Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2014

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Dummkopfs leader Firth dies

Susan C. "Suzy" Firth, the female lead of the Dummkopfs comedy band that has entertained thousands for more than three decades in Southern Nevada, has died. She was 50.

Firth, whose husband, Brian, is the male lead of the zany band that has appeared everywhere from major Strip resorts and at local Oktoberfests, died Saturday in a local hospital. Services were Wednesday for the Las Vegas resident of 25 years.

"They all are first-class musicians, and Susan's role was primarily comic relief," said Sun entertainment columnist Joe Delaney. "Susan's character resembled the wife of Hagar (the Horrible) in the comic strip."

It was the second death of a key player in the band whose members dressed in lederhosen and performed Bavarian classics in the wild slapstick tradition of Spike Jones. Marthe Cornelius, Firth's mother, who played the motherly character, died in February 2000 at age 91.

The band has long been a favorite at the Mount Charleston Lodge and also recently performed at the Excalibur.

Firth was born born April 30, 1951, in Washington, D..C.

She and her husband formed the Dummkopfs in the mid-1970s. They went on to appear in Rocky Sennes' Wild World of Burlesque at the old Holiday, now Harrah's, and the "Lido de Paris" at the Stardust.

They also were regular performers on the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, when the national show originated from Las Vegas.

Firth was a member of the Musicians Union of Las Vegas, Local 369.

In addition to her husband, Firth is survived by two daughters, Beverley Murphy of Las Vegas and Kerry Firth of Miami; a son, Michael Firth; a brother, Robert Cornelius, and two sisters, Barbara Reed and Lorraine Hanna, all of Las Vegas.

Burial was in Palm Memorial Park, Northwest.

Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne Ave., handled the arrangements.

The family suggests donations in Susan Firth's memory to Best Friends Animal Shelter, Kanab, Utah, (www.bestfriends.org).

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