Jeremy Piven is an American actor best known for his starring role as Ari Gold, Vincent Chase's neurotic talent agent, on the comedy-drama television series Entourage, from 2004-2011.
He also has a starring role as Harry Gordon Selfridge, a self-made retail entrepreneur brimming with confidence and chutzpah who arrives in London in 1906 ready to transform shopping with the most ambitious department store the world has ever seen, in the period drama television series Mr Selfridge.
Piven was born in New York, New York, USA and grew up in Evanston, Illinois, in north suburban Chicago. He graduated from Evanston Township High School and attended Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, as a teenager.
In Illinois, he trained at Piven Theatre Workshop, founded by his parents Byrne Piven and Joyce Hiller, both of whom were actors and drama teachers.
He has a sister, Shira, and attended Camp Chi, a Jewish Community Centre camp in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, in the 1970s.
He also attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Drake he became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
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 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 The Family Man, Black Hawk Down, Heat, and Runaway Jury. He also had a brief appearance as a gay salesman in Rush Hour 2.
Since 2004, Piven has played Hollywood agent Ari Gold in the HBO series Entourage. He received Emmy nominations for best supporting actor in 2005 and 2007, and won the award in 2006.
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.
Piven voiced the character "Harv" in the animated 2006 motion picture Cars as Lightning McQueen's agent.
Piven performed "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field on Father’s Day, 2006 and 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 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 2/28/2007, as the rights ended on that date.
Piven's voice can be heard in national television advertisements for 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 and hosted Saturday Night Live on January 20, 2007 with musical guest AFI. He also appeared in Smokin' Aces.
Piven plays the drums in his spare time. He recently sat in to play live with Kelley Jimenez.