At the 4th annual SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards in Beverly Hills, actress and producer, Jennifer Aniston was honoured for her philanthropic efforts in supporting causes like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Red Cross and cancer organizations.
The event featured a mini Friends reunion as Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow presented the award to Aniston. Hers was the final award doled out during a star-studded two-hour show.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards is an annual fundraiser that benefits the organization’s emergency assistance and free educational programs for SAG-AFTRA artists.
During the awards ceremony, Aniston expressed her gratitude for having achieved success as a working actor (and now producer) for the better part of three decades. “Friends was lightning in a bottle... I don’t mean the ratings,” she spoke about the iconic NBC show, which ended its run in 2004 after 10 seasons. “It was a very rare environment where there was truly no competition, no egos, we were just six relatively unknown actors learning on the job together and thanking our lucky stars to be on this rocket ship of a show. We didn’t care who got the best line, although Matt Perry usually stole all the good lines.”
Aniston further went on to say, “We’d trade ideas and coach each other and help each other, and if someone killed it, we would beam with pride.”
She continued, “We went from Friends to a family. That experience set the bar for the rest of my career and it taught me to surround myself with supportive people who make me better. Not only a better actor but a better person.”