Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of two of the most successful daytime dramas — "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" — died Tuesday at age 91, her children announced, according to a press release obtained by CBS News.
Bell was born in Chicago where she began a career in broadcast journalism. She hosted her own show, "The Lee Phillip Show" onfor more than 30 years. Bell also produced two popular soap operas with her late husband William J. Bell, a screenwriter and producer who died in 2005.
"The Young and the Restless" first aired in 1973 and "The Bold and the Beautiful" first aired in 1987. Both shows are still on CBS.
She was once known as the "first lady of Chicago television," according to CBS Chicago.
As a journalist, Bell interviewed former Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, Judy Garland, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Lucille Ball, Oprah Winfrey, among many others. She also won 16 regional Emmy awards in Chicago and numerous Golden Mike awards, according to the release.
In 1977, she became the first woman to receive the coveted Governors' Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Among her many accolades, Bell won a Daytime Emmy award in 1975 for Outstanding Drama Series, as co-creator of "The Young and the Restless." She also received the Daytime Emmys' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Bell is survived by her three children, who went on to say, "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 is also survived by her daughters-in-law Maria Arena Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, her son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren.
Disclosure: "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" are produced by CBS Television, a division of ViacomCBS.
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