Character And Comedy Actor And Voice Of The Harry Potter Sorting Hat Dies At 98

Jules Williams

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you know there’s one character in the books and films that has a voice but isn’t really a person or even an animal or creature. Instead, this voice comes from an object. We’re talking about the sorting hat.

It is up to the sorting hat to decide which of four houses each student at Hogwarts will be part of. There are four options: Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

The actor who voiced the sorting hat in the film franchise is Leslie Phillips. He is a British actor who is known for much more than his voice as a sorting hat in his home country. He actually acted in over 200 film, TV and radio series during his career which spanned 8 decades.

Besides being known for the sorting hat, he is also well known for staring in several of the Carry On films including “Carry On Nurse,” “Carry On Teacher” and “Carry On Constable.” Throughout his life, fans knew him by catch phrases from the Carry On films including “Ding Dong,” “I say” and “Well, Hello.”

Jonathan Lloyd, Phillips’ agent, confirmed that Philips has died at the age of 98 years old. He was at his home at the time and died peacefully in his sleep.

Phillip’s wife, Zara, told The Sun, “I’ve lost a wonderful husband and the public has lost a truly great showman.” She added, “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 known for his roles portraying upper class society, but he grew up in a suburb of London where he talked with a working class accent. It wasn’t until he went to acting school at Italia Conti Stage School that he lost the accent.

His big break came when he stared in a musical called “Les Girls” alongside Gene Kelly. He could’ve moved to Hollywood to pursue a career there, but he turned down the opportunity and chose to continue acting in England.

Upon the news of his death, multiple people have posted tributes to the late actor including Piers Morgan and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.

Watch the video below to see the scene from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” where Phillips, as the sorting hat, sorts Harry Potter and his friends into their houses.