Lee Phillip Bell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lee Phillip Bell
Phillip Bell 1970
Bell in 1970
Loreley June Phillip

(1928-06-10)June 10, 1928
DiedFebruary 25, 2020(2020-02-25) (aged 91)
EducationRiverside-Brookfield High School
Alma materNorthwestern University
Years active1952–2020
Known for
(m. 1954; died 2005)
Children3 (including Bradley and Lauralee)

Loreley "Lee" June Phillip Bell (June 10, 1928 – February 25, 2020) was an American talk show host and soap opera creator. During her career on Chicago television, she hosted over 10,000 programs and, early in her tenure, worked five shows a day, seven days a week.[1] She went on to co-create two of American television's longest-running soap operas.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born Loreley June Phillip in Chicago, Illinois, to florists James A. and Helen Phillip (née Novak).[3][4] Her parents named her after a Japanese Anemone flower.[5] She has an older brother, J.R., and a younger brother, Russell.[6]

Bell was one of the most notable graduates from what is now known as Riverside-Brookfield High School in Riverside, Illinois.[7] She then received a degree in microbiology from Northwestern University.[8]


Television performer and host[edit]

After graduating from Northwestern, Bell returned to work in her family's floral shop with her brothers. On occasion, she accompanied her brother Russell to the local television station where he worked on a local talk show demonstrating flower arrangement. Eventually, she took over this job from him, before quitting the floral shop altogether and pursuing other positions at the station. (In 1952 when Bell first started on television, the Chicago station was FCC licensed as WBKB-TV Channel 4. In 1953, the call letters and frequency of the station were changed to WBBM-TV Channel 2.)[9] In December 1952, Bell began hosting a 15-minute show at 2:15 on weekday afternoons. She soon went to hosting a five-minute segment on “homemaker news” each weekday at 12:25 p.m.[9] In 1953, Bell began hosting Meet Miss Lee, Mornin’ Miss Lee, Lee Phillip's Chicago, Shopping with Miss Lee[1] and, later, The Lee Phillip Show, which became Noonbreak.[10] In the early days of hosting Mornin’ Miss Lee, she also forecasted the weather, while wearing a hat that corresponded with her forecast.[11] Bell would also read commercials on TV during football and basketball telecasts. By 1955, Bell was celebrating her 2,500th show on the station. Another special she hosted in 1975, Forgotten Children, was on child abuse.[9] She also hosted other programs, including a Saturday morning children's program on WBBM-TV titled The Friendship Show from 1955 to 1965[1] and a WBBM Radio weekday afternoon show with Paul Gibson titled The Lady & The Tiger.[12]

The Lee Phillip Show[edit]

For more than 30 years in Chicago, The Lee Phillip Show tackled rarely considered social problems. She investigated the lives of prisoners, the struggles of runaways and the dangers of breast cancer (one of the first televised self-exams was demonstrated on her show).[1] The show quickly became a fixture in Chicago daytime television, drawing many celebrity guests. She interviewed Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter (and his entire extended family) as well as actors John Wayne, Lucille Ball, and Judy Garland.[8] The Lee Phillip Show was also shown in other cities in the early 1960s by CBS network affiliates[13] and received 16 local Emmy Awards.[8] On December 20, 1966, the show had a Christmas special that included The Nutcracker.[14]

Television producer[edit]

During the early days of their marriage, William left advertising and began writing for soap operas like Guiding Light, As the World Turns and Another World with Irna Phillips.[15] Lee Bell would learn about important issues via her television show, and pass them along to her husband, who in turn would weave them into his storylines.[16]

After leaving her TV show, Bell joined her husband to co-create the popular CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless in 1973 and its sister show The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987.[17] She also served as executive producer of The Bold and the Beautiful in the 1980s.[18]

Awards and honors[edit]

Bell won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for The Young and the Restless in 1975.[19] She received a lifetime achievement award from the Daytime Emmys in 2007.[20] She received 16 regional (Chicago) Emmy awards and numerous Golden Mike awards throughout her career. She was also the recipient of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for the May 1973 special The Rape of Paulette, the first program in Chicago to explore the issue,[9] and in 1977 she was the first woman to receive the Governors award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and 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. She also received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award for her distinguished career in communications and social service.[21]

Personal life and death[edit]

While working at the talk show, Lee Phillip met advertising agent William Joseph Bell, later marrying him in 1954.[3] They relocated from the Chicago area to the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Beverly Hills, California in 1986.[22][23] The marriage lasted until his death on April 29, 2005.[24]

Bell was the mother of William James Bell,[25] Bradley Phillip Bell,[25] Lauralee Bell Martin,[25] and the mother-in-law of Maria Arena Bell and Colleen Bradley Bell; all of the Bell family members are involved in some way with the production of the company's soap operas. She also had eight grandchildren.[15]

On February 25, 2020, she died at age 91;[26][27] the announcement was made by her children.[25] Bell died of natural causes at her home, according to Eva Basler, a spokeswoman for the family and their company Bell-Phillip Television Productions.[28]



  1. ^ a b c d CBS 2 Vault: A Salute To Lee Phillip on YouTube
  2. ^ O'Donnell, Maureen (February 26, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell, TV talk show, soap opera pioneer behind 'Young and the Restless,' dead at 91". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago: Sun-Times Investment Holdings. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Thurber, Jon (May 2, 2005). "William J. Bell, 78; Co-Created Two Top Daytime Soap Operas". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  4. ^ Coe, William R. (1987). Contemporary Biography: Women. 1. Temecula, California: Reprint Services Corporation. ISBN 978-0317592344.
  5. ^ "Loreley Japanese Anemone". American Meadows. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Gill, Peter. "Illinois Florist Named Retailer of the Year". Illinois Retail Merchants Association. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  7. ^ Feder, Robert (February 27, 2020). "Feder: Lee Phillip Bell, 'First Lady of Chicago TV,' recalled as 'gracious and kind'". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, Illinois: Paddock Publications (Daily Herald Media Group). Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Morton, Ryan (Spring 2007). "The Bellwether of Television Talk in Chicago". Northwestern University.
  9. ^ a b c d Goldsborough, Bob (February 27, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell, Chicago talk show host who helped create two long-running soap operas, dies at 91". Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ Maloney, Michael (May 7, 2007). "Lifetime Achievement: Lee Phillip Bell". Variety.
  11. ^ "CBS 2 Talk Show Pioneer, Soap Opera Creator Lee Phillip Bell Dies". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Television Stations (ViacomCBS). February 26, 2020. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  12. ^ Broadcasting. Broadcasting & Cable. 1964. p. 28.
  13. ^ Lee Phillip Show--Edith Head, Hildegarde, 1963 TV on YouTube
  14. ^ "Lee Phillip Show: Nutcracker excerpts". Chicago Film Archives. Chicago: Chicago Film Archives, LLC. December 25, 1966. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Smith, Harrison (February 27, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell, who channeled her journalism into soap operas, dies at 91". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ Maloney, Michael (2013). The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell: Creator of the Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful. Sourcebooks. p. Introduction. ISBN 9781402280672.
  17. ^ Krings & Okome 2013, p. 244.
  18. ^ Young, Candace (June 11, 2018). "Soap Icon Lee Phillip Bell Celebrates 90th Birthday". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  19. ^ O'Kane, Caitlin (February 27, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," has died". CBS News. New York City: CBS. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  20. ^ "Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of popular soap operas, dies at 91". KTLA. Los Angeles: Nexstar Media Group. Associated Press. February 26, 2020. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  21. ^ Rico, Klarritza (February 26, 2020). "Chicago native Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of 'The Young and the Restless' and 'The Bold and The Beautiful,' dies at 91". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Publishing. Variety. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  22. ^ "Property Overview". National Association of Realtors. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Carmack Bross, Judy. "LA Dispatch: Bell Dynasty". Classic Chicago Magazine. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Demirjian, Eva; Bell, Bradley P. (2014). Bold and the Beautiful: In Celebration of 20 Years on Television. Momentum. ISBN 9781760080723.
  25. ^ a b c d Rico, Klaritza (February 26, 2020). "Chicago native Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of 'The Young and the Restless' and 'The Bold and The Beautiful,' dies at 91". Variety. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  26. ^ Boucher, Ashley (February 26, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell Who Co-Created Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful Dies at 91". People. United States: Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  27. ^ Evans, Greg (February 26, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell Dies: Co-Creator Of 'The Young And The Restless', 'The Bold And The Beautiful' Was 91". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  28. ^ Harris, Beth (February 27, 2020). "Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of popular soaps, dies at 91". Associated Press.


External links[edit]