|Daytime Television Loses a Legend
Los Angeles: William J. Bell, daytime drama writer, producer and co-creator of “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” died on April 29th at the age of 78. According to Raul Rojas, publicist for Bell's TV production company, Bell died from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.
Bell’s extraordinary television career spanned nearly fifty years and won him nine Emmy awards, three for his writing on “The Young and the Restless,” and the rest for producing or writing “Days of Our Lives.”
His work in the daytime drama world was characterized by strong storytelling and an uncanny ability to cull a loyal following with daytime television viewers. Bell worked on a total of four dramas in his career, starting as a writer for the “Guiding Light” in 1956. A year later he moved from the close-knit fictional town of Springfield, to the close-knit fictional town of Oakdale, IL, where he scribed for “As The World Turns.”
Ten years later, Bell became head writer on “Days of Our Lives,” and helped turn around that failing series. The Bell touch transformed “Days” into one of the top audience draws in only four years.
In 1973, Bell teamed up with his wife, Lee Phillip Bell, and created “The Young and the Restless.” The hour-long show has been the number one daytime drama for nearly 16 consecutive years and has won more Emmy awards (87) than any other soap.
Funeral services will be arranged at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.