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Everything You Need To Know About Jeremy Piven

ByFrank Watson

Jun 26, 2023
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Read Time:8 Minute, 11 Second

Jeremy Piven is an American actor and producer known for his roles in popular television shows and movies. He was born on July 26, 1965, in New York City and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. Piven comes from a family of actors and performers, with both his parents and older sister pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.

Piven began his acting career in the late 1980s, appearing in small roles in various films and TV shows. He gained wider recognition in the 1990s with his roles in popular TV shows like “Ellen” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” However, it was his role as the fast-talking and ruthless Hollywood agent Ari Gold in the HBO series “Entourage” that made him a household name and earned him three Emmy Awards.

Aside from his work in television, Piven has also appeared in numerous films, including “Old School,” “Smokin’ Aces,” and “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.” He has also lent his voice to several animated films and TV shows, including “Cars” and “Family Guy.”

In addition to acting, Piven is also a producer and has worked on several films and TV shows, including the 2014 film “Edge of Tomorrow” and the series “Mr. Selfridge.”

Early Life

Jeremy Samuel Piven is an American actor who is known for his versatility in stage, film, and television acting. Born on July 26, 1965, in New York City to a family of actors, he grew up in Evanston, Illinois. Piven’s parents, Joyce Hiller Piven and Byrne Piven, were prominent theatre directors and founders of their own theatre company.

From an early age, Piven showed an interest in acting and began taking classes at his parents’ theatre school before studying theatre at Drake University. He later honed his skills at the National Theatre Institute and went on to build a successful career in the entertainment industry. In this article, we will take a closer look at Piven’s early life and career.

Family Background

He comes from a family with a strong performing arts background. His mother, Joyce Hiller Piven, and father, Byrne Piven, were both prominent stage actors in the theater community. The Piven family was Jewish and resided in Evanston, Illinois, where they ran their own family business, Piven Theatre Workshop.

Growing up with parents heavily involved in the theater world undoubtedly had an impact on Piven’s upbringing, as he often accompanied them to rehearsals and performances. This early exposure to the arts likely ignited his passion for acting and led him to pursue a career in the field.

Piven’s parents also had notable careers in film and television, further influencing their son’s path. His mother, Joyce, notably appeared in “The Hunter” and “The Assassination Bureau,” while his father, Byrne, acted in “The Doctor” and “Lucas.” Their combined experience and expertise undoubtedly contributed to Jeremy’s success as an American actor.


Jeremy Piven attended Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, where he was an active member of the drama department. He later enrolled at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he earned a degree in theater. While at Drake, Piven became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and continued to cultivate his passion for acting by participating in various theater productions.

Piven also had the opportunity to study at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. This intensive program gave him the chance to work with esteemed theater professionals and further hone his craft.

In addition to his formal education, Piven also gained valuable experience from attending the Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, as well as the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, which was founded by his parents, Byrne Piven and Joyce Hiller Piven. These immersive programs allowed him to learn from experienced performers and develop his skills alongside peers who shared his passion for the arts.

Career Accomplishments

Over the course of his career, Jeremy Piven has established himself as a versatile and talented actor. One of his most memorable roles is that of Ari Gold, the high-strung Hollywood agent he portrayed on the hit HBO series Entourage. In fact, Piven won three Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Gold, and was nominated for a Golden Globe as well.

Piven’s success on TV also translates to film, where he has earned acclaim for his work in films such as Black Hawk Down, Collateral Damage, and The Kingdom. His performance as car salesman Don Ready in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard was particularly praised for its comedic timing and energy.

But Piven has also made a name for himself on the Broadway stage. In 2008, he starred in the revival of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, a performance that won him critical acclaim and a nomination for a Drama League Award.

In addition to his work as an actor, Piven is also an accomplished producer and stand-up comedian, making him a true Renaissance man in the entertainment industry.

Acting Career

Jeremy Piven rose to fame as an American actor known for his roles in successful films and TV shows. With a career spanning over three decades, Piven has made a name for himself as a versatile performer, excelling both on stage and on the silver screen. From his early days in the theater to his breakout role as Ari Gold in the hit HBO series Entourage, Piven has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of acting. In this article, we will explore his career trajectory, from his roots in the theater to his most recent projects, and highlight some of his most memorable roles along the way.

Beginnings In Stand-Up Comedy

Jeremy Piven’s early career began in stand-up comedy, where he performed at various clubs and events in cities such as San Francisco and Salt Lake City. He was also a frequent performer at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, where he honed his craft alongside other notable comedians such as George Costanza and Kevin Pollak.

Piven’s experience in comedy proved to be a valuable asset in his acting career. His ability to improvise and think quickly on his feet translated well to roles that required wit and humor. He landed his breakthrough role as Ari Gold in the hit series “Entourage,” where he was able to showcase his comedic skills and earn a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series.

However, his contributions to the world of comedy should not be overlooked. Piven continued to perform stand-up comedy throughout his acting career and even hosted the NBC comedy series “Saturday Night Live” in 1995. His versatility as both a comedian and an actor demonstrates the range of his talents and his willingness to take risks on stage and on screen.

Early Films & TV Roles

Before his breakout role as Ari Gold in “Entourage,” Jeremy Piven had already established himself as a versatile actor through his early film and TV roles. One of his earliest notable appearances was in the comedy film “PCU,” where he played the character of Droz, a freewheeling college student who leads a rebellion against the school’s uptight administration.

Piven also made an appearance in the “Twilight Zone” revival series, showcasing his range by playing multiple characters in different episodes. He also had a memorable role in the Robert Altman-directed film “The Player,” where he played a sleazy Hollywood executive.

In the 1992 film “Singles,” Piven starred opposite actors like Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon as a musician trying to make it in the Seattle grunge scene. He also appeared in popular TV shows like “The Drew Carey Show” and “Will & Grace,” solidifying his reputation as a reliable character actor. Overall, Piven’s early roles laid the foundation for his later success as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable character actors.

Breakthrough Role As Ari Gold In Entourage

Jeremy Piven’s breakthrough role as Ari Gold in the hit HBO series “Entourage” was a game-changer for his career. As the razor-tongued Hollywood agent, Piven delivered some of the most memorable moments in television history. His portrayal of Ari Gold was so iconic that it earned him three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from 2006 to 2008.

Playing the role of Ari Gold transformed Piven’s career in ways he couldn’t have imagined. He had always been a respected stage actor, but playing Ari propelled him to a whole new level of fame. The character was a force to be reckoned with, and Piven played him to perfection. Some of the most iconic moments from his performance include his profanity-laced rants, his love of luxury cars and designer clothes, and his hilarious interactions with his assistant, Lloyd.

But it wasn’t just the moments that made Ari Gold unforgettable; it was also the quotes that came out of his mouth. Lines like “Let’s hug it out, bitch” and “If you don’t hear from me within an hour, assume I’m dead” have become part of pop culture lore. All in all, Jeremy Piven’s turn as Ari Gold in “Entourage” was a true breakthrough role. It cemented his place as a top-tier actor and earned him a spot in television history.


In conclusion, Jeremy Piven is a talented actor who has made a significant impact on the entertainment industry. From his early beginnings in theater to his breakout roles in film and television, Piven has proven himself to be a versatile and dedicated performer. Despite facing some controversies and setbacks throughout his career, he has continued to work hard and pursue his passion for acting. As he continues to take on new projects and explore new avenues in his career, it will be exciting to see where his talent and ambition will take him next.

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