The Untold Truth Of The Creators Of The Bold And The Beautiful

Since 1987, "The Bold and the Beautiful ” has been entertaining American audiences with the fashion flamboyance of the Forrester family and the dramatic pathos the Forrester clan, as well as their friends and loved ones, experience in true soap opera style. In fact, the half-hour CBS soap eventually became a global hit, airing all over the world and garnering about 300 million viewers worldwide each year. Some countries that air "B&B" include Italy, Bulgaria, Austria, Serbia, Finland, South Africa, and Poland (via

In 2021, it's one of only four remaining daytime dramas airing each afternoon on network television. The other three are "B&B's" sister soap, "The Young and the Restless," "Days of Our Lives" on NBC and "General Hospital" on ABC. Created by Bill and Lee Phillip Bell, the show was a labor of love and the second collaboration between a veteran soap opera writer and a longtime Chicago talk show host.

Who are Bill and Lee Phillip Bell?

William J. Bell was born in Chicago, IL on March 6, 1927, according to The New York Times, and before he was 30, he was already writing for soap operas, having taken a job with "Guiding Light," eventually moving on to pen scripts for "As the World Turns." Soon after, he and his mentor, Chicago-based soap opera creator Irna Phillips, who is known throughout the industry as "The Mother of Soap Opera" (via Soap Hub), created a primetime "As the World Turns" spin-off called "Our Private World" and Bell was hooked on the idea of making his own soap operas.

It would be several years before he would get that chance, but in the interim he also wrote for NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and "Another World." Then, in 1973, he and his wife, Lee Phillip Bell, fulfilled their dream of getting their own soap on the air. That is when "The Young and the Restless" debuted.

Lee Philip Bell was a Chicago native just like her husband but worked in front of the camera in television, rather than behind the scenes. She hosted "The Lee Philip Show" for 30 years at Chicago's CBS affiliate and was a pioneer in the daytime talk show field, according to Soap Hub. She also collaborated with her husband and created "The Young and the Restless" in 1973, and 14 years later, they followed up their success with a second daytime drama.

Bill and Lee Phillip Bell give birth to The Bold and the Beautiful

"The Young and the Restless" had already joined other soaps in expanding to an hour by the time Bill and Lee Phillip Bell created "The Bold and the Beautiful" in the half-hour format Bill preferred for soap opera storytelling (via In fact, the show even had another name before it became known as "The Bold and the Beautiful". There was a chance that it could have been called "Rags," as that was its working title and a reference to the fashion industry, which is the backdrop for the soap's stories, according to Soap Hub.

Bill became the show's head writer and invited his son, Bradley Bell, to work on the show's writing staff. Both Bill and Lee Philip Bell remained at the helm of "The Bold and the Beautiful" until Bill's death in 2005. In 2020, Lee Philip Bell passed away at the age of 91 (via Soap Hub), but the soap still remains a family production.

As of this writing, Bradley Bell, who was writing with his parents' since the show's inception, is both the soap's head writer and executive producer under the company his parents founded, Bell-Phillip Television Productions, Inc. (via CBS).