LOS ANGELES -- Phil Leeds, the veteran character actor with the recognizable face and the little-known name, died of pnuemonia Aug. 16 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Leeds, age unreported, appeared in the final or seasonal episodes of four popular series during a network sweeps week in May. He was Uncle Mel on Everybody Loves Raymond; a wizened old man on Murphy Brown; an old comic on Ellen; and Judge Boyle on Ally McBeal.
"Here how I describe myself," Leeds once said in an interview. "I am the guy who people say, 'Here comes what's-his-face.'"
Born in New York City and reared in the Bronx, Leeds attended City College of New York and served in the Army special services during World War Two. He made his Broadway debut in 1942 opposite Betty Garrett in a revival of Of Thee I Sing.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1973 to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona at the L.A. County Music Center--and stayed on to work in television.He lunched daily at Hampton's Hollywood Cafe, where he had his own table and which named its Phil Leeds' Pepperburger in his honor.
Honey Sanders, Leeds' longtime agent and friend, said services will be private. Memorial donations should be sent to the Actors Fund of America, 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent