William J. Bell

William J. Bell

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William J. Bell

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William J. Bell (March 6, 1927 – April 29, 2005) was the creator and executive producer of the soap operas The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.

Personal life

He was married to former talk show host Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created Y&R and B&B with him. Their three children, Bill Jr., Bradley, and Lauralee, and daughter-in-law Maria Arena Bell are all involved in their parents' soaps in some capacity.

On April 29, 2005, Bell died from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Writing Legacy

Procter and Gamble Productions

He started out as a comedy writer at WBBM-TV in Chicago, and one day he made a call to Irna Phillips' secretary Rose Cooperman asking her "Does Irna have an opening?" Rose said Irna did have an opening. By the time he got there it turned out the guy who was leaving decided to stay. About two years later William J. Bell was in advertising business and he ran into Irna's niece. She mentioned him to Irna and Ms. Phillips remembered who he was; she also knew his wife, who was a celebrity in Chicago at that time. He started out at $75 a week and ended up living in what once was Howard Hughes' villa. His mother regularly listened to radio soap operas: Life Can Be Beautiful, The Romance of Helen Trent, Our Gal Sunday and The Guiding Light.

He started his writing career on The Guiding Light and then moved over to As the World Turns, working under the legendary "Queen of Soaps," Irna Phillips; Phillips'...
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