Hello everyone. This afternoon I will be talking about TV personality Lee Phillip. She was on television in Chicago for over 30 years. Her TV program was one of its kind when it debuted in the 1950s. Her local shows were Meet Miss Lee, Mornin’ Miss Lee, Lee Phillip Chicago, Shopping With Miss Lee, and later The Lee Phillip Show, which became Noonbreak. She interviewed celebrities, local and nationally, politicians, and people who captured headlines in the newspapers.
Her TV show was mostly scheduled at 12 Noon on WBBM-TV Channel 2 opposite Bozo’s Circus on WGN-TV Channel 9. I recalled her as being, elegant, soft-spoken, well-dressed, and polite. When my mother came to America in 1962, she told me that she was one of the few TV shows that she tremendously enjoyed. When we lived in the South Shore neighborhood in the 60s, I was enrolled at Bradwell School when I was in kindergarten. When I came home before 12 noon, I turned on the television set to watch Bozo’s Circus. I would have thought my mother would get angry because she wanted to watch The Lee Phillip Show. She was fine with that.
Another specific incident that happened to me was when one of my mother’s friends came by to our apartment for a visit. It was 12 noon and she inquired my mother if she can watch The Lee Phillip Show and the TV soap opera As The World Turns. She was looking forward to watching those shows when suddenly I ran into the living room and instantly change the channel to watch Bozo’s Circus. My mother’s friend was mortified and stunned that I knew exactly what time and channel Bozo was on. I was four at the time. I am still laughing about that.
The Noonbreak TV show ended in 1986. Lee Phillip was married to William J Bell from 1954 until his death in 2005 and had three children. She had a local radio show on WBBM-AM 780 called The Lady & The Tiger and also hosted a TV children’s program that aired on Saturday morning on WBBM-TV Channel 2 called Lee Phillip’s Friendship Show. She and her husband co-created two soap operas, The Young And The Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Both shows are still on the air.
Lee Phillip was so beloved by Chicago TV viewers for many years. Her genuine warmth and gracious presence on the TV screen were unforgettable. Her family-owned florist company is still in business in the Chicagoland area. I’m going to miss it here. My deepest condolences to her family. Bless you. Pete Kastanes-Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.
2 thoughts on “My memories of Lee Phillip on TV in Chicago.”
She and her husband had a summer home near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We used to pass through there on our way to Delavan and my mother would always mention that Lee Phillip and her husband had a summer home there.
My randmother and I used to fight over whether we’d watch cartoons (hosted by Uncle Johnny Coons or Uncle Ned Locke–this was before Bozo) or “As The World Turns” at noon. She usually won, because after I got my way I’d lose interest and wander off…
As a young man, I always thought Lee Phillip was hot. She was my fantasy older woman. But I also understood she was a talented local talent who Chicagoans all loved. Bottom line… Bill Bell was one lucky man!