People's Icon! Jennifer Aniston Calls Friends the 'Gift of a Lifetime' at People's Choice Awards

Jennifer Aniston is an icon!

The beloved actress, 50, received the People’s Icon Award on Sunday at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards on Sunday from her close friend and Murder Mystery costar Adam Sandler, who introduced her as “an incredible, caring role model with the biggest heart,” adding, “She’s exactly the way you think she is, everybody.”

“Thank you for this incredible honor. This town throws out a lot of awards, but the People’s Choice, this has always been special to me. As actors, we don’t do this for critics or for each other, or to make out families proud, you know? We do this for the money,” Aniston joked, drawing cheers from the audience. “No, I’m just kidding, we do it for you guys, we really do,” she said. “None of us could do what we do if it was not for all of you, and you all have been so good to me.”

The star added, “If I have any claim to this word ‘icon,’ it’s only because I was able to be on an iconic show, with an iconic cast, and an iconic haircut. Friends was truly — it was the gift of a lifetime, and I would not be standing up here without that amazing show, without those amazing five other actors, and with an audience who stuck with us … You believed in us, you really did, and you believed in those very impossibly large apartments.”

To conclude her speech, Aniston thanked her fans and supporters. “You paved the way for everything that I’ve had a chance to do since and it feels so good, also, that I get to be back on television, where it all started,” she said. “Thank you for being on this journey with me, and just, I love you guys.”

Aniston and Sandler also won comedy movie of 2019 for Murder Mystery.

The awards come as the actress is enjoying a celebrated return to TV with The Morning Show, also starring Reese Witherspoon. The longtime pals, who previously played sisters on Aniston’s hit show Friends, play news anchors at a morning TV show still reeling from the firing of its star (played by Steve Carell) after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Aniston recently proved her icon status when she sent fans into a tizzy by joining Instagram. The actress broke the site — which had a brief moment in time when fans couldn’t follow or see her page — before becoming the fastest person to reach 1 million followers in just over five hours.

The actress also dethroned one famous couple for the title of fastest to 1 million: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Aniston made her debut on Instagram by sharing a selfie of herself with her Friends costars Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc.

The E! 2019 People’s Choice Awards aired from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and were broadcast live on E!

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