Lucas Neff (born November 7, 1985) is an American actor from Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his work in the role of James "Jimmy" Chance in the sitcom Raising Hope. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Early lifeEdit

Neff was raised in Andersonville, Chicago, and has a younger brother.[1] His father is Jewish and his mother is of Irish descent.[2] Neff graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Theater from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008. His acting career started when he was mistakenly assigned to the performing arts department at UIC.[3] After college, he took classes at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.[3]


His local theater debut was in the Chicago-based theater company Collaboraction's production of "Jon".[1] While trying to start his career by appearing in storefront theater and commercials, Neff financed himself by cleaning houses,[4] which he only began a week before being cast in his first major role.[1] His first television role came when he was cast in a minor role in the series finale of A&E Network's The Beast.[5]

When a nationwide casting call was put out for Raising Hope, Neff taped his ten-page audition and sent it in to the show's creator, Greg Garcia. From this first tape, Neff became Garcia's first choice for the role of Jimmy Chance. However, he was still required to go through multiple auditions before he could be confirmed in his first major role.[4] Neff said of the show at the time of the pilot, "It’s a very sweet-hearted, kind show, and it places family first and doing the right thing first. You don’t see a lot of that in TV or movies. We celebrate a lot of fancy heroes and fancy criminals and infidelity and, generally, just a lot of bad behavior. It’s nice to be part of a show that celebrates decency and being good to one another."[4]

After gaining the role in Raising Hope, he has maintained his links with the theater, writing plays.[1] His play The Last Duck was performed at the Jackalope Theatre in Chicago as the final play of the 2011–2012 season. It was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work.[6]

Family lifeEdit

Neff was previously engaged to Chicago stage actress Kelly O'Sullivan. He lives in Los Angeles, California.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Beast Young Agent Episode: "No Turning Back"
2010 In Memoriam Jay
2010 Amigo Shanker
2010–present Raising Hope Jimmy Chance Main Role


  1. ^ a b c d e Metz, Nina (September 10, 2011). "Neff finds his niche on 'Raising Hope'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Raising Hope Cast Biographies: Lucas Neff (as Jimmy)". Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Lucas Neff breaks out on 'Raising Hope' and laughs a little along the way". LA Times. October 26, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Carter, Lance (March 1, 2011). "Q & A: Raising Hope’s Lucas Neff and Greg Garcia". Daily Actor. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Jackalope Theatre Presents THE LAST DUCK March 22 – April 15". Broadway World. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.

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