Lucas Neff

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Lucas Neff
Born (1985-11-07) November 7, 1985 (age 30)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 2009–present

Lucas Neff (born November 7, 1985) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying James "Jimmy" Chance in the Fox sitcom Raising Hope.

Personal life[edit]

Neff was born and raised in the Andersonville area of Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Meade Palidofsky, is the founder of Storycatchers Theatre and his father, Alan, is a lawyer and novelist. He is of Irish and Jewish descent.[1] He graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in 2004 and with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008. He started acting when he was mistakenly assigned to the performing arts department at UIC.[2] After college, he took classes at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.[2] Neff has a younger brother, he lives in Los Angeles, California.[3]


His local theater debut was in the Chicago-based theater company Collaboraction's production of Jon.[3] 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.[3] 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 Greg Garcia. From the 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 series 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]

Neff maintained his links with the theater, writing plays,[3] such as The Last Duck, which 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]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Beast Young Agent Episode: "No Turning Back"
2010 Amigo Shanker
2010–2014 Raising Hope James "Jimmy" Chance 88 episodes
2016 Preacher J.J. Quinncannon Episode #1.1
2016 Fear, Inc. Joe Foster Filming


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b "Raising Hope Cast Biographies: Lucas Neff (as Jimmy)". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Metz, Nina (September 10, 2011). "Neff finds his niche on 'Raising Hope'". Chicago Tribune. 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. 

External links[edit]