Who Is Nancy Dow? New Details About Jennifer Aniston's Mother And Their Long-Time Feud

Even Jennifer Aniston can disappoint her parents.

Who Is Nancy Dow? New Details Jennifer Aniston Mom Fight Dumplin Movie Instagram

In case you wanted to feel bad about yourself, Jennifer Aniston just revealed that she "did not come out the model child" her mother had hoped for. 

Aniston, 49, is opening up about her strained relationship with her late mother, Nancy Dow, ahead of the release of the forthcoming Netflix film Dumplin', in which the actress plays a demanding, image-obsessed mother to a plus-size beauty pageant contestant. 


“One of the reasons I really loved the mother-daughter aspect of it was because it was very similar in a way to what my mother, and our relationship, was,” Aniston said in a recent interview with The Sunday Telegraph

“She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like,” Aniston continued. 


The actress has been honest about her strained relationship with her mother in the past. Though the two eventually reconciled after their bitter public feud erupted in the late 90s, their relationship remained strained until Dow's death in 2016. In 2015, Aniston told The Hollywood Reporter that her mother had been highly critical of the actress growing up. 

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"She was very critical of me. Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t. I never was. I honestly still don’t think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine," the actress told THR.

So in case you needed a little Monday Motivation, apparently, you can be one of the most beautiful women in the world and remain at the top of your industry for decades and still be a disappointment to your family. Fun!


So, who is Nancy Dow? While I try to grapple with the fact that Jennifer freaking Aniston doesn't think of herself as "gorgeous" and "stunning," here's the rundown on Jennifer Aniston's mother and how she managed to make one of the most successful women on the planet question her confidence. 

1. In addition to being a model, she was also an actress. 



#tbt I think it's monday tho #jenniferaniston #nancydow

A post shared by jennifer aniston fanpage (@jenniferanistin) on Aug 14, 2017 at 12:47am PDT

Like her famous daughter, Dow was also an actress. She made television appearances throughout the 1960s, including roles on shows like The Beverly HillbilliesThe Wild Wild West, and Mr. Terrific. Following her role in the 1969 film The Ice House, Dow did not make another onscreen appearance until 2004's Pure, her last screen credit.


2. She was married twice. 



Happy Mother's Day!! #jenniferaniston #nancydow #faniston #happymothersday #mother #daughter

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@aniston.faniston) on May 13, 2018 at 4:49am PDT

Dow was married to Jack Mellick Jr. from 1956 to 1961. She then married Aniston's father, soap opera star John Aniston, in 1965. The couple divorced in 1980 when Aniston was only 9. 

3. She wrote a book about her relationship with Aniston.  

While Aniston's relationship with her mother had always been strained, their bad blood reached a boiling point back in 1999, when Dow released the tell-all memoir, From Mother and Daughter to Friends.


The actress cut communication with her mother following the book's release, and Dow was not present at Aniston's 2000 wedding to Brad Pitt. Although the two eventually reconciled, with Aniston calling their relationship "fine" in 2015, Dow was also absent from her daughter's wedding to Justin Theroux that year. 

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4. She died in 2016.  

Dow passed away in May 2016 at age 79 following a long illness. 


“No matter how complicated and difficult the relationship between Nancy and Jennifer may have been, it is heartbreaking for any daughter to lose her mother,” a source told People after Dow’s death.

5. Aniston used their strained relationship to prep for her new role. 

Aniston has revealed she drew heavily on her relationship with her mother in preparation for her role in Dumplin'.


“One of the reasons I really loved the mother-daughter aspect of it was because it was very similar in a way to what my mother, and our relationship, was,” Aniston told the Telegraph. "It was something that really resonated with me, this little girl just wanting to be seen and wanting to be loved by a mum who was too occupied with things that didn’t quite matter," the actress continued. 

Aniston also shared that the movie adds an important contribution to the ongoing cultural conversation surrounding body image and beauty standards. 

“This movie is so special because it is about stripping away those preconceived notions of beauty, trying to become individuals and not feeling that we have to live up to some unrealistic ideal that society is feeding up to us."

Dumplin' launches on Netflix on Dec. 7.


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Kayla Kibbe is a writer wrapping up her final semester at Connecticut College where she is an English major with a concentration in creative writing. She covers trending celebrity and entertainment news, love and relationships, and astrology.

WATCH: Dumplin' Trailer