Ivan Linow

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Ivan Linow
Ivan Linow about to fight Joel McCrea in 1930's The Silver Horde.
Jānis Linaus

(1888-11-21)November 21, 1888
DiedNovember 21, 1940(1940-11-21) (aged 52)
London, England, United Kingdom
OccupationWrestler, actor
Years active1918–1935

Ivan Linow (born Jānis Linaus; November 21, 1888 – November 11, 1940), also known as Jack Linow, was a Latvian-born American wrestler, who became a character actor in American films during the silent and early sound film eras.


Born in Latvia on November 21, 1888,[1] Linow began wrestling in the United States in 1918. Between 1918 and 1933, he participated in 92 matches, with a record of 38 wins and 23 losses.[2] Linow's monikers in the ring were "the Cossack" and the "Russian Man-Eater".[3] During his wrestling career, he faced other notable wrestlers of that era, such as Joe Stecher and Ed Lewis.[4]

Using his popularity as a wrestler, Linow entered the film industry during the 1920s, his first film being Cappy Ricks (1921).[5] In his fifteen-year acting career, he appeared in over forty films in supporting and bit parts.[6][7] While appearing in films, Linow continued his wrestling career. In his final match in July 1931, under the pseudonym Jack Leon, he defeated Young Sandow.[4][8] Linow retired from films two years later, in 1935; his final film was The Black Room, starring Boris Karloff.[9] On November 21, 1940, while in London, Linow died of a heart attack.[10]


Ed 'Strangler' Lewis and Linow in the ring, 1920.

(Per AFI database)[6][7]


  1. ^ "Ivan Linow". Movie-Like.com. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Ivan Linow". WrestlingData.com. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Toe Hold To Be Barred In Linow-Lewis Match". Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. April 24, 1916. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Ivan Linow Details". WrestlingData.com. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Cappy Ricks". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Ivan Linow". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Ivan Linow: Complete Filmography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "The match Ivan Linow fought @ United States of America in the year 1933". WrestlingData.com. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Black Room". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Ivan Linow, biography". AllMovie. Retrieved January 1, 2015.

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