Published On: Tue, Nov 8th, 2022

Actor Leslie Phillips, voice of the Sorting Hat in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, dies at 98


Leslie Phillips, the British actor in the “Harry Potter” and “Carry On” films, has died following a long illness. He was 98.

“He died yesterday morning peacefully in his sleep,” his agent, Jonathan Lloyd, told NBC News on Tuesday.

Phillips, who was the voice of the Sorting Hat in the “Harry Potter” films, starred in over 200 movies, TV and radio series during a career that spanned more than 80 years.

Image: From left, Actors Jodie Whittaker, Leslie Phillips and Richard Griffiths attend the reception of the Awards Of The London Film Critics Circle on February 8, 2007 in London.
From left, actors Jodie Whittaker, Leslie Phillips and Richard Griffiths on Feb. 8, 2007, in London. Dave M. Benett / Getty Images

Phillips is survived by his wife Zara, who told British tabloid The Sun that he was a “national treasure.”

“I’ve lost a wonderful husband and the public has lost a truly great showman … People loved him. He was mobbed everywhere he went,” Zara said to the newspaper.

The beloved comic actor starred in four of the “Carry On” films, starting in 1959 with “Carry On Nurse.” He went on star in “Carry On Teacher” and “Carry On Constable” in the 1960s.

Phillips is also best known for his role as a a clueless officer in the BBC radio show “The Navy Lark,” which he held for 17 years alongside Ronnie Barker and Jon Pertwee, as well as his turn in the “Doctor” series.

Image:  Leslie Phillips  and Jon Pertwee  promote their BBC radio show 'Navy Lark', at Tower Bridge, London on March 26, 1969.
Leslie Phillips and Jon Pertwee promote their BBC radio show ‘Navy Lark’ in London on March 26, 1969. Ian Showell / Getty Images

He won a British Independent Film award and a BAFTA nomination for his supporting role in the 2006 movie “Venus,” playing opposite Peter O’Toole. He also appeared in films such as Sydney Pollack’s “Out of Africa” and Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun.”

On stage, one of his most critically acclaimed performances was playing Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, the adaptation of the William Shakespeare comedy, in Stratford.



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