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13 February 2012

Jopie Koopman

Jopie Koopman (1910 - 1979) was one of the stars of the Dutch cinema of the 1930’s. The pretty cabaret artist sang and played in several revues and early sound films.

Jopie Koopman, Bleeke Bet
Dutch postcard by Monopole Film, Rotterdam. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen. Still for Bleeke Bet/Bleak Beth (1934, Alex Benno, Richard Oswald). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Fien de la Mar & Jopie Koopman in Bleeke Bet
Dutch postcard by Monopole Film, Rotterdam. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen. Still for Bleeke Bet (1934, Alex Benno, Richard Oswald).

Chorus Girl
Jopie Koopman was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1910, as the daughter of Johan Koopman en Anna Maria Petronella Eengelberd. At the end of the 1920’s she and her sister Jeanne tried to enter the amusement business as chorus girls. Jopie made her stage debut in 1929 in a revue by legendary Dutch cabaret star Louis Davids. Many revues would follow, and as a singer she also performed in Paris, London and Berlin. In 1934 she made her first film appearance in Bleeke Bet/Bleak Beth (1934, Alex Benno, Richard Oswald) as a young girl from the Jordaan, the old heart of Amsterdam. Her co-star and love interest in the film was Johan Heesters, who later would become a huge star in Germany as Johannes Heesters. The film was a huge success, and it meant a breakthough for Jopie. That same year she also appeared in the comedy Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (1934, Jaap Speyer) based on a novel by Hans Martin. Jopie had a nice part with a lot of songs and had well known co-stars like Johan Kaart, Roland Varno and Louis Borel. She also made some successful records, including two duets with the popular singer Willy Derby.

Fien de la Mar in Bleeke Bet
Dutch Postcard by Monopole Film, Rotterdam. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag (The Hague). Publicity still for Bleeke Bet (1934).

Aaf Bouber, Sylvain Poons, Corrie Vonk, Fien de la Mar, Jopie Koopman, Mevr. Fischer in Bleeke Bet
Dutch Postcard by Monopole Film, Rotterdam. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag (The Hague). Publicity still for Bleeke Bet (1934).

War Drama
In 1935 Jopie Koopman appeared in the musical Op Stap/On the Road (1935, Ernst Winar). The film was written by Jacques van Tol, a well-known songwriter at the time, who was married to Jopie’s sister, Jeanne Koopman. The other stars of this film were Louis Davids and his sister Henriëtte 'Heintje' Davids, and Dutch diva Fien de la Mar as the glamorous film star Bella Ramona. Again Jopie sang some songs in the film, including a duet with her fiancee in the film, played by Frits van Dongen - the later Hollywood star Philip Dorn. She also appeared as the piano teacher Nora in the war comedy De Big van het Regiment/The Mascot of the Regiment (1935, Max Nosseck) and in 't Was een april/It was 1 April (1936, Detlev Sierk aka Douglas Sirk). This comedy, which is believed lost, was an alternate language version of Sirk’s directorial debut, the German comedy April, April! (1935) with Lina Carstens. In 1940 Jopie performed in the show Kommt und lacht! of the Kabaret Der Prominenten, a theatre group with German artists who had fled the Nazi regime. Their leader was songwriter Willy Rosen. In the late 1940’s Jopie Koopman retired to focus herself on her family. She stopped her stage career, but incidentally she appeared on TV. Her last film was the war drama Niet tevergeefs/But Not in Vain (1948, Edmond T. Gréville) with Matthieu van Eysden and John van Dreelen. After a short first marriage (1939-1944), she married in 1946 J.J. ter Linden, the director of the City cinema in Amsterdam. Their daughter Mirjam ter Linden was born in 1950. In 1979, Jopie Koopman died in Amsterdam, at the age of 69.

Annie van Duyn, Jopie Koopman and Enny Meunier in Malle gevallenDutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 13. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen (1934).

Roland Varno, Annie van Duyn, Johan Kaart, Enny Meunier, Louis Borel, Jopie Koopman, Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 2. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen (1934). Collectie: Egbert Barten.

Louis Borel and Jopie Koopman in Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 5. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen (1934).

Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 6. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen (1934).

Sources: Film in Nederland (Dutch), Wikipedia (Dutch), IMDb, and Gé Joosten.

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