Lee Phillip Bell, a Riverside-Brookfield High School graduate who would go on to fame first as a Chicago TV talk show host and later as co-creator of hit TV soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” died Feb. 25, 2020 in Los Angeles at the age of 91.
Born Loreley June Phillip in Chicago on June 10, 1928, Ms. Bell’s parents owned a small Cicero shop, Phillip’s Flowers and Gifts, which her brother, James, would transform into major enterprise, with seven flower shops around the Chicago area, including one in LaGrange Park.
The Phillip family lived above the Cermak Road flower shop, where customers included Ralph Capone, Al’s brother, and Ms. Bell and her older brother, James, would help around the flower shop as children.
Later, the Phillip family moved to Riverside. Ms. Bell reportedly attended Riverside-Brookfield High School for two years before graduating from Monticello Seminary, a now defunct all-girls’ institution sometimes referred to as a “finishing school,” located in Godfrey, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis. She then attended Northwestern University, graduating in 1950.
Within three years, she was hosting shows on WBBM-TV, where “The Lee Phillip Show” (later “Noonbreak”) would be an Emmy Award-winning daytime TV staple in Chicago and in other cities for the CBS network for three decades.
It was at CBS studios in Chicago where she met William J. Bell, a soap opera scriptwriter, whose credit included “As the World Turns.” The two married in 1955, and in the 1970s they teamed up to create “The Young and the Restless,” which has starred their daughter, Lauralee Bell, for more than 30 years.
In the 1980s, the Bells moved to Los Angeles and created another soap opera, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Mr. Bell preceded his wife in death in 2005.