Inside Jennifer Aniston’s strained relationship with Hollywood mother Nancy Dow

Jennifer Aniston may be one of Hollywood's biggest stars but her late mother Nancy Dow was just as successful who it came to carving out a career in Tinsel Town.

Nancy was a model in the 1960s as well as landing a series of acting roles in TV shows The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West.

The star passed away aged 79 five years ago today after over a decade of strained relations with the Friends actress.

According to reports at the time, things were so difficult between mother and daughter that Nancy cut Jen out of her will.

The move was said to be even more hurtful for Jen due to the fact she had been helping to pay her mum's bills in her final few years.

Here we look back at one of Hollywood's most successful mother and daughter duo's relationship.


Jen previously claimed that her mum was so concerned with public image and looking good that some of the stand out moments from her childhood were about image.

Speaking frankly to Elle magazine, Jen insisted the comments such as "Honey, take better care of yourself," and "Honey, put your face on" came from place of love but still hurt.

Jen said in 2019: "My mom said those things because she really loved me.

"It wasn't her trying to be a b***h or knowing she would be making some deep wounds that I would then spend a lot of money to undo.

"She did it because that was what she grew up with."

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The 1999 book that started the rift

In 1999 Nancy released a tell-all book about her daughter off the back of the success of cult sitcom Friends.

From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir effectively killed off their relationship for over a decade.

Jen was hurt by the book and promptly cut her mum out of her life until shortly before her passing in 2016.

The decision meant that Nancy wasn't invited to Jennifer's marriage to Brad Pitt which took place on July 29, 2000.

Building bridges

In 2005 it appeared that Jen and Nancy were starting to reach out to one another and try and build bridges.

Speaking on Good Morning America, Jen admitted it was 'baby steps' but was keen to see if they could work it out.

The Murder Mystery actress said: "It's been really nice.

"It's crazy what, you know, your life kind of being turned upside down will lead you to. So this is good. It's baby steps."

However, it took until 2011 and Nancy to suffer a stroke for the duo to really start talking once more.

Cut from the will

Despite building bridges prior to her death, Nancy is still said to have cut Jen out of her will.

Reports in 2016 around the time of her death claimed despite the duo being back in contact their relationship was still "strained".

A source told US magazine In Touch weekly: "Even though Jen and Nancy had a very strained relationship, Jen still paid almost all of Nancy’s bills in her final years."

It's reported that "more than a million dollars to the other family members".

Her death was announced via a joint statement from Jennifer and her brother, John Mellick.

The short statement read: "It is with great sadness that my brother John and I announce the passing of our Mother Nancy Dow.

"She was 79 years old and passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends after enduring a long illness. We ask that our family’s privacy be respected as we grieve our loss."

  • Hollywood
  • Jennifer Aniston

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