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Leslie Phillips, Voice Of The Harry Potter Sorting Hat, Has Died

Leslie Phillips Dead: The actor who voiced the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise has died aged 98. 
Credit: Warner. Bros Entertainment

Leslie Phillips, who voiced the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise, has died aged 98. 

The veteran, who did eight decades in showbiz, shot to fame in the 50s after numerous comedy roles.

He is best known for his catchphrases including ‘Ding Dong’ and ‘Well, Hello’ in the classic Carry On movies.

While to the younger generation, Phillips is well-known for his part in Harry Potter.

Phillips played the Sorting Hat, which was a magical hat at Hogwarts that determined which of the four houses the students would belong to.

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Phillip’s death on Monday is said to have been following a long illness, reports The Mirror. Previously, the actor had survived two strokes.

Phillip’s wife, Zara, has paid tribute to her late husband.

She said, via 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.

“When we married he cheekily introduced me to the Press as royalty, insisting I was the new Zara Phillips and that I was related to the Queen.”

Phillips was born in April 1924 and was the third child of a working-class family.

Reportedly, he was sent to stage school by his mother in order to lose his Cockney accent.

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“All my friends and family were Londoners, real Cockneys. They found it hard to recognise the new me, though my voice has, without doubt, played an enormous part in my success,” Phillips said, via The Sun.

At just 14 years old, the Venus star began working in the West End and starred alongside Hollywood stars Vivien Leigh and Rex Harrison.

Two years later, Phillips got his big break with his first movie, The Thief of Baghdad.

His acting career was put on pause when he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry during World War II.

However, Phillips was reportedly declared unfit for service just before D-Day. He apparently had a nervous illness that triggered partial paralysis, reports The Sun.

The actor went on to have a glittering career and ended up starring in over 200 films, TV shows and radio series.

In 1998, the Queen honoured the star with an OBE. Ten years later, Phillips was then awarded a CBE for his services to showbiz.

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After hearing the sad news about Phillips, hundreds have taken to Twitter and paid tribute.

One tweeted: “Oh no! Not Leslie Phillips?! This is such sad, sad news. Who’s going to Say ‘Ding, Dong’ now? Rest in peace dear chap, you will be so missed.”

A second penned: “Such a heavy heart with the news that national treasure Leslie Phillips has died at the age of 98.

“A legend of British cinema and an absolute gentleman into the bargain. One of the greats without a doubt. So long Leslie and thank you for the memories.”

While a third said: “The wonderful Leslie Phillips CBE has left us. Aged 98. A true gentleman, [a] fantastic actor and the nicest man I’ve ever met. His stories were the best… RIP Leslie Phillips.”

“Thanks for all the laughs, RIP Leslie Phillips,” a fourth penned.

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