FLASHBACK: John Aniston 1980

John Aniston: a leading man in two careers

Ottawa Citizen
June 28, 1980

The way it's turned out, actor John Aniston of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, couldn't be happier. A dairy was turned into a television production center and a field construction office became a restaurant. One's conveniently across the street from the other -- and he's a leading man at both.

Weekdays, Aniston is featured as wealthy Martin Tourneur, head of operations at Tourneur Instruments, on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, television's longest-running daytime drama, presented Monday-Friday (12:30 p.m.) on CBS.

Weekdays, as well, the Greek-born Aniston is co-owner of "The Fives," a popular restaurant-cabaret situated on the ground floor of a new skyscraper office building on Manhattan's West Side. The building's original field construction office had been intended for a restaurant all along. Aniston jumped at the chance and, with partner Nick Troiano, opened the establishment in August 1978.

With his daytime serial schedule calling for an average of two to three appearances a week, he can catch up on restaurant matters on other days, when not at the studio, and, as he did recently, recall tales of his father, also a restaurateur.

"My father opened his first restaurant for $200 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan," Aniston said, "then his second in Port Arthur, Ontario, a pastry shop in Helena, Montana, and his third in Casper, Wyoming, in the 1920s.

Casper was an oil boom town, where steak dinners were $4.25, considerably higher than the 35-cent price in New York, and the senior Aniston returned to Greece at age 28, with his first million. After a few years, he returned to the United States with his wife, son John, who was 18 months old, and two daughters, settling in Chester, Pa., where he bought another restaurant.

"We stayed on in Pennsylvania," the actor-restaurateur said, "and I couldn't help but get involved in what my father was doing. But, at the same time, I was interested in acting, and went on to receive my B.A. degree in theater arts at Penn State University."

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