Elaine Plaines - Updated Mar 2024

Updated On February 22, 2024
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Elaine Plaines

Elaine Plaines was a popular American dancer and choreographer. Elaine Plaines is also famous as the late celebrity wife of Bill Robinson.

Early Life

Elaine Plaines was born on 21 April 1920 and she was 86 years old at the time of her demise on 6 July 2007. She hailed from Brooklyn, New York City, New York, and her zodiac sign was Taurus. Talking about her family, her parents were Milford R. Plaines and Elizabeth (Betty) Anne Dorrell.


Professionally, Elaine Plaines is a dancer and choreographer. Besides her professional achievements, this personality is also popular as the celebrity wife of Bill Robinson.

Talking more about her husband, the late Bill Robinson was a tap dancer, actor, and singer. Her husband is also famous as the most highly-paid African-American entertainer in the United States during the 1st half of the 20th century.

Similarly, Elaine’s husband’s long career mirrored changes in American entertainment tastes and technology. Bill’s career began in the age of minstrel shows and moved to vaudeville, Broadway theatre, the recording industry, Hollywood films, radio, and TV.

Her husband’s signature routine was the Stair Dance where he would tap up and down a set of stairs in a rhythmically complex sequence of steps. Her late husband is also credited with having popularized the word copacetic through his repeated use of it in vaudeville and radio appearances.

Elaine Plaines

Caption: Elaine Plaines and her husband Bill Robinson are seated at the dressing table playing cards in Stanley Theatre in 1944. Source: Carnegie Museum of Art

More Details

At present, her late husband is most recognized for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s. Also, people recognize her late husband for starring in the musical Stormy Weather.

Further, Elaine’s late husband used his popularity to challenge and overcome numerous racial barriers and he was also one of the 1st minstrel and vaudeville performers to appear as Black without the use of blackface makeup. Likewise, her husband was also one of the earliest Black performers to perform solo.

Additionally, Elaine’s late husband was an early Black headliner in Broadway shows and the 1st Black performer to appear in a Hollywood film in an interracial dance team with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel in 1935.

In his public life, Plaines’ husband led efforts to persuade the Dallas Police Department to hire its 1st Black policeman. He also lobbied President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II for more equal treatment of Black soldiers as well as staged the 1st integrated public event in Miami.

Elaine Plaines

Caption: Elaine Plaines’ husband Bill Robinson performing with Shirley Temple. Source: Pinterest

Brand Endorsements

Elaine may or may not have worked with brands and companies for their product and service advertisements and endorsements. There is also no way to track down this issue due to the absence of Elaine’s social media profiles.

Relationship Status

Elaine Plaines was married to Luther Robinson (aka Bill Robinson). With Luther, she tied the knot on 26 January 1944 in Columbus, Ohio. This marriage lasted until her husband’s demise on 25 November 1949. Elaine and Luther didn’t have any children of their own.

Talking about her past relationship, ancestry.com has mentioned that she was previously married to Robert C Bushnell. However, this is not verified information.

Elaine Plaines

Caption: Elaine dancing with her husband Bill Robinson backstage at the Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1944. Source: Getty


Unfortunately, Elaine Plaines passed away on 6 July 2007. At the time of her demise, this personality resided in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada. She was nearly 87 years old when she passed away.

Alas, the reason behind her untimely death is not mentioned anywhere at present. Therefore, Elaine’s cause of death is still a mystery for now.

Body Measurements

There is no verified information related to Plaines’s body measurements including her height, weight, chest-waist-hip measures, dress size, shoe size, etc. Likewise, Elaine had dark brown eyes and curly hair of the same color.

Elaine Plaines – Social Media

Talking about her social media presence, Elaine doesn’t have a personal or official profile on any social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

During Elaine’s youth, these social media platforms were not as widely popular as they are now. This might also be a reason behind the lack of her social media accounts.

Elaine Plaines – Net Worth 2024

Moving on, there are no verified facts related to Plaines’ net worth and earnings. On the other hand, her husband Bill Robinson was worth more than $2 million in the first half of the 20th century making him one of the highest-paid Black performers.

However, her husband died pennilessly due to heart failure. Bill’s funeral was arranged and paid for by longtime friend and TV host Ed Sullivan.