Profilins are small proteins involved in actin dynamics. In accordance with this function, they are found in all eukaryotes and are structurally highly conserved. However, their precise role in regulating actin-related functions is just beginning to emerge. This article recapitulates the wealth of information on structure, expression and functions accumulated on profilins from many different organisms in the 30 years after their discovery as actin-binding proteins. Emphasis is given to their interaction with a plethora of many different ligands in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus, which is considered the basis for their various activities and the significance of the tissue-specific expression of profilin isoforms.