Lee Phillip Bell, co-creator of CBS’ The Young and the Restless andThe Bold and the Beautiful, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91.
The announcement of her death came from her children, William J. Bell Jr., Bradley Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin, who played Christine “Cricket” Blair from 1983 to 2005 on Y&R.
“Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother,” the statement read, as reported by Deadline. “Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.”
Beginning her career as a talk show host of the The Lee Phillip Show, Lee later joined her husband William J. Bell, who passed away in 2005, to create CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless in 1973 and its sister show The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987.
She was awarded the Daytime Emmy in 1975 for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series for Y&R and in 2007 she was given the Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement
Soap opera actors flocked to social media to react to her passing and offer condolences.
“We are all devastated by the passing of Lee Phillip Bell. A television pioneer and powerhouse in her own right, she elevated daytime television in co-creating “The Young and the Restless” with her equally iconic husband, Bill Bell. We sadly mourn our true matriarch,” Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman on Y&R) shared on Twitter.
“There will forever be a portrait of Lee Phillip Bell over the mantle here at The Bold and the Beautiful….How she has enriched our lives! RIP,” shared John McCook (Eric Forrester on B&B).
“I am very sad to hear of the passing of Lee Phillip Bell. I will always remember her grace and generosity over many years. R.I.P.,” added Ian Buchanan (Dr. James Warwick on B&B).
The Young and the Restless account also shared their thoughts writing, “We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of a member of our CBS family and Daytime community, Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, and co-creator of Y&R and B&B, Lee Phillip Bell. She was a pioneer in television and will be missed dearly.”
The Bold and the Beautiful also shared a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of a member of our CBS family and the Daytime community, the beloved Lee Phillip Bell. She was a pioneer in television, first as an Emmy winning broadcast journalist and then as a soap opera co-creator and producer, winning an Emmy for producing Y&R and a Lifetime Achievement Award Emmy for her work on both Y&R and B&B. Our hearts go out to her children William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin, who shared, “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.”
Our condolences go out to the family of Lee Phillip Bell at this difficult time. She will be missed.