Leslie Phillips, the British actor who starred in the Carry On movie franchise and later voiced the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 98.
Leslie Phillips, a British actor who was in the Carry On movies and later did the voice of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter movies, has died at the age of 98. His agent, Jonathan Lloyd, told the PA news service that Phillips died “peacefully in his sleep” on Monday.
Phillips was known for playing jerks from the upper class, but he had a strong working-class London accent because he was born in Tottenham, a northern suburb of London. He lost his accent when he went to the prestigious Italia Conti Stage School to study acting, dancing, and public speaking.
In the 1930s, he made his first movie appearances, but it wasn’t until well after World War II, when he was a lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry, that he got his big break in the musical Les Girls with Gene Kelly.
He turned down the chance to move to Hollywood and instead stayed in Britain, where he went on to star in Carry On Nurse, Carry On Teacher, and Carry On Constable. “Ding Dong!” was one of his catchphrases that made him a household name. “Hello” and “What’s up!”
Phillips’ voice, on the other hand, would be familiar to younger people because he was the voice of the sorting hat in the Harry Potter movies. The sorting hat put Hogwarts students into one of four schoolhouses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.
Phillips had a stroke about eight years ago, but he was said to have recovered well. Sanjeev Bhaskar, who is also an actor, sent out a tweet with a video of Phillips from the BBC show The Kumars at No. 42.
Phillips said in the clip that he was once stuck in the London Underground, surrounded by people who kept telling him to do his catchphrases.
Bhaskar tweeted, “One of the best parts of doing #TheKumars42 was having guests like here, Madness, and the wonderful #LesliePhillips, who couldn’t have been more of a gentleman. He was kind, funny, and warm. #RIPLesliePhillips”
Piers Morgan also paid tribute to him by tweeting, “R.I.P. Leslie Phillips, 98.
“Wonderful character and superb comedy actor, best known for what he called his “lecherous twit” roles in the Carry On and Doctor In The House movies with his catchphrases “Ding Dong,” “Well, Hello,” and “I Say..” Sad news.
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