Hallmark Stars Mourn Death of Beloved Acting Icon

A row of lit tealights

Pixabay A row of lighted tealights flicker in the dark.

A number of Hallmark entertainers have taken to social media to honor a treasured former co-star in the wake of his death. Many of his fans knew John Aniston for his decades of work playing Victor Kiriakis on “Days of Our Lives.” As People detailed, Aniston died on November 11 at 89. Having played Kiriakis for over 30 years, he shared the screen with many “Days of Our Lives” cast members. Quite a few of those soap stars have also worked on Hallmark projects, and they shared touching tributes to Aniston after news of his death emerged.

Here’s what you need to know:


John Aniston Was a ‘Delight to Work With’

Hallmark and Great American Family star Jen Lilley played Theresa Donovan on “Days of Our Lives.” Her character lived at the Kiriakis mansion for a while, so “Theresa” and “Victor” interacted frequently. After Aniston’s death, Lilley shared a scene of the two working together on her Instagram page. The scene showed a gentle Victor as Theresa bid farewell, a version of Victor that was not always made available to others in Salem.

“I am so saddened by the loss of John Aniston. A veteran and consummate professional,” Lilley wrote. “He was such a delight to work with and gave me wonderful parting advice when I left,” she continued. One “Days of Our Lives” fan noted the scene Lilley shared was her favorite involving the two actors, and the Hallmark star replied, “Mine too. Followed closely by him saving Theresa from over dosing.”

Alison Sweeney took to her Instagram stories after Aniston’s death to share her thoughts as well. She included an old “Days of Our Lives” video clip of Aniston’s work and wrote, “John was such a talented actor and a true professional. I’ll always remember his fabulously dry sense of humor.” Sweeney added, “John would entertain everyone telling jokes during rehearsals, with nearby cast and crew drawn in between because he always delivered a perfect, sharp, and hilarious punch line.”


Aniston Was Beloved By His Former Colleagues

Kristian Alfonso has worked with Hallmark, but is known primarily for her work on “Days of Our Lives.” As her IMDb page notes, she started on the soap opera in 1983 and appeared in over 4,230 episodes. After she stepped away from her character of Hope Brady, she hopped over to Hallmark to join Sweeney for an episode of “The Chronicle Mysteries.” Soap fans know that Alfonso and Aniston worked together extensively, and she also paid tribute to her former co-star after learning of his death.

Alfonso shared a beautiful photo showing her with Aniston on her Instagram page. “Rest in Peace John. It was an Honor knowing you & working with you. Thank you for Always being so Kind & for Always making me laugh,” she wrote. “XOXO You will be Greatly missed,” Alfonso added, along with a broken heart emoji.

Hallmark’s “Nantucket Noel” star Trevor Donovan has ties to “Days of Our Lives” too, having played Jeremy Horton for a handful of episodes. After Aniston’s death, Donovan shared his condolences via Twitter. “Victor Kiriakis was the best, and most likable villain on Days of Our Lives. RIP John.”

People magazine shared that “Days of Our Lives” will incorporate a special tribute to Aniston into his last episode, which is slated to air on December 26.

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