For decades tens of thousands of fans thought of Lee Phillip as one of the nicest TV personalities in Chicago. The reputation was well justified. Emmy Award-winning TV producer and host Lee Phillip studied microbiology at Northwestern University. Her family owned Phillip's Florists in La Grange Park and other western suburbs in the 1950s. One day Lee went with her brother to the Channel 2 studio to help him with a show on flower presentation. She took over that show and eventually hosted her own daytime variety talk show on WBBM-TV that won 16 Chicago Emmy Awards. Lee married TV writer and producer William J. Bell in 1954 and the marriage lasted until his death in 2005. With her husband she was co-creator of the national daytime soap opera called The Young and the Restless. Lee won a national daytime Emmy in 1975 for that show.
Lee and William also co-created another soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. She served as co-executive producer of that show during the 1980s. In 1977, Lee was the first woman to receive the Governor's Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Lee is the mother of William J. Bell, Jr, Lauralee Bell, and Bradley Bell who have all acted in soap operas. She also has six grandchildren. Part of Lee's legacy to Chicago includes her generous donation of $500,000 in 2006 to Bruce DuMont's new Museum of Broadcast Communications Building located at State and Kinzie Streets on the North Side of Chicago.