Loreley "Lee" June Phillip Bell (born June 10, 1928) is a former talk show host and soap opera creator.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
5 External links
Bell was born Loreley June Phillip in Chicago, Illinois, to florists James and Helen Phillip. Her parents named her after a French flower. She has an older brother, J.R., and a younger brother, Russell.
Bell is one of the most notable graduates from what is now known as Riverside-Brookfield High School in Riverside, Illinois. She then received a degree in microbiology from Northwestern University.
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 (WBBM-TV Chicago). In 1953, Bell began hosting Mornin’ Miss Lee, and, later, The Lee Phillip Show, which became Noonbreak. 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). 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. The Lee Phillip Show was also shown in other cities in the early 1960s by CBS network affiliates and received 16 local Emmy Awards. She also hosted other programs, including a Saturday morning children's program on WBBM-TV titled Lee Phillip's Friendship Show. She was co-host of a WBBM Radio weekday afternoon show with Paul Gibson titled The Lady & The Tiger.
While working at the talk show, Bell met advertising agent William J. Bell, later marrying him in 1954. The marriage lasted until his death in 2005. During the early days of their marriage, he left advertising and began writing soap operas like Guiding Light, As the World Turns and Another World with Irna Phillips. 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.
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. She also served as executive producer of The Bold and the Beautiful in the 1980s. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1975 for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series for Y&R.
In 1977, she was the first woman to receive the Governor's Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
In 2007, Bell was awarded a Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement for her contributions to daytime television.
She and her late husband lived in Beverly Hills in a house formerly owned by aviation mogul Howard Hughes and also Cary Grant.
She is the mother of William J. Bell, Jr., Lauralee Bell, Bradley Bell, and 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 has eight grandchildren.
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