Leslie Phillips, the veteran British actor who famously voiced the Sorting Hat in the “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 98 years old.
The BBC confirmed the news via his agent, Jonathan Lloyd, who said Phillips died peacefully in his sleep on Monday.
Also beloved in his native U.K. for starring in “Carry On” and “Doctor,” the comedic actor leaves behind over 200 titles and 80 years’ worth of credits across film, TV and radio – including surprisingly serious supporting turns in projects like “Out of Africa” and “Empire of the Sun.”
Also a part of his legacy are a series of catchphrases made famous by his four feature film outings with “Carry On,” among them “Ding dong”, “I say” and “Well, hello.”
Speaking with The Sun on Monday, his wife Zara Carr said, “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.”
Phillips and Carr, a Turkish social worker and the actor’s third wife, married in 2013, with a 39-year age difference between the two.
As the iconic Sorting Hat of “Harry Potter,” Phillips’ well-known voice work appeared in the first two installments with director Christopher Columbus: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001 and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” in 2002. He appeared next in the final feature film in 2011, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.”