Leslie Phillips Dies: ‘Harry Potter,‘ ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Carry On’ Actor Was 98

Leslie Phillips
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Prolific British actor Leslie Phillips, who appeared in the Carry On film series and provided the voice of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise, has died. He was 98.

According to Deadline, he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, November 7, and had been struggling with a long illness. He is survived by his third wife, Zara Carr, and four children.

Born on April 20, 1924, in London, England, Phillips began acting in the 1930s, appearing in the stage production of Peter Pan at the London Palladium before landing his first film appearance in the 1938 musical comedy Lassie from Lancashire.

He was called up to the British Army in 1942, where he rose to the rank of lance-bombardier in the Royal Artillery. Due to his distinct upper-class accent, Phillips was selected for officer training and duly commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1943.

Phillips’ posh English accent became something of a trademark; however, he actually came from a working-class background. After his father’s death, his mother sent him to the Italia Conti Academy, where he attended drama, dance, and, notably, elocution to lose his cockney accent.

He would go on to star in several of the popular Carry On films, where he was known for his catchphrases “I say, Ding Dong” and “He-llo,” said with a suggestive intonation.

In more recent years, Phillips was best known for providing the voice of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter movies. He also starred alongside Angelina Jolie in the 2001 feature Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and opposite Peter O’Toole in the 2006 film Venus, which earned him a BAFTA nomination for his performance.

Phillips reprised his role as the Sorting Hat in 2011 for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and made his last on-screen appearance in the 2012 film After Death.