CBS Soap Stars Pay Tribute To ‘Y&R,’ ‘Bold & The Beautiful’ Co-Creator Lee Phillip Bell Following Her Death
Stars from The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are paying tribute to daytime TV pioneer Lee Phillip Bell. The co-creator of the long-running CBS soap operas passed away at age 91 this week.
Lee and her husband, William J. Bell, co-created The Young and The Restless in 1973 and The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987. Both soaps are still on the air on CBS Daytime. Following her death, 15 years after her famous husband’s passing, stars from the CBS soap franchises honored Lee Phillip Bell.
On Twitter, Melody Thomas Scott, who plays Nikki Newman on The Young and the Restless, posted a throwback photo of her with Bell, whom she described as a “powerhouse” and the “matriarch” of the iconic CBS soaps.
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. 🙏🏻💜 pic.twitter.com/V5nUaz4N5E
— Melody Thomas Scott (@MelodyThomasSco) February 26, 2020
Jess Walton, one of the pioneering stars on Y&R as Jill Foster Abbott Fenmore Atkinson, also remembered Bell as one of the “finest women” she ever knew.
RIP to the great Lee Bell. One of the finest women I have ever known. A kind, gentle and very smart lady.💙 to her children and grandchildren and to all who knew her. pic.twitter.com/7Teg6dYavq
— Jess Walton (@JessWaltonYR) February 26, 2020
The Bold and the Beautiful star Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan on the series) also took to social media to remember Bell. Lang wrote that working with the TV icon on B&B for 33 years was an “honor,” and she recalled how much fun they had together both on and off the set of the Emmy-winning daytime drama.
Don Diamont, who has starred on both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, posted a slideshow of photos with Bell. Diamont shared a sweet story of how Bell once told him she was his biggest fan. The actor also posted his final photo with Bell, which was taken just two months ago at the annual Bell holiday party in late 2019.
Actor Greg Rikaart, who has played Kevin Fisher on Y&R since 2003, took to Twitter.
“[Lee Phillip Bell] was an extraordinary, extraordinary woman. She was smart, trailblazing, dignified and lovely as could be,” he wrote.
“RIP Lee,” tweeted actor Winsor D. Harmon, who played Thorne Forrester for 25 years on The Bold and the Beautiful. “It was an honor to know you as a person and a privilege to work for and with you for 20 plus years. God Bless you, mam.”
Other stars from the Bell-created soaps — including Joanna Johnson, Ian Buchanan, and Kate Linder — paid tribute to the late Queen of Daytime TV. The official Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful Instagram pages also shared memories of the franchises’ beloved matriarch.
So sad to hear of the passing of Lee Phillip Bell, a class act in every way &always so kind2me as was William Bell. I'm 4ever grateful for the amazing opportunity they gave me to play Caroline & Karen on @BandB_CBS Love to their kids,also class acts,@LauraleeB4real,Bill Jr & Brad
— Joanna Johnson (@JoannaJohnson31) February 26, 2020
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.
— Ian Buchanan (@KilttripUSA) February 26, 2020
Lee Phillip Bell was one of the most loved and admired people I’ve ever known. Deepest condolences to her amazing family, I will always love and miss my friend, Lee. Thank you for everything you have given to me and to everyone you touched with your kindness and love. YandR_CBS pic.twitter.com/KTXXUSuzJ1
— KATE LINDER (@KATELINDER) February 27, 2020
Bell was notoriously beloved by her cast in the CBS soap empire. When she turned 90 years old in 2018, stars from The Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful told Soap Opera Digest what they loved most about her.
Darin Brooks (Wyatt, B&B) said Bell “always” had a smile on her face and he described her as “one of the warmest, sweetest and most welcoming people.”
Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) said she was the most “charming and gracious lady” he ever met, while Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) said Bell “epitomizes class.”
And Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) added that Bell raised three “thoughtful, kind, polite and interesting” children, which he said is her greatest legacy.