Philip is the son of William Harris, an NYPD (Captain) policeman and Sophia Muller, a school teacher. He grew up in the Bay Ridge-Fort Hamilton section of Brooklyn and attended Fort Hamilton HS. He started playing drums at 14 and in addition to his acting, directing and teaching careers, he still plays drums live and on recordings. He graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in elementary education. From there, he received an MFA in acting from the prestigious NYU School of the Arts. Upon graduation, he never stopped working as an actor. It was while he starred in Showtime's "Brothers" playing the flamboyant, groundbreaking gay character, Donald Maltby that he moved into directing, a career that continued for another twenty-five years, directing such hit shows as Roseanne, Frasier, According to Jim and many others. He is also a much sought after film acting teacher in the Los Angeles area. He is married to actress Alison LaPlaca. They have one son.