R.I.P. Lee Phillip Bell — Co-Creator of ‘Y&R’ and ‘B&B’ Dead at 91

Lee Phillip Bell, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful
Francis Specker/CBS

On Tuesday, February 25, Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” passed away. She was 91 years old. News of her passing was announced by her children, William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin.

“Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother,” a statement released by her family said. “Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.”

Bell co-created “B&B” and “Y&R,” the two highest-rated daytime dramas on television, alongside her late husband William J. Bell. In 1975, the duo received an Emmy for their work on “Y&R” when the show won its first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. Decades later, Bell received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 Daytime Emmy Awards. Prior to her work on the soaps, Bell began her career as a broadcast journalist in Chicago, where she hosted and produced her own series, “The Lee Phillip Show,” which aired on CBS for more than three decades. The talk show tackled social issues long before becoming an industry standard. Outside of talk and soaps, Bell was also a narrator and producer of award-winning specials and documentaries.

Bell is the recipient of sixteen regional (Chicago) Emmy Awards and several Golden Mike Awards. She was awarded 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. 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. Bell also received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award for her distinguished career in communications and social service.

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