Jeremy Samuel Piven (born July 26, 1965) is an American actor and producer. He is known for his roles as Ari Gold in the comedy series Entourage, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Emmy Awards. He also starred in the British period drama Mr Selfridge, which tells the story of the man who created the luxury English department store chain Selfridges, and portrayed Spence Kovak on Ellen DeGeneres's sitcom Ellen.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Piven was born in Manhattan, New York, and raised in a Reconstructionist Jewish family of Ukrainian-Jewish descent
His parents are Byrne Piven (1929–2002) and Joyce Hiller Piven (née Goldstein), both of whom were actors and drama teachers. His sister is director Shira Piven, whom he has described as one of his first acting teachers; his brother-in-law is director Adam McKay.
He grew up in Evanston, Illinois and graduated from Evanston Township High School. As a teenager, he attended Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where he played Bernardo in West Side Story. In Illinois, he trained at Piven Theatre Workshop, founded by his parents. He also attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he departed after his sophomore year to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He left Tisch during his senior year to pursue his acting career and is an alumnus of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He spent a semester at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center 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 Joanand Ann). Piven and Cusack once shared an apartment and have been friends since high school.