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Jeremy Piven

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Source: Wikipedia

Jeremy Samuel Piven (born July 26, 1965) is a three-time Emmy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor. He is best known for his role as Ari Gold on the critically acclaimed HBO television series Entourage.

Early years

Piven was born in New York City and grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and north suburban Chicago. He graduated from Evanston Township High School, and attended Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, as a teenager. He played the part of "Bernardo" in West Side Story, there. In Illinois, he trained at Piven Theatre Workshop, founded by his parents Byrne Piven and Joyce (née Hiller), both of whom were actors and drama teachers. He has a sister, Shira, and attended Camp Chi, a Jewish Community Center summer camp in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, in the 1970s. He also attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and was 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.

Career

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

Since 2004, Piven has played rambunctious 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. 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 performed "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field on Father’s Day, 2006. Piven gave the cue to Chicago Cubs fans by saying, "Let's hug it out, you little bitches," a line he made famous as his character Ari Gold on the hit HBO show Entourage. The Chicago Tribune reported that he was to have said, "Hug it out, Cubs fans." He apologized on WGN-TV, and later claimed it was an accident during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Piven also appeared in local television advertisements for Cincinnati Bell Telephone, a subsidiary of Cincinnati Bell, Inc. He ended each commercial with the tagline, "Welcome to Cincinnati Bell." These advertisements ended on February 28, 2007, as the rights ended on that date. Piven's voice can be heard in national television advertisements for the restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings, in which he delivers the phrase, "Buffalo Wild Wings: You have to be here." He also appeared in Paul Westerberg's "Dyslexic Heart" video for the movie Singles, and played a balding Michael Barth playing George Costanza on the Seinfeld episode "The Pilot".

Piven was in a series of 1998 TV commercials for the Chicago Blackhawks, including one in which he famously proclaimed "Detroit Sucks" from the upper level of the United Center. He hosted Saturday Night Live on January 20, 2007 with musical guest AFI. Most recently, Piven appeared as Deputy Chief of Mission Damon Schmidt in The Kingdom. He also lent his voice to Earth Hour in a video for a campaign urging people to turn off their lights for one hour on March 29, 2008.

Currently, Piven is in rehearsals for 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 will begin performances on October 3, 2008 in preparation for an October 23 opening.

Personal life

Piven is Jewish, and also shares beliefs of many Eastern Religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Piven starred in the Travel Channel special Jeremy Piven's Journey of a Lifetime detailing his journey across India. Former Saturday Night Live writer and comedy director Adam McKay is his brother-in-law. Piven is uncle to Pearl from The Landlord.

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