Robbin Bain, the former fashion and beauty expert on NBC‘s Today, died in Southampton, NY, on October 21. She was 87. As her daughter revealed to Deadline, Bain was battling breast cancer prior to her death.
Introduced to viewers as the “Today Girl,” Bain joined the NBC show in 1961. She covered fashion, beauty, and other female-centric topics. Her time on the show was short-lived, however. After just two months as the Today Girl, Bain moved on, having become pregnant with her daughter, Dina.
The star’s time in the spotlight began two years prior to her Today show debut in 1959. As the winner of a brewery-sponsored contest, she was named Miss Reingold that year, the most popular beer in the New York region at the time. The accolade earned Robbin Bain $50,000 and a year-long tour through the US and Europe.
Bain had past experience as a model, appearing in ads for Helena Rubinstein and Revlon. However, the Today Girl claimed the Miss Reingold role wasn’t about her looks. “It was not a body thing,” she told The New York Daily News in 2000. “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 Bain Left Hollywood for an Interior Design Career
In 1956 and 57, Bain had another small TV role. She appeared as one of four women called “Portrettes” on The Jackie Gleason Show. Robbin Bain, along with her three companions, introduced Jackie Gleason on the variety show.
Finally, in August 1961, the former Portrette made her debut on the Today show. During her time as the Today Girl, Robbin Bain worked alongside the host John Chancellor and the news anchor Frank Blair. “I was the only woman, with the exception of the makeup woman, on the set,” she recalled during a 2012 Today Girls reunion.
In her final TV role, Bain appeared as a panelist on the game show To Tell the Truth alongside the iconic Betty White.
Following her departure from the Today show, Robbin Bain left the spotlight behind to pursue a career as an interior designer. She is survived by her daughters, Lara and Dina Nemeth, as well as her third husband Alexander Guadieri, stepson Alexandre, and her six grandchildren.
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