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Lee Phillip Bell, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and co-creator of the daytime series The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, died Tuesday. She was 91.
“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,” Bell’s children said in a statement.
Born on June 9, 1928, in Chicago, Bell served as co-creator, along with her late husband William J. Bell, of two of daytime television’s most successful dramas: Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful. She won the Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding drama series for Y&R in 1975 and was recipient of the Daytime Emmys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Apart from daytime television, Bell was also known for being a broadcast journalist, having hosted and produced her own talk show, The Lee Phillip Show, which aired on CBS TV for over 30 years. Throughout the show’s run, Bell produced and narrated numerous award-winning specials and documentaries covering social concerns such as foster children, sexual assault, children and divorce, and babies born to women in prison.
Bell famously interviewed a myriad of stars and leaders on her series, including presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Regan; 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.
Over her career, Bell won 16 regional (Chicago) Emmy Awards and numerous Golden Mike Awards. She also was honored with the Alfred I. Dupont/Columbia University Award for the special The Rape of Paulette, the first program in Chicago to explore the issue.
Bell was also the first woman to receive the coveted Governors Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1977.
She is survived by her children William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin, as well as her daughters-in-law Maria Arena Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, her son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren.
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