WILLIAM JOSEPH BELL
MARCH 6, 1927-APRIL 29, 2005
William Joseph Bell, the former head writer of "Days of Our Lives", passed away from complications of Alzheimer's on April 29, 2005. He was 78. Mr. Bell still holds the record for the longest-tenure of a head writer at "Days of Our Lives." He held that position for 8 years, 9 months. Mr. Bell was born on March 6, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. In college, he started out as a pre-med student at DePaul University. To earn money, he began writing scripts for a Chicago radio station. He then worked as an advertising executive for McCann-Ericson. While working at WBBM, he met his future wife, Lee Phillip. They wed in 1954, staying in Chicago until moving to Beverly Hills in 1987.
He submitted a sample script to daytime drama writer Irna Phillips in 1956 and she hired him to write for "The Guiding Light" that same year. He then moved on to "As the World Turns" from 1957-1966. In 1964, he co-created the long-running "Another World", which aired on NBC for 35 years, with Ms. Phillips. In 1966, he took over head writing duties at the one-year-old "Days of Our Lives", helping save the show from cancellation. He left his head writer position in 1975, staying with the series in a story consultant role until April, 1978. In 1973, he and his wife created "The Young and the Restless" for CBS. They later created "The Bold and the Beautiful" in 1987. All four CBS daytime dramas that are currently on the air were at one time written by Bell.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lee Phillip Bell, as well as three children: son Bill Jr. (who nows the Bell production company); son Bradley (who now runs "The Bold and the Beautiful"); and daughter Lauralee (an actress on "The Young and the Restless"). Funeral services were held at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, California. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
BELOW: One of Mr. Bell's final scripts with "Days", airing March 31, 1978.
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