Jeremy Piven was born on July 26, 1965 in Manhattan, New York. His parents, Byrne and Joyce, made their living as respected stage actors, and worked alongside such notable names as Mike Nichols, Ed Asner and Elaine May. In 1967, the small family moved from New York to Chicago, where Byrne and Joyce established the Piven Theatre Workshop. Jeremy made his debut at the tender age of 8, performing in a play derived from several Anton Chekov stories on the family stage. It was at the theater that Jeremy met future stars Aidan Quinn, Rosanna Arquette and John Cusack, the latter of whom would become Jeremy's lifelong friend and costar. Piven was born in New York City and grew up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb north of 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. 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 Lucas, Grosse Pointe Blank, Very Bad Things, The Family Man, Black Hawk Down, Heat, PCU, Old School, Guy Ritchie's latest outing Rock N Rolla and Runaway Jury. He also had brief cameo appearances in Rush Hour 2 and in the US release of Cars. 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. Piven appeared in 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 began preview performances on October 3, 2008, and opened on October 23, 2008; the play was due to run through February 22, 2009. After Piven missed several performances, on December 17, 2008, Piven's rep announced that due to an undisclosed illness, Piven would be ending his run in the play effective immediately. The illness was revealed to be hydrargaria, a disease caused by exposure to mercury or its compounds, though the source is unknown.