Born in Chicago, Illinois, Bell created two of daytime television’s hit soap operas,”Y&R” and “B&B,” along with her late husband William J. Bell. In 1975, Bell won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding drama series for “Y&R” and received the Daytime Emmy’s lifetime achievement award in 2007.
Aside from her work in daytime television, Bell was a broadcast journalist who began her career in Chicago. She produced and and hosted her own show, “The Lee Phillip Show” for CBS TV for over 30 years. Throughout her career, she produced and narrated numerous award-winning specials and documentaries covering social concerns such as foster children, the subject of rape, children and divorce, and babies born to women in prison.
During the time of her show, Bell interviewed presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan; actors Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood and Jerry Lewis; musicians such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones; television and stage stars Lucille Ball, Jack Benny and Oprah Winfrey; and many other politicians, authors, journalists, fashion designers and rock stars.
Bell garnered 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 special “The Rape of Paulette,” the first program in Chicago to explore the issue, and in 1977 she 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. She also received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award for her distinguished career in communications and social service.
The announcement of her passing was made by her children, William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin who said in a statement, “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.”
Apart from her children, Lee Phillip Bell is survived by her daughters-in-law Maria Anne Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, her son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren.