Leslie Phillips Dies, Aged 98

Leslie Phillips

by James White |

Leslie Phillips, a beloved actor known for his rakish performances and warm personal nature, who established a long career that spanned different generations, has died. He was 98.

Phillips, born in Tottenham in 1924 (and a lifelong Spurs fan), attended the Italia Conti Stage School before heading to duty in the Durham Light Infantry during World War II.

After he was invalided out of service in 1945, he returned to performing, and while he had acted in films in the 1930s, he really started to make an impact in the late 1950s and 1960,s when he appeared in four Carry On films. He also became known for the Doctor film franchise, and in a series of movies with Stanley Baxter.

His particular wicked charm landed him a wide variety of roles in films and TV, including Brothers In Law, Just My Luck, Empire Of The Sun, Scandal, King Ralph, The Jackal, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Millions, Venus, Harley Street, Heartbeat, The Bill and many more.

Harry Potter fans, of course, know him as the voice of the Sorting Hat in three of the films.

Aside from screens, he was also familiar to audiences for radio comedy, acting as part of the main cast on BBC Radio show The Navy Lark for 17 years.

Phillips died in his sleep on Monday after a long illness.

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