Leslie Phillips: 'Carry On' star who died at 98 dealt with many tragedies including death of his first 2 wives

The veteran actor’s widow, Zara Carr, who was his third wife, called him a 'wonderful husband and a truly great showman'

Leslie Phillips: 'Carry On' star who died at 98 dealt with many tragedies including death of his first 2 wives
Actor Leslie Phillips (inset) in 'Carry on Constable' (1960) with Shirley Eaton (L) and as the voice of the Sorting Hat (R) in the 'Harry Potter' franchise (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images and IMDb)
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LONDON, UK: The world has lost one of its legendary actors as Leslie Phillips breathed his last on Monday, November 7. The veteran star was 98 and had reportedly been suffering from a long illness. His widow, Zara Carr, remembered him as a “wonderful husband and a truly great showman."

The 63-year-old said, as reported by 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.”

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Phillips, a recipient of an OBE and a CBE, had worked for nearly eighty years in the entertainment industry. He became quite famous after working in the 'Carry On' films during the 1950s and '60s. The English actor also won the hearts of the young generation by lending his voice to the Sorting Hat in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies.

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Veteran actor Leslie Phillips receives the Freedom of the City of London at The Guildhall on November 16, 2010 in London, England. Celebrating 60 years in show business, Leslie Phillips is a holder of an OBE and a CBE. The ancient right is believed to have first been bestowed in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade in the City of London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Veteran actor Leslie Phillips receives the Freedom of the City of London at The Guildhall on November 16, 2010 in London, England. Celebrating 60 years in show business, Leslie Phillips is a holder of an OBE and a CBE. The ancient right is believed to have first been bestowed in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade in the City of London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Though professionally ‘The Navy Lark’ star enjoyed great success, personally he experienced quite a bit of heartbreak. In 1981, he lost his ex-wife Penelope Bartley in a house fire. Then, in 1993, Phillips lost his mother after she was mugged at a bus stop. Just months after his mother’s death, his sister Doris also died.

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Comic actor Leslie Phillips and his bride Penelope Bartley pictured looking in to each others eyes outside All Soul's Church following their wedding ceremony, St John's Wood, London, May 30th 1948. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Comic actor Leslie Phillips and his bride Penelope Bartley pictured looking in to each others eyes outside All Soul's Church following their wedding ceremony, St John's Wood, London, May 30th 1948. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Later, Philips went on to marry his second wife Angela Scoular but in 2011, he lost her also after she took a lethal cocktail of drugs and alcohol while suffering from terminal bowel cancer. Two years after the tragedy, Zara came into ‘The Fast Lady’ actor’s life. About their 2013 marriage, she has said, “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.”

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Actor Leslie Phillips arrives at the Gala Screening of 'Venus,' held at Chelsea Cinema on January 22, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Actor Leslie Phillips arrives at the Gala Screening of 'Venus,' held at Chelsea Cinema on January 22, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Phillips’ death has attracted a lot of tributes on social media. One user tweeted: “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.”

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Piers Morgan shared: “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.” “I don't usually do RIP tweets but today we have lost one of the finest chaps ever. RIP Leslie Phillips,” another fan wrote.

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1980: English actor Leslie Phillips, the star of several 'Carry On' comedies. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1980: English actor Leslie Phillips, the star of several 'Carry On' comedies. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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“The wonderful Leslie Phillips CBE has left us. Aged 98. A true gentleman, fantastic actor and the nicest man I’ve ever met. His stories were the best.. RIP Leslie Phillips,” Stuart Antony expressed, while another tweet read, “God bless Leslie Phillips. A true legend, a national treasure and, most importantly, a gentleman. Before this photo was taken he asked my permission before holding my wife Lisa's hand. RIP Leslie, you will be sorely missed.”

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One tweet read, “One of Britain’s greatest actors from the old days has died at the age of 98 Leslie Phillips. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP Leslie Phillips.” Another tweet added, “RIP cherished comic actor Leslie Phillips (20 April 1924-7 November 2022), star of the 1961 Hammer comedy A Weekend with Lulu and a much-loved presence in the Doctor and Carry On film series.”

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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