Dhanaraj Benipal (Dan)
Dhanaraj "Dan" Benipal
Portrayed By Naveen Andrews
Gender Male
Species Human
Date of Birth March 11, 1974
Age 27
Zodiac Sign Pisces
Aliases None
Place of Birth Phoenix, AZ, USA
Current Location Los Angeles, CA, USA
Occupation Cook and delivery boy
Known Relatives Tamasi Benipal (mother), Mohit Benipal (father)
Significant Other None
Special Powers None
First Appearance Your Lucky Numbers Are...

Dhanaraj (known as Dan) is a "homeless" man of Indian heritage who is known among the streets as a kind benefactor. He sometimes allows the free use of his apartment at 450 Alameda for those needing someplace to stay for a time. He works as a cook at a restaurant downtown, and he works as a delivery boy for another restaurant to make ends meet.


Dan was born Dhanaraj Benipal, the only son of two Indian immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona. They owned a small restaurant there, and Dan grew up learning the fineries of the restaurant business. His first job was as a busboy there, later becoming a waiter as he aged, and finally graduating to cook in his later teen years. It was in his later teen years that the business was lost in an unfortunate fire. The family decided to take the money and move elsewhere in the United States; they settled in Los Angeles and hoped to rebuild. Unfortunately, they were not as successful there as they were in Phoenix. The restaurant floundered, but managed to barely keep its head above bankruptcy due to what little patronage they managed to draw in.

The lack of funds did not allow Dan to enjoy much in the way of education, and he wasn't exactly the most studious of kids at any rate. His high school grades were not worthy of anything besides community college, and his family could not afford even that. So Dan remained at home, cooking at the restaurant and slowly growing more frustrated with the frequent fights between his parents.

One day, Dan finally got sick of things and, in his early adult years, he packed a few things into a sack and left home for good. At first he was entirely homeless and lived that way for a little less than a year, sleeping out on the streets and defending himself from the scum of the city. What few jobs he did manage to secure didn't pay enough to let him afford housing. By the time he managed to find a couple of jobs that allowed him to rent an apartment at 450 Alameda, he had oddly grown to prefer sleeping out on the streets. He'd developed a rapport and camaraderie with the other homeless people on Skid Row, and thus he often sleeps out there, usually lending his apartment to others less fortunate than himself.

Dan maintains sporadic contact with his family, but the relationship is rather strained. Dan has also started to notice odd things about Los Angeles — strange people and things who roam the streets at night. Violent people. So far, he's merely classified it as the bizarre lunatic fringe of the city — but it is, perhaps, only a matter of time.


  • March 11th 1974 - Born.
  • May 23rd 1992 - Graduated high school.
  • September 20th 1998 - Left home.
  • November 27th 2001 - Encountered some very bad Chinese food at work, along with Nicolae and Ava.
  • November 28th 2001 - Made a delivery to Hyperion Hotel and met Wesley, Cordelia, and Fred, the latter of which he managed to send into angst.
  • November 29th 2001 - Encounters a large and hungry gigantic worm in Hollywood. Retains minor injuries when the worm explodes and embeds teeth and such into his back. Taken to the hospital and released next day after some stitching.
  • December 1st 2001 - Gets his cards read by Ava and garners some interest from Seth.


  • "Yes, being British does make humor a little hard. Being Indian makes it even harder. Putting the two together, you're bound to never get any laughs." — to Wesley, Cordelia, and Fred.
  • "If she tells you that you'll be eaten by a giant worm in the future or attacked by leftovers in the fridge, you should believe her." — to Seth about Ava.


  • Bi-Lingual: Dan fluently speaks, reads, and writes Hindi and English. He also knows some Spanish (enough to ask for basic things, as well as cuss out people) and very, very little Mandarin.
  • Special Delivery: Dan works as a deliveryman for The Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown. For this, he owns a bike that he keeps obsessively well-maintained, even if it's a bit of an outdated model.
  • Order Up: Dan also works as a cook at an Indian food stall in Grand Central Market. The work is only part-time, but he gets praised well for his dishes.
  • I See Wat U Did Thar: Being very observant, and usually having plenty of time in which to observe, Dan can often be seen sitting on the sidewalk with a notebook and pen. He likes to write down the things he sees that are of interest to him.
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