Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, has passed away. She died on Tuesday, February 25 at the age of 91, according to her children William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell, and Lauralee Bell Martin.
Lee Phillip Bell Passes Away
“Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother,” Bell’s children said in a statement. “Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.”
Born in Chicago, Illinois on June 9, 1928, Bell was co-creator, along with her late husband William J. Bell, of two of daytime television’s most successful dramas: YR, which debuted in 1973, and BB, which debuted in 1987.
Bell’s career as a broadcast journalist began in Chicago, where she hosted and produced her own show, The Lee Phillip Show, for CBS TV for over 30 years. A pioneer in the evolution of the afternoon talk show format, Bell was a trailblazer in the exploration of timely social issues and concerns. Additionally, she produced and narrated numerous award-winning specials and documentaries covering social concerns such as foster children, the subject of rape, children of divorce, and babies born to women in prison, to name a few.
Bell interviewed heads of state such as Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan; film actors Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood, and Jerry Lewis; musicians such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles; television and stage stars such as Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, and Oprah Winfrey; and many other politicians, authors, journalists, fashion designers, and rock stars.
She was awarded 16 regional (Chicago) Emmy awards and numerous Golden Mike awards. Bell is also the recipient of the Alfred I. Dupont/Columbia University Award for the special The Rape of Paulette, the first program in Chicago to explore the issue. In 1977, she was the first woman to receive the coveted Governors Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
In 1980, she was named “Person of the Year” by the Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago and the “Outstanding Woman in Communications” by the Chicago YMCA. She also received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award for her distinguished career in communications and social service. Bell won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series as co-creator of YR in 1975 and was the recipient of the Daytime Emmys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
In addition to her children, Lee Phillip Bell is survived by her daughters-in-law Maria Arena Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, her son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren. Soap Hub sends sincere sympathies to the Bell family at this time.