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The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful Co-Creator Lee Phillip Bell Dies

Lee Phillip Bell

Veteran broadcast journalist and The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away on Feb. 25 at age 91. Bell, who started off her career as a broadcast journalist in Chicago, hosted and produced The Lee Phillip Show at CBS TV for over three decades. 

News of the pioneering journalist's passing was released by her family. In a released statement, Bell's three children - William James Bell Jr., Bradley Phillip Bell, and Lauralee Bell Martin - said,

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 in Chicago on June 9, 1928, Bell was a trailblazer and pioneer of the afternoon talk show genre and wasn't afraid to tackle timely, yet hot-button, social issues. Bell produced and narrated many award-winning specials and documentaries that dealt with and brought social awareness to topics such as foster children, rape, children and divorce, and babies born to women in prison. It was at her talk show that Bell would learn about important issues and discuss them with her husband, William J. Bell Sr., who used them for storylines on his shows

While in the talk show arena, Bell interviewed everyone from Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan to musicians The Rolling Stones and The Beatles and silver-screen stars as Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood, and Jerry Lewis, 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, Bell 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 The Young and the Restless in 1975 and was the recipient of the Daytime Emmys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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