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Jeremy Piven

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Entourage: Season 3 - Part 1... Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Adrian Grenier. Includes Aquamom" (6/11/06), Crash... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Entourage: Season 3 - Part 2... Sure it would be great to have it all, but at what price? For Vince, Eric, Drama... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Entourage: Season 1 DVD Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillion, Adrian Grenier. Includes Talk Show" (8/1/04), The... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Entourage: Season 2 DVD Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillion, Adrian Grenier. Includes My Maserati Does 185"... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Entourage: Season 4 DVD Sure it would be great to have it all, but at what price? For Vince, Eric, Drama... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Entourage: Season 5 DVD For Vince, Eric, Drama and Turtle, life in Hollywood's fast lane can be an... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Jeremy Samuel Piven Died:
Born: July 26, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, theater producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he made his breakthrough as a neurotic comedy writer on "The Larry Sanders Show" (HBO, 1992-98), actor Jeremy Piven was forever associated with the foul-mouthed, high-strung and fiercely loyal über-agent Ari Gold on the popular cable series, "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011). Piven so epitomized the manic agent that people often mistook him for Gold in real life, while some even took verbatim one of his more memorable lines and asked him to "hug it out, b*tch!" in public. Prior to playing the role that made him a star, Piven cut his teeth on the stage, then racked up a long résumé full of television and film roles with "Say Anything" (1989) opposite childhood friend John Cusack, and "Judgment Night" (1993). He had a starring role in the college comedy "PCU" (1995) before turning to television sitcoms as Ellen DeGeneres' cousin on the hit sitcom "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98). Though he continued to appear in movies like "Old School" (2003), "Runaway Jury" (2003), "Smokin' Aces" (2006), and "RocknRolla" (2008), Piven made his biggest waves for playing Gold on "Entourage," whose acerbic wit often translated off the screen as well. Despite the long road to stardom, Piven nonetheless relished his success once...

Though he made his breakthrough as a neurotic comedy writer on "The Larry Sanders Show" (HBO, 1992-98), actor Jeremy Piven was forever associated with the foul-mouthed, high-strung and fiercely loyal über-agent Ari Gold on the popular cable series, "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011). Piven so epitomized the manic agent that people often mistook him for Gold in real life, while some even took verbatim one of his more memorable lines and asked him to "hug it out, b*tch!" in public. Prior to playing the role that made him a star, Piven cut his teeth on the stage, then racked up a long résumé full of television and film roles with "Say Anything" (1989) opposite childhood friend John Cusack, and "Judgment Night" (1993). He had a starring role in the college comedy "PCU" (1995) before turning to television sitcoms as Ellen DeGeneres' cousin on the hit sitcom "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98). Though he continued to appear in movies like "Old School" (2003), "Runaway Jury" (2003), "Smokin' Aces" (2006), and "RocknRolla" (2008), Piven made his biggest waves for playing Gold on "Entourage," whose acerbic wit often translated off the screen as well. Despite the long road to stardom, Piven nonetheless relished his success once he achieved it, particularly when he began a string of Emmy and Golden Globe wins that confirmed the enormity of his talent and popularity.

Born July 26, 1965 in New York City, but raised in Chicago, IL, Piven was the son of Byrne and Joyce Piven, founders of the Piven Theatre Workshop, a company which would go on to nurture such future names as John and Joan Cusack, Rosanna Arquette and Aidan Quinn. Acting from childhood, he would later become a member of the Second City National Touring Company, a pivotal bit of comic training that would serve the young actor well later on in his career. Moving from the stage, Piven segued to features as one of the bullying jocks in "Lucas" (1986). His subsequent work included playing one of the Gas 'N Sip boys in Cameron Crowe's classic, "Say Anything" (1989), a film that starred Piven's childhood pal John Cusack; a sailor who gets duped by Cusack in Stephen Frears' "The Grifters" (1990); and one of the devoted fanatics in "Bob Roberts" (1992). With his career definitely on an upswing, Piven landed small roles in big films such as "White Palace" (1990), "Singles" (1992), "Miami Rhapsody" (1995) and "Heat" (1995). Just as importantly, Piven also began netting larger roles in smaller films, including "The Player" (1992), the romance "Twogether" (1992), the action flick "Judgment Night" (1993), and the troubled comedies "Car 54, Where Are You?" (1994) and "Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde" (1995). His first starring role was as a trouble-making college student in the low-budget, boisterous "PCU" (1994), followed by another lead in the Oxford-set romance "E=mc2" (1995), and a turn as a writer romancing movie star Sherilyn Fenn in "Just Write" (1997). All good résumé-building experience, but nothing earth-shaking for his career.

Making the right move at that time, Piven jumped to television, appearing as a stock player on Carol Burnett's short-lived variety series, "Carol & Company" (NBC, 1990-91), and making guest appearances on such shows as "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98) and "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000). But it was his 1992-93 stint on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" (HBO, 1992-98) which brought him his first real notice. As Jerry Capen, the over-the-top writer on the fictitious late-night talk show, Piven went all-out in hilariously portraying Capen's personal life meltdown, brought on by abuse of sex and drugs, until he was finally fired. He mastered that character to such an extent that he made a 180-degree turn back to normalcy with his role as an out-of-work dad on the short-lived sitcom "Pride and Joy" (NBC, 1995) and in the TV-movie thriller "12:01" (Fox, 1993). In 1995, he reclaimed a bit of his "Larry Sanders" bravado by appearing as Ellen DeGeneres' grating and obnoxious cousin, Spence Kovak (replacing the male lead vacated by Arye Gross), on the comedienne's successful sitcom, "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98). After the show was cancelled, following the "outing" of DeGeneres' TV character, and a consequent massive ratings dive, Piven returned to series TV more than once in the late 1990s, starring in a pair of short lived, lighthearted ABC dramas, "Cupid" (1998), in which he played a man who believed himself to be the Greek god of love, and "Partners" (1999).

Despite making a mark on both small and big screens, Piven still found time for stage work, co-founding with childhood friend Cusack the Chicago-based theater company, New Criminals. The experimental company allowed the actor to push the envelope, with him later going so far as to say, "unless an entire row of people got up in the middle of a performance and leave the theater in disgust, I feel as though I haven't done my job." Piven's real-life friendship with Cusack continued to prove fruitful, as he became the then bigger star's preferred sidekick/foil in several films, especially those which Cusack produced himself. The witty team demonstrated their considerable "buddy-buddy" chemistry in the ultra-quirky but endearing hit man-goes-home-for-high school-reunion comedy, "Gross Pointe Blank" (1997), in which Piven played hit man Cusack's teen crony-turned-dentist Paul. The two actors re-teamed in the romantic comedy "Serendipity" (2001), with Piven's best friend helping Cusack pursue the woman he may have been fated to fall in love with (Kate Beckinsale). The Chicago boys were both featured in the film adaptation of author John Grisham's legal potboiler "Runaway Jury" (2003), with Piven as a shrewd but inexperienced jury consultant.

Even without Cusack, Piven began carving out a solid niche as a supporting player and character actor, usually playing a variation of his oily, comedic persona, but sometimes in straight dramatic roles as well, including in the feature films "Kiss the Girls" (1997), the HBO biopic "Don King: Only In America" (1998), "Very Bad Things" (1998), "The Family Man" (2000), "Rush Hour 2" (2001) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001). In 2003, Piven made the most of an underwritten role as the comic villain in the hit comedy "Old School," playing the dastardly, wound-too-tight college dean who attempts to thwart the fraternity created by middle-aged men Luke Wilson, Will Farrell and Vince Vaughn. Indeed, with his portrayal of Dean Gordon "Cheese" Pritchard, Piven seemed to pay tribute to such archetypal characters created in the late 1970s and early '80s by actors such as "Animal House" star John Vernon (Dean Wormer). That same year, he also landed a brief role as a bland newscaster in "Scary Movie 3," followed by the role of a Secret Service agent caught up in a romantic subplot in the vacuous Mandy Moore film, "Chasing Liberty" (2004).

Thankfully for Piven, after playing second banana for so long, the actor scored his biggest role to date when the HBO series "Entourage" debuted in 2004. Although not a member of the four-man group of the show's title, he grabbed audiences and would not let go with his hilarious, dead-on performance as the morally challenged, hard-driving, ultra-abusive talent agent Ari Gold. His comment, "Hug it out, b*tch!" became a buzz-phrase heard not only in agency hallways and power lunch spots in L.A., but across the country too, as audiences began to get hip to the show's brilliance with each passing season. Piven was such a stand-out, he earned several Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. With his mother by his side, Piven finally received his well-deserved "Entourage" Emmy in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

The following year, Piven received his second consecutive Emmy in the Best Supporting Actor category, this time going up against "Entourage" co-star Kevin Dillon, who was also nominated for his role as Vincent Chase's devoted brother and perennial hanger-on Johnny "Drama" Chase. Piven would repeat the win in 2008. In October 2008, Piven made a return to the stage for the first Broadway revival of David Mamet's "Speed-The-Plow," which also starred Elizabeth Moss and Raul Esparza. Piven was forced to leave the show, however, after he was diagnosed with extreme mercury toxicity. Priven reportedly felt dizzy and fatigued, and had difficulty lifting his arms or legs. Playwright David Mamet was initially skeptical of his sudden departure, saying "[M]y understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer." Piven was allegedly disappointed with the lack of support, especially after having spent three days in the hospital. The actor had been an avid sushi eater for years, which has widely been seen as one of the causes of the illness. Meanwhile, after receiving yet another Golden Globe nomination for playing Gold, Piven and the rest of his "Entourage" castmates saw their show come to an end after eight seasons, though widespread speculation fueled by public confirmations from writers and cast that there was a movie in the works. Turning back to the big screen, Piven had supporting roles in "I Melt with You" (2011) and "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World" (2011) while voicing Black Bellamy in the animated adventure "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists" (2012).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Entourage (2015)
2.
 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
4.
 Love, Marilyn (2012)
5.
 Angels Crest (2011)
6.
 I Melt With You (2011)
8.
 Waska (2010)
10.
 RocknRolla (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Evanston, IL
:
Joined the Second City National Touring Company
:
Acted as a child in his parents theater company The Piven Theatre Workshop
1986:
Made feature acting debut in "Lucas"
1987:
TV acting debut in an episode of "Jack and Mike"
:
Co-founder (with childhood pal John Cusack) of New Criminals theater group
1989:
First film with Cusack, "Say Anything"
1989:
Appeared as a regular in the variety series, "Carol & Company" (NBC) starring Carol Burnett
1992:
Appeared as a regular on HBO sitcom, "The Larry Sanders Show"
1993:
First substantial film role, "Judgment Night"
1993:
TV-movie debut, "12:01" (Fox)
1994:
Had starring role in the feature comedy "PCU"
1995:
Joined cast of the sitcom "Ellen" (ABC), playing the title character's cousin
1997:
Once again teamed with Cusack in "Grosse Point Blank"
1998:
Played the title role on the ABC series "Cupid"
1998:
Cast in featured role of a man who accidentally kills a prostitute during a bachelor party in "Very Bad Things"
2000:
Had supporting role in "Family Man"
2001:
Teamed on screen with John Cusack as best friends in "Serendipity"
2001:
Hired to replace Frank Whaley on the FX black comedy series "Bad News, Mr. Swenson"; left project due to family issues
2003:
Cast as Dean Gordon Pritchard in Todd Phillips' comedy "Old School," also starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn
2003:
Once again teamed on screen with longtime friend John Cusack in "Runaway Jury," based on a John Grisham novel
2004:
Played a secret service agent in the comedy "Chasing Liberty"
2004:
Cast as Ari, the ruthless high power agent on the HBO series "Entourage," produced by Mark Wahlberg; earned Golden Globe (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009), Emmy (2005) and SAG (2007, 2008, 2009) nominations for Supporting and Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
2005:
Cast opposite Al Pacino in the sports gambling drama "Two for the Money"
2006:
Cast as powered Hollywood agent throwing his son the ultimate Bar Mitzvah in the comedy "Keeping Up with the Steins"
2007:
Co-starred in the action-comedy "Smokin' Aces" directed by Joe Carnahan
2007:
Cast in the Peter Berg directed "The Kingdom"
2008:
Made Broadway debut in a NYC production of David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow"; ended his run early due to a condition caused by a high mercury count
2009:
Played a used-car liquidator in "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard"
2011:
Co-starred in Mark Pellington's "I Melt with You"
2012:
Voiced Black Bellamy in the animated adventure "Pirates! Band of Misfits"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Evanston Township High School: Evanston , Illinois -
Drake University: Des Moines , Iowa -
New York University: New York , New York -
National Theatre: -
National Theater Institute: Waterford , Connecticut -
Piven Theatre Workshop: Evanston , Illinois -

Notes

"It would be nice to cultivate a relationship with a fern or something. I have the social skills of a nine-year-old geisha boy. Does that make any sense?" --Jeremy Piven quoted in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, December 22, 1995

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Joyce Piven. Actor. Co-founder of the Piven Theater Workshop.
father:
Byrne Piven. Actor. Co-founder of the Piven Theater Workshop; born c. 1929; died on February 18, 2002.
sister:
Shira Piven. Actor.

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