Early life, family, educational background
American actor, James Raymond ‘Jimmi’ Simpson was born on 21 November 1975 in Hackettstown, New Jersey USA, making him a Sagittarius. He has two older brothers whose names are unknown. While attending Hackettstown High School, he began taking acting classes, then after matriculating, he studied towards a BA degree majoring in Theater from Bloomsburg University. He then spent four seasons in Williamstown, Massachusetts, acting at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Jimmi is probably best known for his roles in “Westworld” as the young William, as Liam McPoyle in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Black Mirror” as Walton, and Gavin Orsay in “House of Cards.”
His film debut was in the 2000 romantic comedy “Loser” as Noah; the film was directed by Amy Heckerling. Two years later he had a supporting role in “Rose Red,” a miniseries created by Stephen King. In 2005, he played Crash in the family sports comedy entitled “Herbie: Fully Loaded” which starred Lindsay Lohan as racer Maggie Peyton. In 2005 he began portraying Liam McPoyle in the series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” through 2013. Concurrently, in 2006 he played Virgil in the revisionist Western entitled “Seraphim Falls” which starred Liam Neeson as Carver, Ed Lauter as Parsons, and Pierce Brosnan as Gideon, and appeared in “Stay Alive.” The following year, he played Mike Mageau in the mystery thriller, “Zodiac” which was written by James Vanderbilt and directed by David Fincher. Jake Gyllenhaal starred as Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist who becomes obsessed with identifying the infamous Zodiac killer. The film included Marvel actors Mark Ruffalo as Melvin Belli, and Robert Downey Jr. as Paul Avery.
Jimmi acted as Lyle the ‘Intern’ from 2008 to November 2009 on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and in 2008 he also starred opposite Hank Azaria on Broadway in Aaron Sorkin’s production, “The Farnsworth Invention,” as Philo T. Farnsworth. The Chicago Tribune praised his portrayal, describing his performance as ‘superb.’ During 2008 and 2009, Jimmi guest appeared in “Psych,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “House” and “My Name is Earl”, and had the supporting role of Bob in the 2009 rom-com, “The Invention of Lying” which starred Ricky Gervais as Mark Bellison, Jennifer Garner as Anna McDoogles, Rob Lowe as Brad Kessler, and Tiny Fey as Shelley Bailey. The following year, he had another supporting role in another rom-com, “Date Night”, in which he portrayed Armstrong, reuniting with previous cast members Tina Fey who starred as Claire Foster, and Mark Ruffalo as Brad Sullivan. The film also starred Steve Carell as Claire’s husband, Phil Foster, Mark Wahlberg as Holbrooke Grant, and Kristen Wiig as Haley Sullivan.
He was part of the main cast of A&E’s “Breakout Kings,” as Dr. Lloyd Lowery in the crime drama series which was on the air from 2011 to 2012. He also guest-appeared in “How I Met Your Mother” as Pete Durkenson in the episode entitled “The Naked Truth”, and appeared in the action horror film “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” as Joshua Speed; the film starred Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln, Anthony Mackie as Will Johnson, and Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturges.
Also in 2012, Jimmi played Phil in the drama romance, “Hello I Must Be Going,” starring his ex-wife, Melanie Lynskey as Amy, Blythe Danner as Ruth Minsky, and Christopher Abbott as Jeremy. The film follows Melanie’s character Amy, a new divorcee who moves back to her hometown to live with her parents and ends up having an affair with a much younger 19-year-old. He next played Skip Tyler in the 2013 action and thriller “White House Down” which starred Channing Tatum as John Cale, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Carol Finnerty, Jamie Foxx as President James Vanderbilt, and Joey King as Emily Cale. Also in 2013, he was Arthur in the drama thriller, “The Truth About Emanuel,” and Ronnie Kwok in the horror comedy “Knights of Badassdom”.
Jimmi joined Netflix’s recurring cast for their political drama series entitled “House of Cards” as Gavin Orsay – also known as HEROnymous Bot – in 2014 and ‘15. His character is a former FBI agent turned computer hacker working to enmesh Lucas Goodwin, a journalist. He received two nominations along with his cast members – both were for Screen Actors Guild Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. American actor Kevin Spacey portrayed one of the two main characters, Democrat Congressman Francis Underwood, and Robin Wright plays his equally conniving wife, Claire Underwood. The main supporting cast consists of Michel Gill as US President Garrett Walker, Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes, and Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper. Actress Jayne Atkinson appears in 38 episodes of the series as Catherine Durant – Jayne is married to Michel in real life, so her husband’s recurring role on the show probably helped book her the gig. Beau Willimon created the show back in 2013; over its six years on air, it earned seven Primetime Emmy Awards, received a total of 218 nominations, and won 35. One of the unique features of the show is that Francis often breaks the fourth wall to explain the background of certain characters and situations to the audience, or share his thoughts; he looks directly into the camera when delivering these lines.
In 2016, he starred in SundanceTV’s dark drama comedy film “Hap and Leonard”, as a psychotic drug dealer named Soldier. He also began his portrayal of businessman, the younger William in HBO’s sci-fi drama television series, “Wesworld,” which is based on the 1973 film it shares a name with. He visits the amusement park, “Westworld” which is modeled after a typical Wild West town; while there, he falls in love with Evan Rachel Wood’s character, a sentient android named Dolores Abernathy. Variety’s Maureen Ryan described their chemistry as ‘spellbinding.’
He guest-starred in a 2016 episode of “This Is Us,” entitled “Last Christmas” as Andy Fanning; in 2017, the cast was nominated for a SAG Award and after the series’ second season aired, Jimmi earned an Emmy Award nomination under the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In 2017, Jimmi also portrayed Lieutenant James Walton aboard the USS Callister spaceship in season four, episode one of the anthology science fiction television series, “Black Mirror” in the episode entitled “USS Callister.” His performance was praised by Den of Geek, and his nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor was announced the following year. He also received a British Academy Television Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in “USS Callister,” the “Black Mirror” episode.
2018 was also the year he portrayed Detective Russell Poole – a real-life detective in the true crime drama “Unsolved,” a ten-part series based in the 1990s, covering the murders of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. Once again, Jimmi’s talent was recognized and his portrayal was praised by both Vulture.com and IndieWire. Vulture acknowledged that the cast list – which includes Marcc Rose as Tupac, Wavyy Jonez as Biggie Smalls, and Josh Duhamel as Russell’s partner, Detective Greg Kading – is impressive, but Jimmi was still able to stand out among them. ‘… he so carefully calibrates Poole’s intensity, dialing it up by slight degrees in each episode until he’s radiating with panicky determination… Simpson physically and emotionally illustrates [the character’s] internal struggle beautifully.’ The real-life Detective Greg Kading joined the series as an executive producer, and helped make the story as accurate as possible. Furthermore, the series was based on Greg’s book, “Murder Rap: The Untold Story of Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations.”
The following year, Jimmi appeared in David Robert Mitchell’s neo-noir comedy film “Under the Silver Lake” as Allen, in 2020 he starred alongside Russell Crowe in “Unhinged” as Andy, and in 2021, he played Petey Buttons in “Breaking News in Yuba County,” a crime comedy-drama. He voiced Detective David Mills in AMC+’s series, “Ultra City Smiths,” has been voicing Drednok in the series, “Star Trek: Prodigy” since 2021, and played Chris Talbert in the film “Silk Road.”
In 2022, Jimmi co-starred as Spencer Clay in the drama science-fiction television series adaptation of the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” Actress Naomie Harris played scientist Justin Falls, Chiwetel Ejiofor played the alien named Faraday who visits Earth, and Sonya Cassidy is Edie Flood. The series acts as a sequel to the 1976 film which starred singer and actor David Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton, who is portrayed by Bill Nighy in the television series. David’s involvement in the franchise received a unique nod in the series by the creators, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet choosing to name each episode after a David Bowie song, including “Hallo Spaceboy” and “The Man Who Sold The World.” In October 2022, it was announced that the series wouldn’t be renewed for a second season.
In 2022, he also voiced Green Arrow in the film “Green Lantern: Beware My Power” and briefly appeared in “Studio 666” as a Venue Person. His upcoming projects include the films “The Georgetown Project” in which he plays Tom, “Shriver” as Detective Karpas, and “El Tonto” as a Talk Show Host. He also has a series, “Dark Matter,” coming out soon in which he plays the main character named Ryan.
From 2007 to 2008 he performed on Broadway as Philo Farnsworth in the play, “The Farnsworth Inventio., a performance which earned him a Theatre World Award. In 2015, he had the lead role in American screenwriter and playwright Nick Jones’ play “Trevor,” as the titular character himself. Jimmi acted opposite American actress Laurie Metcalf, and they performed the play at the non-profit Circle X Theatre in Hollywood, California. Santa Monica College’s radio station, KCRW (College Radio Workshop) reported on Jimmi’s performance, ‘… you can’t imagine the humanity that actor Jimmi Simpson brings to “Trevor.” Yes, it’s a funny play, and, yes, there’s some ‘monkey business’ but Mr. Simpson’s gift is restraint. Instead of playing for broad laughs, he plays Trevor’s struggle for just that: an honest struggle.’
In 2008, Jimmi voiced Wesley ‘The Killer II’ Gibson in “Wanted: Weapons of Fate,” and in 2022, he voiced Drednok in “Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova.”
While filming “Rose Red” in 2001, he connected with his co-star, New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey; they quickly hit it off and started dating. In 2005, Jimmi proposed and Melanie accepted; they married in a Lake Hayes chapel on 14 April 2007 in New Zealand, but on 25 September 2012, Melanie filed for divorce with the reasoning being irreconcilable differences – their divorce was finalized on 23 May 2014.
We welcomed to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter today actors Jimmi Simpson and his fiancée Sophia Del Pizzo. They fell in…
Posted by Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society on Monday, December 3, 2018
In 2013, Melanie began dating American producer and actor Jason Ritter; they became engaged in early 2017, in December 201, she gave birth to their daughter, and Melanie married Jason in 2020, the second marriage for both of them. They are still married and the family of three resides in Los Angeles. It’s assumed that Jimmi and Melanie get along well, because they’ve worked together since their divorce.
In April 2019, Jimmi married British comedienne and actress Sophia Del Pizzo, however, this marriage also did not las, as.in July 2021, their separation was announced, and Jimmi filed for divorce. Sophia also appeared in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in 2019, and played Morgan in one episode of the Hulu series, “Into the Dark” entitled “Treehouse”, alongside Jimmi as Peter Rake.
Jimmi doesn’t have any children, and hasn’t shared whether or not he wants any.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- Jimmi has worked with both the Gyllenhaal siblings on two separate projects.
- His “House of Cards” character, Gavin, has a pet guinea pig – a female named Cashew.
- Jimmi has worked with his ex-wife, Melanie Lanskey on several projects, including “Rose Red,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Hello I Must Be Going,”
Jimmi stands at 5ft 10ins (180cm) tall, weighs about 190 lbs (85kg), and has grey eyes and light brown hair. His vital statistics are 42-32-37 and he wears a US size 10 shoe.
Net worth and salary
As of October 2022, his net worth is estimated at over $6 million.