November 7, 1985 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Neff was born and raised in the Andersonville area of Chicago, Illinois. He is of Irish and Jewish descent. He 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. After college, he took classes at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.
His local theater debut was in the Chicago-based theater company Collaboraction's production of "Jon". While trying to start his career by appearing in storefront theater and commercials, Neff financed himself by cleaning houses, which he only began a week before being cast in his first major role. His first television role came when he was cast in a minor role in the series finale of A&E Network's The Beast.
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. 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."
After gaining the role in Raising Hope, he has maintained his links with the theater, writing plays. 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.
In 2013, Neff created an alter ego named Jimmy Connolly, and began performing stand up in character around Los Angeles. March 11, 2013 is the first date Jimmy Connolly is known to have appeared on stage.
|2009||Beast, TheThe Beast||Young Agent||Episode: "No Turning Back"|
|2010–2014||Raising Hope||James "Jimmy" Chance|
|2015||The Good Dinosaur||Arlo||Voice|
- "Almost famous: ‘Raising Hope’ star, Chicago native Lucas Neff". RedEye. September 20, 2010. Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Raising Hope Cast Biographies: Lucas Neff (as Jimmy)". tv3.co.nz. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Metz, Nina (September 10, 2011). "Neff finds his niche on 'Raising Hope'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- "Lucas Neff breaks out on 'Raising Hope' and laughs a little along the way". LA Times. October 26, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Carter, Lance (March 1, 2011). "Q & A: Raising Hope’s Lucas Neff and Greg Garcia". Daily Actor. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- "Jackalope Theatre Presents THE LAST DUCK March 22 – April 15". Broadway World. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.