Leslie Phillips, the veteran English actor best known for his roles in the ‘Carry On’ and ‘Harry Potter’ film series, as well as the BBC radio comedy series ‘The Navy Lark,’ has died at the age of 98. According to his agent, Jonathan Lloyd, he died peacefully in his sleep.
Phillips, who was born on April 20, 1924 in Tottenham, Middlesex, made his stage debut in 1937. He played a wolf in a Peter Pan production. His film debut occurred in 1938 in ‘Lassie from Lancashire’ which was a musical comedy. Despite his intermittent acting, he did not achieve fame until 1957’s Hollywood musical film ‘Les Girls.’
Despite his Hollywood success, he chose to remain in his native Britain, appearing in comedies such as ‘Brothers in Law’ and ‘The Smallest Show on Earth.’
He appeared in the second film in the ‘Carry On’ series titled ‘Carry On Nurse.’ The role made his catchphrase ‘Ding dong’ famous. He also had a successful radio career, most notably on the aforementioned ‘The Navy Lark.’ He was also the only audio cast member to appear in the film ‘The Navy Lark.’
To modern audiences, he was best known as the voice of the Sorting Hat in ‘Potter’ movies. The Sorting Hat is a sentient magical hat that sorts the students of Hogwarts into one of the four houses as per their traits.