Lee Phillip Bell Dies: Co-Creator of ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ & ‘Young and the Restless’ Was 91

Lee Phillip Bell
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Lee Phillip Bell, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and co-creator of The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful, has died at 91.

Bell, a wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away on Tuesday, February 25. Her children, William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell, and actress Lauralee Bell, released a statement sharing the news, which reads, “Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother. Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.”

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Born on June 9, 1928 in Chicago, Bell co-created the beloved soap titles with her late husband, William J. Bell. Her career began in the Windy City where she hosted and produced her own show with CBS TV for over 30 years, The Lee Phillip Show. Her talk show highlighted social concerns like foster children, rape, divorce, and babies born to women in prison.

During her time as a journalist, Bell interviewed Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Regan; actors Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood and Jerry Lewis; as well as musicians like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Other notable interviews of Bell’s include Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, and Jack Benny.

Lee Phillip Bell

Bell with The Young and the Restless‘ Doug Davidson and daughter Lauralee Bell on set for the show’s 11,000th episode in 2016. (Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

In 1975, Bell won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series as co-creator of The Young and the Restless. In 2007, she took home the Daytime Emmys’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout her career, she was awarded 16 regional Emmy Awards and various Golden Mike Awards. She was also the recipient of the Alfred I. Dupont/Columbia University Award for the special The Rape of Paulette.

In 1977, Bell was the first woman to receive the Governors Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and in 1980 she was named “Person of the Year” by Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago as well as “Outstanding Woman in Communications” by the Chicago YMCA.

Along with her children, Bell is survived by daughters-in-law Maria Arena Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren.