Leslie Phillips Obituary, Death – Leslie Phillips, 98, an English actor, director, producer and author died on November 07, 2022, after a long illness at his home in London. In the 1950s, he rose to prominence as a stylish, upper-class humorous character who employed his “Ding dong” and “Hello” catchphrases. He was in the movies Carry On and Doctor in the House, as well as the BBC radio comedy series The Navy Lark. Phillips went on to tackle sad roles, including a BAFTA-nominated turn with Peter O’Toole in Venus (2006). In the Harry Potter films, he delivers the voice of the Sorting Hat.
Leslie Samuel Phillips was born on April 20, 1924 in Tottenham, the third child of Cecelia Margaret (née Newlove) and Frederick Samuel Phillips, who worked at Glover and Main, an Edmonton cooker manufacturer. “Beyond the auditory reach of the Bow Bells, yet within the huge footprint of cockneydom,” Phillips said of his street. Phillips attended Larkswood Primary School after his family relocated to Chingford in 1931. As a result, Phillips considers himself a cockney as well as an Essex guy. His father died at the age of 44 from a weak heart and oedema exacerbated by the factory’s “filthy, sulphurous” air.
After his father died, Phillips’ mother sent him to the Italia Conti Academy. He studied acting, dancing, and elocution there to overcome his cockney accent; at the time, a regional accent was considered an impediment to becoming an actor. Phillips worked hard to perfect his Received Pronunciation accent, claiming that “the most essential elocution instruction came from mixing with people who sounded proper, people in theatrical circles and in the officers’ mess during the war.” In 1938, he dropped out of school at the age of 14. On May 30, 1948, Phillips married his first wife, actress Penelope Bartley (1925-1981). The couple has four kids.
Phillips began dating actress Caroline Mortimer in 1962. Caroline Mortimer was the daughter of writer Penelope Mortimer and stepdaughter of John Mortimer, who was an understudy in a play in which Phillips appeared. Phillips and Bartley divorced in 1965 after their divorce. After his affair with Mortimer ended, Phillips began dating Australian actress Vicki Luke, with whom he resided for three years. Phillips moved in with actress Angela Scoular, who was pregnant at the time by another actor. He treated her youngster as if he were his own. He learned of Bartley’s death in a fire while on tour in Australia in 1981. Phillips elected not to attend her mother’s burial in order to continue working on the play. His family had never forgiven him for this decision, he later claimed.
In 1982, Phillips married Scoular. Scoular, who had bipolar disorder, attempted suicide in 1992 but was not sectioned. Scoular died on April 11, 2011, of 40% burns to her throat, torso, and gastrointestinal tract as a result of ingesting a caustic drain cleaner. She had intestinal cancer and was terrified that it had returned after being certified cancer-free. Due to illness, Phillips was unable to attend Scoular’s investigation three months later. The coroner determined that Scoular’s death was not suicide, but rather that she had “killed herself while the balance of her mind was disrupted”. On November 16, 2010, Phillips was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. Phillips was a Tottenham Hotspur fan who performed during the team’s home game versus Swansea City on April 1, 2012.