Who Is Jeremy Piven?
Born on July 26, 1965, in New York City, as part of an acting clan, actor Jeremy Piven went on to be featured in a diverse array of films such as Say Anything, Bob Roberts, Heat, Kiss the Girls and Cars. After serving as a cast member on the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom Ellen, Piven landed his most famous part to date as agent Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage, winning three Emmy Awards. In late 2017, he came under fire for allegations of sexual assault.
Jeremy Samuel Piven was born on July 26, 1965, in New York City. Growing up in the northern Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, Piven attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Throughout his life, he has been involved with the acclaimed Piven Theatre Workshop, which was founded by his parents, Byrne and Joyce Piven. Jeremy received his comic training as a member of the Second City National Touring Company.
Commercial Success and 'Entourage'
Jeremy Piven soon moved from theater to the big screen, appearing in small roles in several films, including 1989's Say Anything, 1992's Singles and 1995's Heat. The actor has been most acclaimed, however, for his television work, beginning with HBO's The Larry Sanders Show in 1992 and Ellen in 1995. Around this same time, he starred on and produced the short-lived ABC dramedy Cupid (1998–99).
In 2004, Piven was cast as agent Ari Gold on the hit HBO series Entourage, winning Emmy Awards for his performance as the fast-talking Hollywood agent three years in a row—in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In December 2008, Piven became the subject of some ridicule for leaving the cast of a Broadway revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow before the end of its run. He was reportedly too ill to perform and was said to be suffering from mercury poisoning—reportedly a result of eating too much sushi. Some did not believe Piven's claims, including playwright David Mamet. Mamet quipped at the time, "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer." While the incident may have affected his future on the stage, Piven has remained a popular actor on TV and in film.
In 2009, the actor starred in the big-screen effort The Goods alongside Ed Helms and Ving Rhames.
Life After 'Entourage'
Entourage ended in 2011, after nearly 100 episodes. However, the enduring popularity of show led to the green light for its transition to the big screen, with Piven reprising the role of agent Ari Gold for the 2015 feature film.
Piven's subsequent credits included the TV series Mr. Selfridge, which premiered in 2013, and the action/science-fiction film Edge of Tomorrow (2014), starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
In 2017, Piven was tapped to headline a new drama, Wisdom of the Crowd. However, a few weeks after the show premiered as part of the CBS fall lineup, actress Ariane Belamar accused Piven of groping her on two occasions. With Hollywood still reeling from the dozens of actresses coming forth to describe unwanted sexual encounters with studio boss Harvey Weinstein, CBS promised an investigation into the allegations against Piven.
After two more women claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Piven, the actor took to Twitter to defend himself: "Let me begin by saying that the accusations against me are false and completely fabricated," he wrote. "I would never force myself on a woman. Period."
In late November, CBS announced that it was pulling the plug on Wisdom of the Crowd after 13 episodes. It was unclear whether the decision was made because of the accusations against its star or the show's uninspiring ratings.
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