Jennifer Aniston

by ethnic on December 16, 2008

Place of Birth: Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: February 11, 1969

Ethnicity:
*Greek (father)
*Scottish, Italian or Arbëreshë/Albanian, English, possibly Irish (mother)

Jennifer Aniston is an American actress, director, producer, and businessperson. She is the daughter of Greek-born actor John Aniston and American-born actress Nancy Dow. Jennifer is married to actor and filmmaker Justin Theroux.

Jennifer’s father was born with the name Yannis Anastassakis, and was a friend of actor Telly Savalas. Savalas was Jennifer’s godfather. Jennifer’s mother was of one quarter Italian or Arbëreshë (Albanian), as well as of Scottish, and some English, descent; some of her ancestors were from Canada.

On Inside the Actors Studio (2011), Jennifer stated that her mother also had Irish, as well as “a little splash of Greek”, ancestry; it is not clear where on her mother’s family tree Greek ancestry came from. Jennifer’s great-grandfather’s surname, “Grieco”, is a variant of the Italian surname Greco, which literally means “Greek”. The name may occur among the Arbëreshë.

Jennifer’s paternal grandparents were Antonios J. Anastassakis and Stella A. Joanna Koume/Mazethek (the daughter of Marcus Koumis and Katina Piplaki). Antonios and Stella were born on the island of Crete, Greece.

Jennifer’s maternal grandfather was Gordon McLean Dow (the son of Francis Dow and Ellen Sarah McLean). Gordon was born in Houlton, Maine. Francis was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, to a Scottish immigrant father, James Dow, and a mother of Scottish descent, Katherine Stewart. Ellen was born in St. Francis, Maine, the daughter of Neil McLean and Mary Henderson; three of Ellen’s grandparents were Scottish immigrants, while Ellen’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Ann Diamond, was born in Campbelltown, New Brunswick, to American parents, who were descended from English immigrants of the Colonial American period.

Jennifer’s maternal grandmother was Louise Mae Grieco (the daughter of Louis Grieco and Mae/May I. Dunbar). In U.S. Censuses, Jennifer’s great-grandfather Louis lists himself as having been born in either Italy or New York; on the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses, Louis states that his parents were born in Albania and spoke Albanian. Jennifer’s mother Nancy wrote in her book, From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir, that Louis was born in Mèlito, Italy. It is possible that his family was from the Arbëreshë community (ethnic Albanians who lived in Italy).

Jennifer’s matrilineal great-grandmother Mae/May I. Dunbar was born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were also born in Pennsylvania. It is unclear what Mae’s ancestry was, but the surname “Dunbar” is usually found in Scotland and England.

Sources: Jennifer’s paternal grandparents, Antonios J. Anastassakis and Stella Joanna Koume/Mazethek, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Jennifer’s mother’s ancestry – http://network.mainegenealogy.net

Jennifer’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Jennifer’s maternal grandmother, Louise Mae Grieco, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louise Mae Grieco on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louise Mae Grieco on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogies of Jennifer Aniston (incorrectly identify Jennifer’s maternal great-grandparents as Michael Grieco and Carmela Pecoraro) – http://wargs.com
http://www.geni.com

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Pegzi June 3, 2017 at 2:43 am

She’s so sweet and pretty

madman March 19, 2017 at 3:04 am

Her great-grandfather and his parents spoke Albanian in Italy:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GR6T-QVH?mode=g&cc=1488411

So I guess the issue is solved.

savanna December 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm
bablah December 26, 2016 at 9:45 am

There are two Melitos in Italy, one in Campania and one in Calabria.

andrew March 19, 2017 at 6:51 am

@ bablah

I suppose that her ancestors came from Melito (di Porto Salvo), Calabria, where there’s still a tiny Greek-speaking minority (also known as Griko people), rather than Arberesche.

madman March 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

Probably not, everything points towards Albanian ancestry, no evidence for Greek except an ambiguous surname.

andrew March 19, 2017 at 11:11 am

Yes, “Grieco” does not imply (recent) Greek ancestry. Btw ancient Romans, and Italians still do nowadays, used to say “Nomen (est) omen” (name is a sign), so there must be some Greek ancestors further back down the line.

savanna December 27, 2016 at 6:50 pm

She refers to her grandfather (Jennifer’s great-grandfather) as “a hardworking Italian immigrant”.

neiltennant August 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm

where is her fat big greek nose

Hill June 1, 2017 at 9:00 am

why don’t racists get banned off this website? Jesus.

neiltennant June 27, 2016 at 3:21 pm

of course she is super white and has blue eyes

but on the other hand she looks so typical greek

with her original nose and her eyes she looks like a typical greek

THE KELLY CLARKSON -EFFECT

madman May 1, 2016 at 5:51 am

Jennifer has said herself that she is part Italian, and her mother Nancy has written in her book “From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir”:
“My maternal grandfather, Louis Grieco, was a hardworking Italian immigrant who came from Melitto, Italy, around the turn of the century.”

Isn’t this enough to conclude that Louis Grieco was from Italy rather than Albania? I would just put “Italian or Arbëreshë”. If he was not an ethnic Italian it seems more likely he was an ethnic Albanian from Italy than from Albania.

Drea K May 1, 2016 at 5:59 am

The Arbereshe ARE Albanians that hundreds of years ago migrated to Southern Italy. They are a people that have completely preserved their Albanian culture even better than most Albanians of modern day Albania whom got screwed over by Turks (except for the Catholic and the Orthodox Albanians). The Arbereshe are actually very proud to be Albanians and Italy has always historically respected and supported this community in its land.

Does it bother you that she’s part Albanian?

madman May 1, 2016 at 6:22 am

I never said that the Arbereshe aren’t Albanians, they clearly are (which I thought I made perfectly clear). I wrote Louis Grieco most likely was from Italy rather than from Albania, therefore “(possibly Arbereshe)” makes less sense than simply “Italian or Arbereshe/Albanian”. And it baffles me that you would think I have something against Albanians for simply making a comment (something that appears to be common on this site).

follers May 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Well, I don’t know, two censuses list their country of birth as “Albania”…

BTW, where is Melitto, Italy?

madman May 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Isn’t it possible that minorities sometimes listed their birth place as the country of their ethnic origin?

It appears that there are some towns in Italy called Melito, followed by another or a couple of other words.

bablah May 2, 2016 at 4:30 am

The censuses are not always correct. It mostly depends on the person writing it. I’ve seen people listed as speaking Austro-Hungarian on American censuses. If someone says ”We’re Albanian” and nothing else, the census taker will just deduce that they’re from Albania, even if they’re not.

madman April 29, 2016 at 11:04 am

“Grieco”, is a variant of the Italian surname “Greco”, which literally means “Greek”. This might be why she stated that her mother has Greek ancestry (although the meaning of the name doesn’t mean it originates in Greece). According to Wikipedia, the name is popular in southern Italy, especially among the Griko and Arbëreshë communities.

andrew April 29, 2016 at 11:41 am
Drea K May 1, 2016 at 6:08 am

Many Catholic Albanians have the last names Martini and Marini and many Orthodox Albanians have the last names Stefani, Bello and Kastro etc..

abbracci August 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm

She doesn’t look Greek. They have weak genes. The Greece population is decreasing rapidly. Pretty soon they’re gonna go extinct lol.

thomas1987 August 22, 2015 at 6:02 am

Then what does she look to you?

Capricious October 11, 2015 at 4:21 am

She looks 100% Anglo-Celtic to me.

bablah April 29, 2016 at 1:45 pm

She looks very Greek to me. Looks a bit like Greek singer Demy, just with bleached hair.

Drea K August 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Based on the documents I read on her ancestry regarding her mother’s side, she’s not Italian whatsoever but Albanians that migrated to the US through Italy which is the route most Albanians have historically taken to move to the US. Her mother is Scottish, Albanian, English, Irish.

cwm85 August 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

She favors her Dad a lot…

Drea K August 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm

For years she’s publicly and openly spoken badly of her mother.

Her mother is a beautiful woman and we’ve only gotten to hear Jennifer’s side of the story, I doubt she’s as bad as Jennifer has portrayed her, but we do know Jennifer is a self absorbed byatch. Whatever good looks Jennifer has are thanks to her mother.

cwm85 August 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Have you seen her Father? She favors him a lot.

Drea K August 8, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I know and yes I have. I wasn’t disagreeing with you just adding to the point you previously made.
She looks mostly like him too in her facial structure and everything, the only thing she got from her mother are her eyes.

Isn’t he still on Days of our lives?

neiltennant August 8, 2015 at 5:34 am

why my post was deleted ?

I only said that she is not the typical italian or typical greek

because she looks with those eyes more english, german and even albanian than the typical italian or even greek

i do live in germany and we do have a lot of greek people from all the country

they came as guest workers. And i don’t want say anything wrong but i have seen maybe 200 greeks in my life and 190 of them had very dark brown eyes

maybe 10 of them had blue or green eyes and surprisingly 9 of them had russian or even turkish roots (yes turksih ) !

and even one of them was full known greek roots and green eyes

and italians — in germany also lot of guest workers from italy came to germany and i have seen at least 500 italians in germany and of them maybe 400 had dark brown eyes

the others blue, green or hazel eyes

and believe me those guest workers weren’t from south italy only but also north !

what tells us this ?

Please please stop people to claim that greek and italians are mostly blue eyed thats wrong

and its not as easy to say IN THE NORTH OF ITALY THERE ARE MORE BLUE EYED

thats not right. History is far more compliccated

andrew August 8, 2015 at 8:09 am

so do you guess ethnicities from eye colours?? very clever. And who ever claimed greeks and italians are mostly blue eyed? not even French and possibly English people are mostly blue-eyed (>50%). If you claim you saw 100 light-eyed Italians out of 500 (20%) it’s somewhat right at least for Southern Italians. No way in North Italy there are more blue eyes than brown but easily 30% (green included)

andrew August 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

you will be shocked a Greek can look like this:

http://ethnicelebs.com/tracy-spiridakos

andrew August 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

also the wife of Varoufakis has blue eyes, and she’s Greek AFAIK

http://alterinfo.gr/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/danai-stratou-yanis-varoufakis.jpg

neiltennant August 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

you are not good at reading right ??

i said FROM WHOLE ITALY people came to germany in the 50s and 60s

and i give a **** at your hints and links showing me one celeb and doing like this person is representative for the whole country

abbracci June 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm

She’s ugly. Why do Greeks have big noses and big heads?

neiltennant August 8, 2015 at 5:37 am

how old are you ?

You are ridiculous and i want to see a photo of you because I’m sure you are ugly

JasonBaker July 5, 2014 at 11:53 am

Is she a natural blonde?

andrew July 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm
Europa May 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm

A perfect example of diversity in Europe. She’s greek and italian, possibly the two most attacked ethnicities on here that are claimed not to be white. And she’s a blonde with blue eyes. In your face, pathetic anti-whites such as lopac, ihatemostpeople, only anglos are white, and the rest of random anti-whites

balkanboy May 23, 2014 at 3:43 am

She´s not Italian, she´s Arbëreshë which is Albanian people who have lives in southern Italy and Sicily. They are the descendants of the Albanian refugees who fled Albania between the 15th and 18th centuries as a result of the Ottoman empire’s invasion of the Balkans. So she´s basically part Albanian.

balkanboy May 23, 2014 at 3:45 am

who have lived in southern Italy and Sicily since the 15th century*

hannaisdumb February 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

Europa, you’re a moron. what you call “white” is just a generic term for european. it’s not a scientific label. Only germanic people can claim to be fully “white” anyway. so f*ck you.

neiltennant August 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

sorry but thats really garbage and nonsense

first you cannot pick one person and act like most people in those countries look like her

second She has also scottish, english and possibly german and albanian roots

she is not the classic italian or a classic greek

because most of the people in those countries do have brown eyes and dark hair

if you ask 100 percent and if she were unknown most people would think that she is either scottish, british or german but also maybe albanian

but not greek or talian

andrew August 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm

neiltennant you’re a fool obsessed with hair and eyes colour, you seem to be not aware that these traits don’t alwais tell the truth, for example Southern European with such features don’t use to look like North Europeans. Jennifer Aniston (a bottle blonde) is half Greek (and just 1/8 Italian or Arberesche) and she looks it. http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/34200000/Young-Jennifer-jennifer-aniston-34202151-410-390.jpg

follers August 7, 2015 at 8:29 pm
balkanboy May 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

It´s so cool that Jennifer have some albanian ancestry! Jennifer must have at least 1/16th or 1/8th(correct me if i´m wrong) ancestry because her mother is of one quarter Arbereshë(albanians who has lived in Italy since the 15th century). I´m also of mostly albanian origin :D:D

neiltennant May 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

no doubt ANISTAN is a white girl

as she has english+ greek roots

but greeks( count as whites) have darker complexions, like bushy eybrows+ dark hair+ big noses

aniston tried to hide her ethnic background by having a nose job+ died blonde hair

andrew May 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm
Adam December 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm

What are you talking about you moron?

andrew December 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

about the classic Greek nose in art.

Lotus January 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

she looks really Greek and Italian

nnnnn May 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Of course, Italian and greeks have usually blue eyes
and pail skin. lol

andrew May 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Most of Italians have brown eyes but light ones (blue,green,grey) are not uncommon even in the south. I’ve seen Greeks with blue eyes too (example http://now24.gr/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/tzorvas2.jpg)

andrew May 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

where do you live? you seem pretty ignorant

nnnnn May 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm

“Pretty ignorant”? I was several times in Italy, and
saw many italian and greek people in my country.
If you claim, like some users here, that TYPICAL
british people are dark like a black cat, but TYPICAL
meds are blond with blue eyes,so…good nicht.
I don’t live at the moon or in my fansy world

andrew May 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

I never claimed British people are dark like a black cat, they’re very various in terms of look, as the Italians or French. TYPICAL meds can be easily found in Britain or Ireland too

nnnnn May 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Have I claimed, her dad isn’t her dad? I’m not Orlando
Bloom’s brother. I know, this site is grotesk, but a statement, her look is typical for meds, is too much

neiltennant August 7, 2015 at 8:04 am

yes of course

thats THE DITA VON TEESE problem

she said her grandma was armenian and most idiots here claim that armenians are blonde and blue eyed

giacomoppn April 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

You should always look at the Europeans remained at home, not look at those in America who are grandchildren of fourth generation with mixed ethnicity. There are not Italians in Italy as this guy. Should investigate its real origins. The surname is definitely Italian but the face is South American. it is sad to see how ideas are confused. Italy, France and northern Spain are ethnically a single unit, composed of the same mix of peoples (ethnic groups) and still retain similar languages​​. Look at the national sports teams (any sport) as a solution. I cannot ask you to know about actors / actresses celebrities Italians, French etc, but check the national sports teams is an easy solution. Sorry at all again for my bad English:
see the photos

http://www.lucidistorte.it/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Rugby_Italia_Francia_2011-29.jpg (RUGBY)

http://static.fanpage.it/calciofanpage/wp-content/uploads/gallery/polonia-italia-le-foto-piu-belle-del-match/ecco-gli-undici-titolari-di-polonia-italia.jpg (SOCCER)

http://www.nuoto.it/foto_news/PELLEANIE.JPG (SWIMMING)

giacomoppn April 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

This was the comment on “Sorrentino” from jersey shore, but Also works on this topic. Copied and pasted. Even here we are arguing about nothing

marjanel October 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm

The face is from South América? South Americans are very diverse.Alzó South American countries are who most have received italian migration in history.I am sure that you are confusing what Countries are south americanos,México is no there.

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