Lee Phillip Bell co-created with her late husband, William J. Bell, both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. This past weekend, she celebrated a milestone birthday – her 90th!
Bell doesn’t technically turn 90 until her actual birthday in another several days, but the soap legend enjoyed her celebration a little early, surrounded by close friends and family!
The widow of the late Bill Bell was born Loreley (Lee) June Phillip on June 10 in Chicago, Illinois.
Her family owns Phillip’s Flowers in Chicago and one day in the 1950s, she was invited to do a floral demonstration on a local TV station, WBBM-TV. Executives liked what they saw in her performance and decided to offer Lee a full-time gig!
Bell did everything on-air in the early days of TV including news, weather, and even commercials. She was eventually given her own show, The Lee Phillip Show, a precursor to programs like Donahue and Oprah, which also both came out of Chicago.
Later, Bell’s program was re-titled Noonbreak and she continued to interview notables including Nancy Reagan in 1980, prior to her becoming First Lady.
She wed Bill Bell in 1954. Together, they created two soaps — Y&R and B&B — and three children, Bill Bell, Bradley Bell (executive producer/head writer, B&B), and Lauralee Bell (Christine, Y&R).
In 1986, Bell gave up her broadcasting career in Chicago so the family could move to the west coast in order to start up B&B and so that Bill could take a more hands-on approach with Y&R.
One March 23, 1987, B&B launched. By December 1988, Y&R had become the top-rated soap. It’s been No. 1 ever since!
The Bell marriage lasted until his death in 2005. In 2007, Bell received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys.
Everyone at Soap Hub joins Bell’s family, friends, and fans of Y&R and B&B in wishing the daytime legend a happy birthday as she turns 90 years young!
The Young and the Restless (YR) and The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) air weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for airtimes.
— Lauralee Bell (@LauraleeB4real) June 3, 2018