Leslie Phillips

Leslie Samuel Phillips, CBE (born 20 April 1924) is an English actor with a highly recognisable upper class accent. Originally known for his work as a comedy actor, Phillips subsequently made the transition to character roles. Contrary to the impression given by his public persona, Phillips came from a background of poverty. He was born in Tottenham, North London, England, the son of Cecelia Margaret (née Newlove) and Frederick Samuel Phillips, who worked at Glover and Main, manufacturers of cookers in Edmonton, London; the "filthy, sulphurous" air of the factory gave him a weak heart and edema, leading to his death at the age of 44. In 1931, the family moved to Chingford, London where Phillips attended Larkswood primary school. It was his mother who decided that Phillips should be sent to the Italia Conti Academy to receive elocution lessons in order to lose his natural cockney accent. At that time a strong regional accent from any city was a major impediment to an aspiring actor. It proved to be an astute move and by the age of 14 Phillips was the family's main breadwinner, saving his mother from squalor. Phillips made his first film appearances as a child in the 1930s.


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