Leslie Phillips, the voice of the Sorting Hat in the “Harry Potter” films, has died.
He was 98 years old.
Phillips was best known for his role in the “Carry On” movie franchise but his voice gave life to the Sorting Hat, which designated Hogwarts students into the various houses, CNN reported.
Phillips grew up with a working-class London accent after being born in the suburb of Tottenham. While going to school for drama, dance and elocution at the prestigious Italia Conti Stage School, Phillips lost his accent.
He started appearing in films in the 1930s but got his big break appearing with Gene Kelly in the musical “Les Girls.”
Phillips declined to move to Hollywood and instead stayed in his home country. He then starred in “Carry On Nurse,” “Carry On Teacher” and “Carry On Constable.”
CNN reported that Phillips had suffered a stroke eight years ago but recovered.
Phillips’ agent said the actor died “peacefully in his sleep” on Monday, BBC News reported.
Phillips’ wife, Zara Carr, remembered her husband, telling The Sun, “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.”
Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar shared a video of Phillips saying that he had been on the London Underground and was begged by fellow subway riders to utter his catchphrases. Bhaskar called Phillips “A truly warm, funny and gentle man.”
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