Dhafer L'Abidine (sometimes credited as Dhafer El Abidine or Dhaffer L'Abidine) is a Tunisian former professional soccer player and now actor who has starred in such television series as Dream Team, Spooks, The Bill and Hunted.
Dhafer was born in Tunisia and, after leaving school, played professional football in the Tunisian league. However he decided that he wanted to take up acting and moved to Britain, with, on his own admission, virtually no command of the English language.
He learned his dramatic skills at the Birmingham School of Acting, from where he graduated in 2002. A year later he was in the television soap Dream Team where he was cast as the captain of a football side.
Though he has all too often been cast as a Middle Eastern terrorist in his television roles, Dhafer is an accomplished linguist and speaks Arabic, French and Spanish.
In 2007 Dhafer hosted one of the biggest talent shows in the Middle East, Prince of Poets. The TV show attracted 20-million viewers per show across the region, eclipsing sporting events and reality shows. Following this success Dhafer was invited to present the 22nd The Carthage Film Festival, the largest film festival in Africa.
In 2010 Dhafer was introduced to a global audience as he appeared in numerous high profile feature films including Sex and the City 2, Neil Marshall's Centurion and Raja Amari's La Berceuse.
Dhafer also had leading roles in Sky One's Strike Back series and the BBC's Wallander.
His previous work in film includes BAFTA award-winning The Mark of Cain and also The Stone Merchant where he played opposite Harvey Keitel. Dhafer has appeared in numerous television dramas in the UK including Spooks, A Touch of Frost, The Wistleblowers, Wire in the Blood and Casualty.
Dhafer is the face of Boga Cidre in Tunisia and Juhayna in Egypt and the Middle East.