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A 'Young and Restless' Party

March 25, 1993|LIBBY SLATE

The Scene: Twentieth anniversary celebration for the CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless" Tuesday night at the Four Seasons. Created by William J. Bell and his wife, Lee Phillip Bell, the show premiered March 23, 1973. It has been the No. 1-rated daytime drama for the past 220 weeks, and has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Daytime Drama.

All in the Family: On hand were Bill Bell, now "Y&R" senior executive producer/head writer, and Lee Bell, long-term story consultant; daughter Lauralee Bell, who plays Cricket Romalotti on the show, with on-screen husband/off-screen beau Michael Damian; Bill Bell Jr., head of business affairs for his parents' production company, and Bradley Bell, writer and associate producer for the sister show "The Bold and the Beautiful."

Who Else Was there: Current cast members Jeanne Cooper; Melody Thomas Scott with her husband, "Y&R" producer Edward Scott; Eric Braeden, Peter Bergman, Doug Davidson, Kate Linder, Sharon Farrell, Kristoff St. John, Tracey Bregman Recht, Quinn Redeker, Peter Barton, Jeff Walton, Jerry Douglas. Alumni of the show who attended included David Hasselhoff, Jamie Lyn Bauer, Janice Lynde, Susan Seaforth Hayes with husband Bill Hayes, James Houghton, and John McCook and Darlene Conley, both now on "The Bold and the Beautiful"

The Buzz: The celebration became a reunion with squeals of recognition and bear hugs. Said Jeanne Cooper after embracing former cast member Joe La Due, "He was one of my best husbands."

Entertainment: Film clips of some of the show characters' 41 weddings. Melody Thomas Scott seemed to turn up as the bride more than anyone else. She plays Nikki (current surname Abbott).

Chow: Serviceable. The piece de resistance: a multilayered, zillion-calorie cake in the shape of a television set, with a congratulatory message on the icing screen.

Most Poignant: A spontaneous standing ovation for Jeanne Cooper, who joined the show as wealthy Katherine Chancellor nine months after it began.

Most Meaningful Moment: The announcement to the pleasantly surprised Bells by CBS Entertainment President Jeff Sagansky that an annual Bill and Lee Bell Young and Restless Scholarship has been established for a student at the UCLA School of Film, Theater and Television.

Noted: Over the years the soap has utilized more than 2,600 sets--almost half of them bedrooms.

Quoted: Said Sagansky, "I have producers complain to me about the trouble they have doing 22 shows a year. Bill Bell does 22 shows a month."

And the Writers Guild Blows Kisses to: Eric Braeden, who has played Victor Newman for the past 13 years, who mused, "I'm just an actor saying lines thought of by someone else."

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