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Jeremy Samuel Piven (born July 26, 1965) is an American actor. He is best known for his role of Ari Gold in the hit HBO series, Entourage, for which he has won the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor on three occasions and a Golden Globe Award.

Early years

Piven was born in Manhattanmarker and grew up in Evanston, Illinoismarker, a suburb north of Chicagomarker. He graduated from Evanston Township High Schoolmarker, and attended Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsinmarker, as a teenager. He played the part of "Bernardo" in West Side Story, there. In Illinoismarker, he trained at Piven Theatre Workshop, founded by his parents Byrne Piven and Joyce Piven, both of whom were actors and drama teachers. He also attended Drake Universitymarker in Des Moines, Iowamarker, and is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He spent a semester at the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Connecticut. He has appeared in a number of films with John Cusack, who is also from Evanston and is a fellow alumnus of the Piven Theatre Workshop (as are Cusack's sisters Joan and Ann). Piven and Cusack once shared an apartment and have been friends since high school.


Piven's first significant role was as a regular cast member for several seasons on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, where he played the head writer Jerry. Piven has appeared in several successful films, including Lucas, Grosse Pointe Blank, Singles, Very Bad Things, The Family Man, Black Hawk Down, Heat, PCU, Old School, Rock N Rolla, Smokin' Aces and Runaway Jury. He also had brief cameo appearances in Rush Hour 2 and in the US release of Cars.

Since 2004, Piven has reinvigorated his career by playing a fast-talking, acerbic Hollywood agent Ari Gold in the HBO series Entourage. He received Emmy nominations for best supporting actor four straight years from 2005 to 2008, and won the award in 2006, 2007, and 2008. 2009 was the first year in which he didn't receive an Emmy Award nomination for his work on Entourage. Piven was also the star and producer of the short-lived ABC dramedy series Cupid, and was a supporting cast member on the last three seasons of the sitcom Ellen. He played the part of Ellen's cousin, Spence. He also voiced Elongated Man in three episodes of Justice League Unlimited.

In 2007, Piven appeared in the video for "Drivin' Me Wild", the third single taken from rapper Common's seventh album Finding Forever. The two were co-stars in Smokin' Aces, and appeared together when Piven hosted SNL in January 2007.

Piven appeared in the first Broadway revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, co-starring Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss and three-time Tony nominee Raul Esparza. The production began preview performances on October 3, 2008, and opened on October 23, 2008; the play was due to run through February 22, 2009. After Piven missed several performances, on December 17, 2008, Piven's rep announced that due to an undisclosed illness, Piven would be ending his run in the play effective immediately. The illness was revealed to be hydrargaria, a disease caused by exposure to mercury or its compounds, though the source is unknown. Rumours have indicated that the high level of mercury could potentially have been caused by Piven's excess habits of consuming sushi several times a day. Mamet joked that Piven was leaving the play "to pursue a career as a thermometer". On September 1, 2009, Piven, in a guest appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, explained that he had given up red meat and poultry, and had been getting all of his protein from fish for the past twenty years. William H. Macy and Norbert Leo Butz replaced Piven in the Broadway show.

Piven was also a special guest host on WWE Monday Night Raw on August 3, 2009.

His current movie, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is his first starring role. The movie was released on August 14, 2009. It was neither a commercial success nor a critical one as it received mostly negative reviews.

Personal life

Piven considers himself a "Jewish Buddhist."He starred in the Travel Channel special Jeremy Piven's Journey of a Lifetime detailing his journey across India.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1986 Lucas Spike
One Crazy Summer Ty
1989 Say Anything... Mark
1990 The Grifters Sailor - Freshman
White Palace Kahn
1992 The Player Steve Reeves
Bob Roberts Candle Seller
Singles Doug Hughley
1993 Twenty Bucks Nervous Quick-Mart Clerk
Judgment Night Ray Cochran
1994 Floundering Guy
Car 54, Where Are You? Herbert Hortz
PCU James ‘Droz’ Andrews
1995 Miami Rhapsody Mitchell
Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde Peter Walston
Heat Dr. Bob
1996 Larger Than Life Walter
1997 Just Write Harold McMurphy
Grosse Pointe Blank Paul Spericki
Kiss the Girls Henry Castillo, LAPD
1998 Music from Another Room Billy Swan
Phoenix Fred Shuster
Very Bad Things Michael Berkow
2000 The Crew Det. Steve Menteer
The Family Man Arnie
2001 Serendipity Dean Kansky
Rush Hour 2 Versace Salesman
Black Hawk Down Clifton "Elvis" Wolcott
2002 Highway Scawldy
2003 Old School Dean Gordon ‘Cheese’ Pritchard
Runaway Jury Lawrence Green
Scary Movie 3 Ross Giggins
2004 Chasing Liberty Alan Weiss
2005 Two for the Money Jerry
Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy? Rock Rivers (Voice) Direct-to-video
2006 Cars Harv Voice
Keeping Up with the Steins Adam Fiedler
Smokin' Aces Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel
2007 The Kingdom Damon Schmidt
2008 RocknRolla Roman
2009 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Don Ready
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Carol & Company Comedy sketch characters Unknown episodes
1992-1998 The Larry Sanders Show Jerry Capen 15 episodes
1993 Seinfeld Michael Barth 1 episode
12:01 Howard Richter Television movie
1995 Chicago Hope Godfrey Nabbott 2 episodes
Pride & Joy Nathan Green Unknown episodes
1995-1998 Ellen Spence Kovak 72 episodes
1997 The Drew Carey Show Spence Kovak 1 episode
Grace Under Fire Spence Kovak 1 episode
Coach Spence Kovak 1 episode
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Victor DeMann (Voice) 1 episode
Don King: Only in America Hank Schwartz Television movie
1998-1999 Cupid Trevor Hale/Cupid 15 episodes
2000 Will & Grace Nicholas 1 episode
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Brain Pod #57 (Voice) 1 episode
2002 Rugrats Additional Voices 1 episode
The Twilight Zone Tyler Ward 2 episodes
2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series Roland Gaines (Voice) 2 episodes
2004-2005 Justice League Unlimited Elongated Man (Voice) 3 episodes
2004-present Entourage Ari Gold Main cast
2006 Jeremy Piven’s Journey of a Lifetime Himself Documentary
Executive producer


Year Award Category Film or series
2006 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Entourage
2007 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Entourage
2008 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Entourage
2008 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Entourage


  1. : Story : "poo is in *newsweek*", by caroline m
  2. Piven Theatre Workshop - Home
  3. HBO: Jeremy Piven as Ari - Entourage
  4. Jeremy Piven, Employing His Acting Skills (
  5. List of famous PIKES
  6. Access Hollywood
  7. SNL Archives | Episode. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  8. Docs Tell Piven: Broadway is Bad for Your Health TMZ, December 17, 2008
  9. NFI Response to Jeremy's Piven's Claims About Fish and Mercury
  10. Jeremy Piven Abruptly Departs Broadway's Speed-the-Plow Playbill, December 17, 2008
  12. Rotten Tomatoes
  13. The Star Online eCentral: Jeremy’s journey

External links

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