Jennifer Aniston

Aniston in 2011, Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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

Date of Birth: February 11, 1969

Ethnicity:
*father – Greek
*mother – Scottish, Italian-Arbëreshë/Albanian, English, possibly Irish

Jennifer Aniston is an American actress, director, producer, and businessperson. She is known for her roles in Leprechaun, Friends, The Good Girl, Office Space, Bruce Almighty, and Office Christmas Party, among many other works. She is the daughter of Greek-born actor John Aniston (born Yiannis Anitios Anastasakis) and American-born actress Nancy Dow. Her half-brother is assistant director and second-unit director John T. Melick III.

Jennifer’s father was a friend of actor Telly Savalas. Savalas was Jennifer’s godfather. Jennifer’s mother was of one quarter Italian-Arbëreshë (Albanian), as well as of Scottish, and some English, descent; some of her ancestors were from Canada. Jennifer was raised in New York City.

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 grandfather was named Antonios J. Anastassakis. Antonios was born on the island of Crete, Greece.

Jennifer’s paternal grandmother was Stella A. Joanna Koume/Mazethek (the daughter of Marcus Koumis and Katina Piplaki). Stella was born on Crete.

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 emigrants of the Colonial American period.

Jennifer’s maternal grandmother was Louise Mae Grieco (the daughter of Louis Grieco and Mae/May I. Dunbar). Louise was born in New Jersey. 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, 1999, that Louis was born in Mèlito di Porto Salvo, Italy. It is likely that his family was from the Arbëreshë community, ethnic Albanians who lived in Italy. They may have been from Maschito, an Arbëreshë enclave in Basilicata.

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. The surname Dunbar is usually found in Scotland and England.

Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn on the Red Carpet for the tiff 08 premiere of Management at Isabel Bader Theater

Aniston with Steve Zahn in 2009, Creative Commons License photo credit: christopherharte

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

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

148 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    Had no idea shes half greek, she looks pretty much celtic and germanic.

  2. follers says:

    I remember how in the early 2000s, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry were considered the two most beautiful biracial women in American movies. I think they still may be.

    • jackson9 says:

      I don’t consider Jennifer Aniston biracial but I respect your opinion.

    • andrew says:

      I prefer Meghan Markle.

      • jackson9 says:

        @Follers, huge favor please find out Michael Brooks maternal grandmothers (Eleanor Fischer’s) ethnicity. I think she is either German or Ashkenazi Jewish.

    • seaweed123 says:

      Greece is part of Europe and their race is Caucasian just like Italians, Southern French and Spaniards. Caucasian/ White has many different shades but they are still White. Just because they are not as light as Northern Europeans, doesn’t mean that they are not White. Therefore, she’s not biracial. I wouldn’t go that far calling her that.

      • NOTREALLY says:

        Being a part of Europe is irrelevant, Caucasians span outside of the boundaries of Europe, Aniston could have some non-European blood, Mediterranean peoples have intermingled with each other historically, north Africans, Levantine, etc, they’re maybe not what you’d call “white”, but they’re all Caucasian, this may anger some white supremacists but a Jewish/German person, or a Lebanese/Scottish person, etc, AREN’T biracial

        • jonasbttencourt says:

          There many levantine and north african people that are just as light skinned as many northern europeans, so yes, most of them can be considered white as far as im concerned. Of course ”white” does not mean just ”light skin”, but from what i’ve seen from lebanese, and even syrian people, for example, their traits, hair texture, and skin tone are not so much different from a native european, especially those from the southeast region.

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