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WHAT A SCREAM
In her first movie role, Aniston played a rich girl who battles an evil elf in the low-budget 1993 horror flick Leprechaun. Of her early dry days as an actress, she joked to PEOPLE in 1997, "I was such a loser."
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Aniston and Pitt tied the knot on July 29, 2000, in Malibu; she vowed to always make his "favorite banana milkshake," he pledged to "split the difference on the thermostat." One of their wedding guests told PEOPLE afterward, "It was an emotional service. It was not like a business thing. It was friends and family and celebration."
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Although Aniston has undergone her share of tress-formations over the years – dark and tousled in 1994 (top left), blonde and straight in 2001 (bottom left) – she made the most waves with her trendsetting shag (in 1996), known as "The Rachel." Of the sensation her do caused, Aniston told PEOPLE: "It's bizarre."
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After meeting through mutual friends in 1995, Aniston and actor Tate Donovan (in 1997) dated for two-and-a-half years – and even exchanged Irish commitment rings. But the relationship ended in 1998. "Jennifer and Tate are both nice people," Donovan's father J. Timothy Donovan told PEOPLE that year. "Nice people just don't always get married and live happily ever after."
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Aniston attended her 1987 prom sporting a typically 1980s hairstyle. Even then, the future actress – who graduated that year from New York's LaGuardia High School of Music and Art – showed a dramatic flair. At one point, she sported "a mini-Mohawk ... and lots of liquid eyeliner. I did liquid eyeliner better than anyone in history," she told PEOPLE.
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Always perfectly coiffed on the red carpet (as with Pitt at the 2000 Emmys), in everyday life Aniston has a low-key style. "She's no different than the person she was 15 years ago," pal Kathy Najimy told PEOPLE. "Her clothes are the exact same, her T-shirts, her little tank tops, her cargo pants and her flip-flops."
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Once told to lose 30 lbs. by an agent, today the svelte star (vacationing in Cabo San Lucas in 2002) – named one of PEOPLE's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2002 – keeps fit by working out three times a week and following The Zone diet, which dictates a 40-30-30 ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
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TOP OF HER GAME
A Christian Dior-clad Aniston won her first best actress Emmy for Friends in 2002. Friends has been "the greatest nine years of my entire life," the actress said of the show that earned her the honor. "I don't know of anything she's not capable of," costar Matthew Perry gushed to PEOPLE.
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Starring in the indie drama The Good Girl (with Jake Gyllenhaal, left) was an opportunity to "prove, to myself most of all," she told PEOPLE, "that I could maybe try something different." The risk was worth it: Her portrayal of a small-town sales clerk had her on critics' good sides.
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"We kind of have a pact," Friends costar Courteney Cox told PEOPLE about Aniston (at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2003). "If anything ever bothers us, we don't hold it in for one second. I never have to say, 'Are you mad?' and she doesn't have to say, 'Are you upset with me?' I trust her implicitly."
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