Dalip Tahil (born 30 October 1952, India) is an Indian film, television and theatre actor. He did his schooling from the elite Sherwood College in Nainital, India and later graduated from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
Dalip Tahil initially made his foray into theatres in Prithvi Theatres bestselling play Pakke Dhagge opposite Sanjana Kapoor daughter of Shashi Kapoor. He then got a small role in National Award winning movie Ankur- acting in small and minor roles in films like Trishul (Harry- the henchman of Prem Chopra's Character) and Kala Pathar (As a mineworking friend of Sharat Saxena's character).
In 1980- he got a break in Shaan as a minor villain. This was followed in a small role in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi where he played a freedom associate of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. This gave him a break and he made the best of it by acting in the Deceivers (1988) and The Perfect Murder (1988)- after which he finally got a meaty role in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak as Aamir Khan's father. This was followed by Thanedaar, Deewana, Ishq, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, King Uncle, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke- where his role was usually villainous. Unlike Gulshan Grover who was the bad man villain - Dalip was usually more subtle and his villainy was less by gore and murder and more by deeds.
He gradually adopted a more supporting role in the late 1990s and early 2000s- in films like Partner or Shakalaka Boom Boom, Goal and Hello. His most recent appearances have been in Race (As the Rival Horse Racer) and in Dil Bole Hadippa where he plays a patriotic pre partion Hindustani.
In 2007 he starred in the Punjabi movie Sajna ve Sajna.
On television Tahil played roles in Sanjay Khan's television serial The Sword of Tipu Sultan and Ramesh Sippy's Buniyaad. He got international recognition when he got the role of Dan Ferreira in the popular British BBC television soap opera EastEnders in 2003. After less than year playing the role however, he was forced to leave the soap after it was discovered his work permit documents were not in order and the Home Office threatened to have him deported from the country.
Due to his departure many scripts that were written for his character on EastEnders had to be re-written to explain his absence. Originally his character was to have been killed off by his on-screen children but after his sudden exit, the scriptwriters struggled to find storylines for his on-screen family so the family was later axed by the producers in 2005. Dalip later won the right to stay in the UK.