Aniston Not First Pick For ‘Friends’ Role, Two other actresses were offered the part that won Jennifer Aniston fame and an Emmy. How Jennifer Aniston Almost Missed Out on Her Emmy-Winning ‘Friends’ Role, With the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on the horizon, it brings to mind some past television shows that brought home a whole lot of Emmy gold. One of the most notable shows was the long-running sitcom, “Friends,” a mainstay of the ceremony during the 90’s and 2000’s.
With the ensemble cast starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry, the series was nominated for a whopping 63 Primetime Emmy Awards over its 10-year run, making all of the show’s stars millionaires in the process. (It’s not hard to be a millionaire when you’re making $1 million an episode.)
With Aniston and Kudrow as the only main cast members to take home an Emmy trophy, it’s tough to imagine that Aniston almost missed out on the coveted role of Rachel Green. But before Aniston (and her haircut) took America by storm, she needed a little bit of luck.
A 2012 Vanity Fair article revealed that the part of Rachel was originally offered to both Courteney Cox (thankfully she told producers she wanted to play Monica, not Rachel) and actress Jami Gertz, who turned it down. (Gertz, known for her starring roles in “Less Than Zero” and “The Lost Boys,” went on to earn an Emmy nomination for “Ally McBeal.”)
But according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Jennifer Aniston nearly lost out on her breakthrough role for another big reason: She was already contracted to star on a show on CBS at the time.