Talin is a large dimeric protein that couples integrins to cytoskeletal actin. Here, we report the structure of the C-terminal actin-binding domain of talin, the core of which is a five-helix bundle linked to a C-terminal helix responsible for dimerisation. The NMR structure of the bundle reveals a conserved surface-exposed hydrophobic patch surrounded by positively charged groups. We have mapped the actin-binding site to this surface and shown that helix 1 on the opposite side of the bundle negatively regulates actin binding. The crystal structure of the dimerisation helix reveals an antiparallel coiled-coil with conserved residues clustered on the solvent-exposed face. Mutagenesis shows that dimerisation is essential for filamentous actin (F-actin) binding and indicates that the dimerisation helix itself contributes to binding. We have used these structures together with small angle X-ray scattering to derive a model of the entire domain. Electron microscopy provides direct evidence for binding of the dimer to F-actin and indicates that it binds to three monomers along the long-pitch helix of the actin filament.