Leslie Phillips (1924-) b. London, England.
Phillips was on stage at the age of 10, appearing as Peter Pan at the London Palladium. After a spell in the Army during World War II, he took up acting as a profession in the 1950s. He began making inroads into films from 1955, and his foxy charm was seen to good effect in Brothers in Law (1957), The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) and The Man Who Liked Funerals (1959), in which he got his first star role as a man who blackmailed the bereaved in a good cause. He became well-known for appearing in the ‘Doctor’ films, and a series of fast-moving comedies that teamed Phillips with Scots comedian and impressionist Stanley Baxter. These began with the prisoner-of-war caper Very Important Person (1961), and continued with Crooks Anonymous (1962), The Fast Lady (1962) and Father Came Too (1963), about a disastrous honeymoon.
Within the space of five years, Phillips had made 18 starring comedies but the output of comedy from British studios had suddenly become quite restricted during the 1960′s, however, and, after making Doctor in Clover (1966), Phillips made a disastrous career switch by starring in Maroc 7 (1967), a woeful spy thriller. He did better on television, especially with Our Man at St Mark’s, and came back to films in the late 1980s in character roles. Phillips was appointed an OBE in 1996 in recognition of his acting career, and became a CBE in the 2007 New Year honours list.