Doctors couldn’t save legendary “Today Show” host Robbin Bain who passed away just 2 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Robbin Mele Gaudieri, who was a beauty queen and one of the first hosts of NBC’s “Today Show,” has passed away at the age of 87 according to her family. She died on October 21 at her Long Island, New York, home.
She was known on NBC and by the public as Robbin Bain and was a beloved presence on the network. She became a news host after winning a beauty pageant in 1959.
The New York Times reported that she was selected to represent Rheingold beer, which was popular throughout New England at the time. She was even tapped as a model for Revlon and Helena Rubinstein ads.
Robbin Bain, Pageant Winner and ‘Today Girl,’ Is Dead at 87
After winning the annual Miss Rheingold beauty contest, in which millions voted, she covered fashion and beauty for the popular morning show.#business #finance #financenews #businessnews #news pic.twitter.com/betqwzY1ax
— Breaking News (@FastNews77) November 7, 2023
While modeling as Miss Rheingold, she raked in a $50,000 prize according to The U.S. Sun. That was a huge sum back then, equivalent to approximately $530,000 today.
A Miss Rheingold ad touted, “You’ll soon be seeing Robbin Bain almost everywhere you look, such an attractive reminder of the popular beer she represents — Rheingold Extra Dry!”
Looking back on her time in the role, Bain asserted that it wasn’t just about her stunning wholesome looks, it was also about selling beer.
“It was not a body thing,” she told the New York Daily News in 2000 during an interview. “Personality and wholesomeness were very important. You had to look very approachable to the guys sitting at the bar or going to the supermarket.”
Some might better remember Bain as the face of the idyllic housewife in newspaper ads and at events.
Barbara Jane Bain was born in 1936 in Queens, New York. She would eventually move to Bronxville with her family. Later during her career, she would go on to change her name so she would not be confused with the actress Barbara Bain.
♀️ Robbin Bain, the sassy and talented pageant sensation who captured hearts as a ‘Today Girl,’ has sadly passed away at 87. Rest in fabulousness, queen!
— Demetrius (@Demetri28902610) November 4, 2023
Bain came from a traditional family. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was an executive at Mack Trucks.
“In 1956, she started to transition into television presenting and worked on ‘The Jackie Gleason [Show]’ as one of four women called ‘Portrettes,'” The U.S. Sun noted. “By 1961, she was asked to join NBC’s Today show in a role where she discussed fashion, makeup, and woman-focused features.”
The position as a “Today Girl” only lasted six months. Bain had to leave for a while because she was pregnant with her first child… her daughter Dina Nemeth. She eventually returned as a co-host on the show and would go on to become an interior designer.
“Famous news journalist Barbara Walters held Bain’s position at one point and described it as ‘Neanderthal’ for women to be stuck only covering women’s issues in her autobiography,” The U.S. Sun wrote.
Bain didn’t see it that way and was proud of her stint on the “Today Show.” She considered what she did at the time to be groundbreaking.
“I was the only woman with the exception of the makeup woman on the set,” she commented at a 2012 reunion event.
The media trailblazer is survived by her daughters Lara and Dina; her husband, Alexander Guadieri; a stepson, Alexandre Guadieri; and six grandchildren.
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