Harry Potter Actor Leslie Phillips passed away at the age of 98
According to his agent, Jonathan Lloyd, Phillips passed away on Monday “peacefully in his sleep.”
Phillips is known for playing rich jerks, but he was born in the north London suburb of Tottenham and grew up with a strong working-class London accent.
During his time at the famous Italia Conti Stage School, where he studied acting, dancing, and public speaking, he lost his accent.
Although he made his initial film performances in the 1930s, he didn’t get his big break until well after the war, when he served as a lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry and appeared with Gene Kelly in the musical Les Girls.
Instead of accepting the chance to relocate to Hollywood, he stayed in Britain and went on to star in three Carry-On movies: Carry On Nurse, Carry On Teacher, and Carry-On Constable. He became well-known for his suggestive catchphrases, such as “Ding Dong!” “Well, hello,” and, “I say!”
Phillips’ voice is known to younger audiences, though, 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, or Slytherin.
Phillips reportedly made a full recovery from a stroke he had eight years before.
A clip of Phillips from his BBC series The Kumars at No. 42 was posted by fellow actor Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Phillips said in the video that he was stuck in the London Underground and that crowds of people were pushing him to use his catchphrases.
The combination of guests like Madness and the amazing Leslie Phillips, who couldn’t have been more of a gentleman, was one of the wonderful aspects of producing #TheKumars42, Bhaskar tweeted. #RIPLesliePhillips was a genuinely kind, witty, and gentleman.
In addition, Piers Morgan paid tribute to him via Twitter, writing: “RIP Leslie Phillips, 98. ” “Wonderful character and superb comedy actor, best known for his “lecherous twit” roles in the Carry On and Doctor in the House films, with catchphrases “Ding Dong,” “Well, Hello,” and “I Say..”