Best Film Jack Bell in Carry On Nurse
Best Character Jack Bell in Carry On Nurse
Silliest Name Jack Bell in Carry On Nurse
Films 4 - Nurse, Teacher, Constable, Columbus
Best Line In Nurse "Ding Dong" - and most other films where he played that type of character.


Leslie is always thought of as a central member of the Carry On team although he only appears in four. In Nurse he is a jovial cad, sipping champagne while waiting for the operation on his bunion. In Teacher he is the noxious ninny of a child psychiatrist trying to test out his trendy theories. In Constable he is a rookie who turns up for duty with a tennis racquet under his arm. When he left the series at this point, the part of the upper class bounder was dropped. He came back to the Carry On fold in the last one, Columbus as the King Of Spain.

Leslie Samuel Philips was born in London on 20th April 1924 to Cecelia and Frederick Phillips within the sound of the Bow Bells.  The family moved to Chingford where he went to Larkswood School but in 1935 his father died at the age of 44 from a weak heart.  After his father's death he went to Italia Conti Academy who helped him lose his cockney accent.  He made his stage debut in 1937 as a wolf in Peter Pan at the Palladium and worked his way up through progressive seasons to John Darling.  His family continued to be relatively poor and this helped him contribute to the family coffers after his father's untimely death. 

He made his film debut in 1937 in Lassie From Lancashire and continued to do uncredited and bit parts for the next few years.  Alongside his film work he also continued working in the West End for Binkie Beaumont.

In 1942 he was drafted into the army for World War II and, although he didn't come from the upper classes, due to his acquired accent he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, but was later declared unfit for service just before D-Day after being diagnosed with a neurological disease which caused paralysis.  He went back to the stage and played theatres in the north of England as well as re-starting his film career, making many more uncredited film appearances.

His first bring break was in the Gene Kelly musical Les Girls, but didn't follow up on it by moving to Hollywood as he considered himself mainly a theatre actor.  He started building his repertoire by doing character roles in British Comedy films and TV and this is where he came to the attention of Peter Rogers. 

As well as his Carry On appearances he also appeared in other Peter Rogers connected films that were produced by Peter Rogers' wife by Betty Box and directed by Gerald Thomas' brother, Ralph Thomas (these are the 'Doctor' series).

In the 1980's he made a concerted effort to move away from his 'Ding Dong' type character and branched out into dramatic roles like Out Of Africa and Spielberg's Empire Of The Sun.  To younger generations he will always be known as the voice of The Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter series.

Phillips married his first wife Penelope Bartley in 1948 with whom he had four children.  In the 60's he began a relationship with Caroline Mortimer.  In 1977 he moved in with actress Angela Scouler, at which time she was pregnant by another actor whom he raised as his own son.  In 1981, his first wife died in a fire but he chose not to attend the funeral as he was on tour in Australia.  He later acknowledged this was a mistake and his family never forgave him.  In 1982 he married Scouler but in 2011 she died from drinking corrosive drain cleaner from a side effect of bipolar disorder.  On 20th December 2013 at the age of 89, Phillips married his third wife Zara Carr.

He was awarded an OBE in 1998 and was promoted to CBE in 2008.

Phillips suffered two strokes six months apart at the age of 90.  After being ill for a long time he died at his home on 7th November 2022 aged 98.


 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB




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