This Week In The Hills One Elegant Bel Air Socialite, Maria Arena Bell Honored And Author Bonnie Forward’s Book Belongs In Your Stocking, Highlight Hollywood News

This week in The Hills we focus on one of the greatest acting coaches in the business, and here’s your chance to get Bonnie Forward’s exciting new book for that special person in your life, who is dying to become a soap star. Aren’t we all?  And Bel Air beauty, Maria Bell, who successfully brought “Y&R” to its highest ratings in decades does it again, and may I add, again?  The Hills are alive with the sound of these two beauties; Forward and Bell.  Here’s what they have been up to recently. 
My beautiful and talented neighbor Maria Arena Bell has done it, again, and again!  As the most successful executive producer and head writer of CBS’s number-one daytime drama THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS,  Maria Arena Bell was honored on Wednesday at the WIN (Women’s Image Network) Awards with their Humanitarian Award for her dedicated and long standing contribution to the arts and arts education.  The WIN Awards were co-hosted this year by Melissa Petermen and Bruce Vilanch.  The Humanitarian Award was presented by actress Lisa Kudrow.
“I am so honored that WIN, an organization that promotes positive images of women and girls in the media and recognizes female writers, producers and directors chose to honor me with their Humanitarian Award,” said Bell.
 “WIN wanted to recognize my work in the arts and arts education through organizations like PS Arts, MOCA and Americans for the Arts as well as my recent appointment by Mayor Villaraigosa as a cultural affairs commissioner for the city of Los Angeles,” she continued.  “I thank Phyllis Stuart for her leadership at WIN.”
The event was held at the famed Paramount Studios in Hollywood,  and was attended by Maria’s elegant mother-in-law Lee Phillip Bell, Lauralee Bell, “Y&R’s” iconic Jeanne Cooper, the Emmy Award-winning actor and “Y&R” leading man Eric Braeden, Genie Francis, Patty Weaver and lots of esteemed entertainment insiders.
And not only is Maria credited with bringing “Y&R” another major nomination last week from the Writers Guild of America, but she works tirelessly to promote the Arts in Los Angeles County, and volunteers countless hours to benefit the underprivileged in the region, as well as being a great wife and the best mother in Los Angeles. Add to all of that, Maria was sworn in last week at City Hall in Los Angeles as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner.
And there’s even more exciting news coming soon for this Bel Air based stunner.  Highlight Hollywood will be there to promote it as well. 
Bonnie Forward has become synonymous with daytime acting, and the blonde beauty recently penned the acclaimed “SOAP OPERA ACTING: The Ins and Outs of Daytime Drama.”  Not one to ever be shy, Bonnie knows how to get the best performance out of her pupils, and they oftentimes are lucky enough to be on a soap, or soon to be cast in one.  This labor of love, with the foreword by one of my mentors, Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” TV’s most successful daytime dramas in television history is truly a page-turner, and one that Highlight Hollywood readers should put on their stocking stuffer list.
Bonnie Forward is a third generation Californian, who was born into an entertainment  family in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Although she doesn’t look a day over 25.  Forward grew up on sound stages and was  surrounded by television and film stars, both on-set and at home. In travelling  the world she discovered that Soap Operas are universally beloved, in every  country around the globe. Sound familiar? Bill and Lee Bell knew this as well.  However, for author Bonnie Forward, this revelation resulted in her taking a keen interest  in American Soap Opera acting, and everything about this unique television  medium. She began to study every aspect of the industry with the best in the business, both in front of the camera  and behind it as well, devoting her life to Daytime Drama and spending countless days on  Soap sets. She counts many Soap actors among her friends, as well as key Soap  Opera executives.
Over 25 years ago, using all original scripts from the two  top-rated Soap Operas in the world, she became the only acting coach ever to  establish an acting school with a primary emphasis on Soap Opera.
And her book is a culmination of these things, and definitely something you have to get your hands on. If you have a relative or friend who dreams of soap opera acting, breaking into this tough business, you absolutely must purchase this book, which is available at  Please don’t miss out, before they are out-of-stock. Get yours tomorrow. 

See you next week in The Hills!


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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Maria Bell from her private collection and Bonnie Forward from her collection
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