The matriarch of Nudie suits dead at 92

April 10, 2006 at 8:17 PM
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VALENCIA, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- Helen "Bobbie Nudie" Cohn, "the backbone" behind her husband's Hollywood Nudie suit business, has died in Valencia, Calif, at age 92.

Her husband, Nudie Cohn, created the colorful rhinestone-bedecked suits first favored by country stars in the 1940s and later embraced by rock stars as well. One of the most famous Nudie suits was the gold lame number created for Elvis Presley in the 1950s, the Los Angeles Times said.

Hank Williams Sr., Roy Rogers and Buck Owens were all buried in Nudie suits, the newspaper said. Another notable Nudie suit, worn by Gram Parsons in late 1960s, was decorated with marijuana leaves. Elton John, Keith Richards and Johnny Cash were all dressed by Nudie as well.

"She was the backbone to my grandfather and wrote up all the orders," Cohn's granddaughter, Jamie Nudie told the Times.

Even after the death of her husband in 1984, Cohn continued to run the store for 10 more years with her daughter and granddaughter.

The big plastic horse that stood outside the Nudie store along with its sign and an original sewing machine are in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Cohn is survived by two granddaughters, three great-grandchildren and a sister.

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