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5: Ivan meets Margot Linnet

Back and safe in Amsterdam, he continued to throw one happy party after another, and a lot of good-time girls shared his bed if not his board. After a night of bliss he would be up at dawn and on his way to the airfield. The slumbering charmer was left to finish her beauty sleep - and to tidy up the flat before she left.

So it was a facer, and no mistake, when he in June 1925 found himself, at an all-night party in Copenhagen, looking down into the laughing blue eyes of a flaxen-haired Danish girl and felt his whole world turn upside down. But suddenly she was whisked away by impatient guests to be the life and soul of the party.

From a corner of the crowded room Ivan watched her, his heart bursting with new and unaccustomed feelings. He was shocked to discover that never once, in all his romantic explorations, had he ever been in love. This was the real thing, quite different.

The blonde was Margot Linnet, actually born Margot Krøyer (1899-1947) her parents being Carl Frederik Krøyer Krag and Margrethe Erichsen. But before she was 2 years old, Margot was adopted by her mother's older sister Julia Andrea Erichsen and her husband Doctor Nis Nielsen Linnet **, who had a medical practice on the little island Bogø. Margot stayed here most of her childhood, but after the couple divorced in 1909, Margot moved back to Copenhagen. When she began her stage career in the beginning of the 'roaring twenties', she still lived with her aunt Julia Andrea Linnet (Valkendorfsgade 5). The rest of her life she considered Julia being her real mother (she called her 'Mor').

She became Denmark's Mary Pickford, the little sweetheart of every young Dane's dreams. She was a famous actress playing all the young, laughing, loving leads. Her pictures appeared all over on postcards and chocolate boxes as well.

She made her first appearance in the spring of 1920 in "Konen med fersknerne" on tour with Eyvind Kornbech. From 1920-21 she played a number of minor roles at "Odense Teater", and in the autumn of 1921 she toured the country joining the famous Otto Jacobsen Company, where she appeared with Adam Poulsen in "Aksel og Valborg". There was something genuine and endearing in her play - and this, combined with her pretty scene appearance, made her extremely popular.

After touring with the Otto Jacobsen Company, she followed Eyvind Kornbech to "Sønderbros Teater" in Copenhagen, where she performed during the years 1922 and 1923 (see picture below).

Margot Linnet and Einer Reim 1922

Here you can listen to some rare samples of her voice from 1922 (Male vocalist is Einer Reim 1897-1971, see picture above):

Sample 1 - Spilledaaseduetten:

Sample 2 - Søde gamle Minder:

Between 1923 and 1925 she worked at "Casino Teateret". She was the heroine in the Jules Verne play "Captain Grant's Children"; Lisbeth in "A Sunday on Amager" as well as in Jules Verne's "Michael Strogoff" or "The Courier of the Czar" (Kejserens Kurér) where she played the daughter Nadeschda. The Casino Theater in Copenhagen performed "The Courier of the Czar" with Margot Linnet 39 evenings in the periode 28 February to 19 April 1925. See the programme below.

She also had a role in the Danish/Swedish silent movie from 1921 "Love and Burglars / Tyvepak / Landsvägsriddare / Diebsgesindel", where she played the daughter Inger.

Margot Linnet & Pip Overbeck

Margot Linnet & Pip Overbeck
Pip Overbeck & Margot Linnet
Here are some samples from the silent movie "Love and Burglars" from 1921. Margot is sitting down in her swimsuit. Next pictures shows Margot in white dress.

Watch Margot in the silent movie from 1921 (34 minutes)....

Still in 1921 the first real "FY og BI" based on the above ideas was made. Only that Aage Bendixen (BI) was now replaced with Harald Madsen. So, long before Laurel and Hardy, and until 1940, Carl Schenstrøm (FY) and Harald Madsen (BI) successfully amused the world with their slapstick movies.

Although the "FY og BI" films are Danish productions, they have never been for sale in Denmark. But fortunately the German TV-station ZDF bought most of the material years ago. In cooperation with KINOWELT they recently released 7 DVD's with the two guys!

1924 - Margot Linnet and Carl Hillebrandt
playing in "En Søndag på Amager".

Now, back to the Smirnoff Story...

Ivan's friends told him that he was mad if he thought Denmark's sweetheart would ever step out of the limelight to go off with a Dutchman.

From now on he saw Margot two or three times a week. They were in love but they both declared that they were not interested in being married, ever.

Right! He had a whole consignment of blood-red roses flown from Holland to fill her dressing-room with heady fragrance. When he knocked, Margot was standing at her make-up shelf melting eye-black in a spoon, over a candle flame.

"I came to tell you my news," began Ivan gruffly.
"I am going to get married." That would shake her, he thought.
"Congratulations, darling." said Margot brightly, squinting into the mirror as she stroke the mascara.
"Anybody I know?"

Ivan stared. Wasn't she the least bit fond of him then? Only one way to find out...he caught her in a hug that lifted her clean from the floor.

"You're her." he roared between kisses.
"You think you play a game with me, do you?"...then more kisses...and more.

But to keep it very short; Margot and Ivan got married in the Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen on 23 October 1925, four months after they first met. After a honeymoon trip to England they returned to Amsterdam, where a new life began, especially for Margot. She left the stage career forever, having had her farewell appearance in the play "7-9-13" at Bonbonniere on 10 October 1925 **.

Doctor Nis Nielsen Linnet (1871-1958) became Ivan Smirnoff's father-in-law. Later the doctor also became father-in-law (from a second marriage) to Birgit Linnet. She is still living in 2012.

Fokker operated European air-lines in 1925

Copenhagen Airport in 1925

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