Veteran British actor Leslie Phillips, known for his roles in several Carry On films and the Harry Potter series, has died aged 98.
His agent, Jonathan Lloyd, confirmed that the star died “peacefully in his sleep” on Monday.
Phillips made his film debut as a boy in the 1930s and went on to have an illustrious career on stage and screen, especially in the Carry On films – including Carry On Teacher, Carry On Columbus , Carry On Constable and Carry On Nurse.
He became famous for his evocative catchphrases like “Ding Dong!”, “Wow, hello” and “I said!”.
In a long and varied entertainment career spanning several decades, the actor has worked with a wide range of stars, from Steven Spielberg and Laurence Olivier to Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.
Though known for his deep voice and exaggerated portrayals of the British upper class, Phillips was born in Tottenham and raised speaking English in the estuary – taking erratic lessons and losing his accent later considered is a hindrance in acting. industry at that time.
He released his autobiography, Hello, in 2005, detailing how he discovered acting after growing up “in an impoverished childhood in north London” and the death of his father. when he was 10 years old.
Phillips appeared in television series such as Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders, Monarch Of The Glen and Holby City, films including Empire Of The Sun, Scandal and Out Of Africa, and plays including Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.
In 2007, the actor starred in Hanif Kureshi’s film Venus alongside Peter O’Toole, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.
And in recent years, his voice has become more recognizable to younger generations than that of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films.
He was given an OBE in the 1998 Birthday Honors and was promoted to CBE in the 2008 New Year Honors.
Born Leslie Samuel Phillips on 20 April 1924, the actor apprenticed at the prestigious Conti Italia Theater School before serving as a lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry from 1942 to 1945, when he was wounded.
He soon returned to the limelight and Carry On Films appeared in the 1950s and ’60s – cementing his reputation for playing smart and sly but incompetent members of high society. save.
This was followed by films such as Brothers In Law, The Smallest Show On Earth and The Man Who Liked Fu tangs and he also became known for his appearances in the Doctor series, as well as comedies that he co-starred with Scottish comedian and impressionist Stanley Baxter – including The Very Important, The Anonymous, The Quick Woman and The Father Came Too.
Like most of his contemporaries, he pursued his time in Hollywood, but said he preferred England.
“I could have stayed,” he said once, “but I’m Londoner. I want to go everywhere, but I’ll always want to live in London. So I’m back.”
After news of his death, the stars who worked with him and met him were among those paying their respects.
Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar shared a clip of Phillips appearing on his show The Kumars At No 42. In the clip, Phillips recalls how he once found himself trapped on the London Underground besieged by members of the public asking him to carry out his catchphrases.
“A truly warm, funny and gentle man #RIPLesliePhillips,” Bhaskar wrote.
Coronation Street actor Tony Maudsley said working with Phillips was “a pleasure”.
Phillips’ first marriage, to Penelope Bartley in 1948, was dissolved in 1965. They had two sons and two daughters.
He married second wife Angela Scoular in 1982 and the couple remained together until her death in April 2011.
He left behind his third wife, Zara Carr, whom he married in 2013.