'Carry On' star Leslie Phillips has died aged 98

Watch: Carry On star Leslie Phillips dies aged 98

Actor Leslie Phillips has died aged 98 after a long illness.

The veteran star, known for his catchphrases "Ding Dong" and "Hell-llo" passed away on Monday, according to The Sun.

Phillips is remembered for his roles in the Carry On and Doctor in the House films, as well as more recently voicing the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films.

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His death leaves Jim Dale, 86, as the last surviving regular from the Carry On films after co-star Dame Barbara Windsor's death in December 2020.

Leslie Phillips has died. (Getty)
Leslie Phillips has died. (Getty)

Phillips began his glittering stage and screen career aged just 14 in a London Palladium adaptation of Peter Pan, where he acted to earn extra money for his family following his father's death.

He was born in 1924 in Tottenham and his family had moved to Essex in 1931, but after losing his father, his mother enrolled him in the Italia Conti stage school where he was trained out of his London accent and taught how to use the Received Pronunciation he became famous for.

The star continued his West End theatre performances during the early years of the Second World War, frequently interrupted by air raid sirens, and later served as an officer with the Royal Artillery.

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After being diagnosed with a neurological condition he was taken out of active service and later picked up his acting career again, moving into TV work with My Wife Jacqueline in 1952.

Carry On co-stars Barbara Windsor and Leslie Phillips. (PA)

Phillips' big break in Hollywood came with the 1957 Gene Kelly musical Les Girls and in 1959 he began working on the Carry On films.

Carry On fans will remember his starring roles in the movies Carry On Nurse, Carry On Teacher, Carry On Constable and Carry On Columbus, which marked him out for playing an upper class flirt.

From 1959 to 1977, he starred alongside Ronnie Barker and Jon Pertwee in radio comedy The Navy Lark and in the 60s he took over from Dirk Bogarde in the lead role of the Doctor films.

Phillips' later career included voicing the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films, appearing in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and being nominateed for a Bafta in Venus.

Comic actors Leslie Phillips (left) and Jon Pertwee wearing sailors hats and mugging to the camera, on board the HMS Troubridge to promote their BBC radio show 'Navy Lark', at Tower Bridge, London, March 26th 1969. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)
Leslie Phillips (left) and Jon Pertwee starred together in The Navy Lark. (Getty Images)

He was married three times - to Penelope Bartley from 1948 to 1965, to Angela Scoular from 1982 until her death in 2011, and to Zara Carr from 2013.

Phillips, who was awarded an OBE in 1998 and a CBE in 2008, had four children from his marriage to Bartley.

His widow Carr, 63, 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.

"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."

Paying tribute, Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Leslie Phillips, 98. Wonderful character & superb comedy actor, best known for his what he called his 'lecherous twit' roles in the Carry On & Doctor In The House films with his catchphrases, 'Ding Dong', 'Well, Hello' and 'I Say..' Sad news."

Sanjeev Bhaskar shared an old clip of Phillips appearing on The Kumars at No 42, writing: "One of the wonderful elements of doing #TheKumars42 was combining guests like here, Madness and the wonderful #LesliePhillips, who couldn't have been more of a gent. A truly warm, funny and gentle man #RIPLesliePhillips"