Former Today host Robbin Bain dead at 87

Robbin Bain
Former Today host and pageant winner Robbin Bain passed away at 87. Pic credit: NBC

Beauty queen and former television host Robbin Bain passed away at 87 years old.

Her family announced her passing earlier this week, stating that she passed after a battle with breast cancer.

Robbin Mele Gaudieri, recognized as one of the first hosts of NBC’s Today show, died in her Long Island, New York, home on October 21.

Publicly known as Robbin Bain, she started her career after winning a beauty pageant in 1959.

She was known as the Rheingold beer girl after being chosen to be their face, and the brand was extremely popular throughout New England at the time.

While modeling as Miss Rheingold, Robbin earned a whopping $50,000, which adds up to $530,000 today — over half a million dollars.

Who was Robbin Bain?

Robbin Bain was born Barbara Jane in 1936 in Queens, New York. Later, she would move to Bronxville with her family.

Her father was an executive at Mack Trucks, while her mother stayed home as a homemaker.

Robbin changed her name rather early in her career so she would not be confused with actress Barbara Bain, and in 1956, Robbin began her transition into television presenting.

She worked on The Jackie Gleason as one of four women called Portrettes, and by 1961, she was asked to join NBC’s Today show.

On Today, Robbin discussed things such as fashion, makeup, and woman-focused features. She was there for about six months before leaving as she was pregnant with her daughter, Dina Nemeth.

However, she would return as a co-host on the program.

Robbin Bain’s lasting career legacy

Although not everyone was thrilled with Robbin’s career, Robbin herself was very proud of what she accomplished.

Famous news journalist Barbara Walters was in Robbin’s position at one point and described it as “Neanderthal” for women to be stuck only covering women’s issues in her autobiography.

Despite Barbara’s opinion, Robbin always held her positions in high esteem and was always proud of her work.

“I was the only woman with the exception of the makeup woman on the set,” she said in a 2012 reunion.

Plus, her work with Rheingold wasn’t just about her looks, either — it was about selling the brand.

“It was not a body thing,” she told the New York Daily News in 2000, as reported by the New York Times.

“Personality and wholesomeness were very important. You had to look very approachable to the guys sitting at the bar or going to the supermarket.”

Robbin is survived by her daughter, her husband Alexander Guadieri, a stepson, and six grandchildren.

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