Dileep Rao

Dileep A. Rao (born July 29, 1973) is an American actor who has appeared in feature films and television series. He starred in Sam Raimi's horror film Drag Me to Hell (2009), James Cameron's science fiction film Avatar (2009), and Christopher Nolan's thriller Inception (2010).

Dileep Rao
Born (1973-07-29) July 29, 1973 (age 47)
EducationUniversity of California, San Diego (BA)
American Conservatory Theater (MFA)
Years active2006–present

Life and careerEdit

Rao was born in Los Angeles to a physicist mother and an engineer father, both of Indian descent.[1][2] He grew up in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, Denver, Colorado, and Claremont, California. He has one sister who is a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. He graduated from Claremont High School[3] and the University of California, San Diego, with a B.A., later receiving an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where his class included Anna Belknap and Elizabeth Banks.

Rao's first role after graduating was in the American premiere of Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard. Rao moved to Los Angeles and began working in regional theater including at the Berkeley Rep, South Coast Repertory, and for the Manhattan Theater Club.

He competed on Jeopardy! on June 7, 2002, and won $34,400.[4] On June 8, 2008, Rao was randomly selected from over 1600 entrants to play the NPR Weekend Edition Sunday puzzle on air with Will Shortz.[5]

In 2009, he appeared in Avatar and Drag Me to Hell. He was nominated for several awards as part of the ensemble cast in Christopher Nolan's 2010 film Inception. He played a pharmacologist in the film.[6]


Year Film Role Notes
2009 Drag Me to Hell Rham Jas
Avatar Dr. Max Patel
2010 Inception Yusuf
2014 Murder of a Cat Doctor Mundhra
2015 Beeba Boys Kash Sood
2022 Avatar 2 Dr. Max Patel Post-production
2024 Avatar 3 Filming

TV rolesEdit


  1. ^ "AIA San Diego". AIA San Diego. May 13, 2010. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "Indian set to fly high". Deccan Herald. India. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  3. ^ Bolinger, Brenda (June 22, 2012). "On to fame and fortune (and prison): CHS alumni in the public spotlight". Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Dileep Rao". J-Archive. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "NPR Weekend Edition, June 8, 2008". Npr.org. June 8, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  6. ^ Anderson, John (July 5, 2010). "'Inception': To Dream, Perchance to Sleep". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2012.

External linksEdit