'Harry Potter' actor Leslie Phillips dies aged 98

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Beloved British actor Leslie Phillips has sadly passed away at the age of 98.

The veteran actor - who appeared in the hit Carry On movies as well as voiced the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise - had an illustrious career that spanned eight decades and saw him star in hundreds of TV shows, movies, and radio shows.

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Phillips, 98, had an illustrious career that spanned eight decades and saw him star in hundreds of TV shows, movies, and radio shows. Credit: Donald Cooper / Alamy

His widow, Zara Phillips, paid tribute to her late husband in a statement, saying: "I've lost a wonderful husband and the public has lost a truly great showman. He was quite simply a national treasure. People loved him. He was mobbed everywhere he went. When we married he cheekily introduced me to the Press as royalty, insisting I was the new Zara Phillips and that I was related to the Queen," The Sun reported.

Phillips - who coined catchphrases often associated with upper-class Brits like "Ding Dong," "Well hello," and "I say" - died on Monday (November 7) after a long battle with illness, per the BBC.

The past few years of Phillips' life were marred by tragedy, with The Daily Mail reporting that in 2011, his then-wife, former Bond girl Angela Scoular, died by suicide, and in 2015 he suffered a stroke that forced him to spend the next few years recovering at his home.

During the Second World War, Phillips was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1943, before being transferred to the Durham Light Infantry the following year.

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Phillips (pictured center in 1959's Carry On Nurse) coined catchphrases often associated with upper-class Brits like "Ding Dong," "Well hello," and "I say." Credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy

In 2020, Phillips spoke candidly about his iconic career to The Chap, telling the British magazine about the lessons he has learnt throughout his career.

"Discipline in everything is very important - always be on time, don't go missing, don't get big headed. I've been told I've got good comic timing, but it's all down to good diction. If they can't hear you, they won't get the timing. I've also learnt that I am a better father than a husband," he said.

Phillips then added: "Being a good husband requires a lot of hard work and you have to give your wife a lot of time, especially if she doesn't work. I was born on the same day as Hitler, so that taught me that birth date does not dictate character."

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"Being a good husband requires a lot of hard work and you have to give your wife a lot of time, especially if she doesn't work," Phillips said in 2020. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy

The then-94-year-old also discussed the popularity of his catchphrases, saying he has been asked to say them to fans "millions of times."

"As for my other catch phrase, 'Ding Dong!', I couldn't even count. But I have had a marvellous career and I am very fortunate. One thing I have learnt is that I would have liked to spend more time with my children as they grew up," he stated.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Leslie Phillips' family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Donald Cooper / Alamy

'Harry Potter' actor Leslie Phillips dies aged 98

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Beloved British actor Leslie Phillips has sadly passed away at the age of 98.

The veteran actor - who appeared in the hit Carry On movies as well as voiced the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise - had an illustrious career that spanned eight decades and saw him star in hundreds of TV shows, movies, and radio shows.

wp-image-1263176856 size-full
Phillips, 98, had an illustrious career that spanned eight decades and saw him star in hundreds of TV shows, movies, and radio shows. Credit: Donald Cooper / Alamy

His widow, Zara Phillips, paid tribute to her late husband in a statement, saying: "I've lost a wonderful husband and the public has lost a truly great showman. He was quite simply a national treasure. People loved him. He was mobbed everywhere he went. When we married he cheekily introduced me to the Press as royalty, insisting I was the new Zara Phillips and that I was related to the Queen," The Sun reported.

Phillips - who coined catchphrases often associated with upper-class Brits like "Ding Dong," "Well hello," and "I say" - died on Monday (November 7) after a long battle with illness, per the BBC.

The past few years of Phillips' life were marred by tragedy, with The Daily Mail reporting that in 2011, his then-wife, former Bond girl Angela Scoular, died by suicide, and in 2015 he suffered a stroke that forced him to spend the next few years recovering at his home.

During the Second World War, Phillips was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1943, before being transferred to the Durham Light Infantry the following year.

wp-image-1263176868 size-full
Phillips (pictured center in 1959's Carry On Nurse) coined catchphrases often associated with upper-class Brits like "Ding Dong," "Well hello," and "I say." Credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy

In 2020, Phillips spoke candidly about his iconic career to The Chap, telling the British magazine about the lessons he has learnt throughout his career.

"Discipline in everything is very important - always be on time, don't go missing, don't get big headed. I've been told I've got good comic timing, but it's all down to good diction. If they can't hear you, they won't get the timing. I've also learnt that I am a better father than a husband," he said.

Phillips then added: "Being a good husband requires a lot of hard work and you have to give your wife a lot of time, especially if she doesn't work. I was born on the same day as Hitler, so that taught me that birth date does not dictate character."

wp-image-1263176870 size-full
"Being a good husband requires a lot of hard work and you have to give your wife a lot of time, especially if she doesn't work," Phillips said in 2020. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy

The then-94-year-old also discussed the popularity of his catchphrases, saying he has been asked to say them to fans "millions of times."

"As for my other catch phrase, 'Ding Dong!', I couldn't even count. But I have had a marvellous career and I am very fortunate. One thing I have learnt is that I would have liked to spend more time with my children as they grew up," he stated.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Leslie Phillips' family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Donald Cooper / Alamy