Veteran English comic actor Leslie Phillips, famous for his roles in the raffish yet hugely popular 'Carry On' series of films, and the voice of the Sorting Hat in 'Harry Potter', died after prolonged illness.

Philips, who will be remembered for catch phrases such as "ding dong" and "hello, I say" in the 'Carry On' films (although he acted in just four of them), was 98 years old, reports 'Daily Mirror'.

The veteran actor's death was confirmed by his agent, Jonathan Lloyd, who said that he had died "peacefully in his sleep". He had previously survived two strokes.

According to 'Mirror', although the legendary actor, who was 90 at the time of his strokes, which were only six months apart, is most famous for his role in 'Carry On', he starred in more than 200 film as well as TV and radio series in his career spanning over eight decades.

Leslie Phillips
Leslie PhillipsIANS

After his 'Carry On' success, Phillips went on to star in 'Doctor in the House', 'Tomb Raider' and 'Midsommer Murders'.

'Mirror' adds that he also fought in World War II from 1943 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, which took on the mighty Wehrmacht of Germany.

The actor first appeared on the West End stage at the tender age of 14. In a tribute after his death, Philips's wife Zara 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."

Harry Potter series

In a befitting memory of a man who made people laugh, Carr added: "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."

(With inputs from IANS)