Harry Potter Fans And Others Pay Tribute After Sorting Hat Actor Leslie Phillips Dies At 98

harry Potter and the Sorting Hat
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Fans of the Harry Potter films were hit hard when they learned of the death of actor Robbie Coltrane. Unfortunately, things are now hitting twice as hard as we have now learned that Leslie Philips, the iconic voice of the sorting hat, along with over 100 other roles in film and TV, has passed away at the age of 98.

Leslie Philips died in his sleep on Monday, and since then, friends and fans have turned out in massive numbers to celebrate a career that began in 1938 and continued until his final role this year. While British audiences know Philips well, the rest of the world knows him best as the iconic voice of the sorting hat from the Harry Potter film franchise. The official Harry Potter film Twitter account posted about Philips passing, saying… 

We are incredibly sad to hear of the passing of the wonderful Leslie Phillips who voiced the Sorting Hat with such inimitable wit and style in the Harry Potter films.

While most of the Harry Potter film cast had stories to tell when Robbie Coltrane passed away, we’re not seeing the same response here. Likely because Leslie Philips was never on set as part of the Harry Potter films, needing to only add his voice to the beloved movies. 

British audiences would have recognized the voice of the Sorting Hat as soon as they heard it because Leslie Philips had a pretty iconic voice. He appeared in numerous film and television projects, including the Carry On series, a franchise of British comedy films with more entries than there are James Bond films. Appearing in several of them, Philips created several catchphrases that are still repeated today, including to actor Tony Maudsley, who had previously worked with Philips. 

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Philips was one of those actors that, do has extensive and varied career, you almost could not avoid seeing now and then. While the vast majority of Philips work was in the U.K. He also appeared in films like Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Robert Redford Oscar winner Out of Africa. In addition to being considered a legend, he was, by all accounts, a wonderful person as the @sidjamesplace Twitter account said… 

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.

The good news is that with a history like Leslie Philips had, his work will always be around for us to enjoy. We get a pretty good look at who Philips was as a man by watching him on TV. Host Sanjeev Bhaskar spoke out saying that Philips was a wonderful man, and included a clip to prove it. 

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Our thoughts are with the family of Leslie Philips, including his wife Zara.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.