May 25, 2016 08:00 PM

Jennifer Aniston has announced the death of her mother, Nancy Dow.

“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,” Aniston, 47, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “We ask that our family s privacy be respected as we grieve our loss.”

Dow suffered a stroke in 2011 followed by a second stroke a year later, according to multiple reports.

The mother of two was married to Jack Melick from 1956 -1961 and soap star John Aniston from 1965-1980. Jennifer’s parents divorced when she was 9 years old.

“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 close to the family tells PEOPLE. “Nancy fought a very long battle, with many ups and downs, and Jennifer is grateful for the happy times they shared. She is pulling close to her husband and family and feels so supported by their love.”

In a January 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Friends alum described her mother as being “gorgeous, stunning” though she was also “very critical.”

Dow starred in TV series such as The Beverly Hillbillies in 1966 and The Wild Wild West in 1967. Her most recent work includes a role in the 2004 drama Pure.

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