. The family settled in Chester, Pennsylvania where his parents operated a restaurant.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts before enlisting in the US Navy. He was an intelligence officer on active duty in Panama, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander by the time his service ended.

Aniston began acting in 1962 with arole on 87th Precinct. He went on to roles in many TV series and movies such as Love with The Proper Stranger, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, That Girl, and Kojak, before his start in daytime. His first soap roles were on Days of Our Lives, as Dr. Eric Richards for one episode in 1970 and then as Eddie Aleata for one episode of Love of Life, in 1975. He joined Search for Tomorrow in 1980 as Martin Tourneur, a role he played until 1984.

In July of 1985, he returned to Days of Our Lives as Victor Kiriakis, a part he played until his death. He received a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2017 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2022 he received the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award, which was accepted on his behalf by his daughter, actress Jennifer Aniston.

His career spanned 60 years and included appearances on many othershows, including, Airwolf, Diagnosis Murder, Star Trek: Voyager, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Cold Case, and Mad Men.

John Aniston is survived by his wife, Sherry Rooney, stepson, John T. Melick, daughter, Jennifer Aniston, son, Alexander Aniston, and his grandchildren.