Image of Jack Webb

Jack Webb

John Randolph 'Jack' Webb, also known by the pen name John Randolph, was an American actor, television producer, director, and screenwriter, who is most famous for his role as Sergeant Joe Friday in the radio and television series Dragnet. He was also the founder of his own production company, Mark VII Limited. Born in Santa Monica, California, Webb grew up in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles as the child of a single mother after his father left home before he was born. During World War II, Webb enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces, but he "washed out" of flight training and was granted a hardship discharge to care for his family. Following his discharge, he moved to San Francisco, where a wartime shortage of announcers led to a temporary appointment to his own half-hour comedy radio show on ABC's KGO Radio in 1946. By 1949 he had abandoned comedy for drama, and starred in numerous radio shows until finding success in film and television in the late 1950s. Webb had a featured role as a crime lab technician in the 1948 film He Walked by Night, a thinly-fictionalized recounting of the 1946 Walker crime spree. This experience gave Webb the idea for Dragnet: a recurring series based on real cases from LAPD police files, featuring authentic depictions of the modern police detective, including methods, mannerisms, and technical language. Following the success of Dragnet, Webb appeared in numerous television shows and specials, including the well-known 1972 series Emergency! During his work on a revival of Dragnet in 1982, Webb suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 62. His funeral was given full police honors, and then LAPD Chief Daryl Gates retired the badge number 714 used by Webb's Joe Friday of Dragnet fame.  

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Apr 2, 1920 In Santa Monica, California, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Three on a Match 1932-10-29
Latest Project:
Movie Slaughterhouse Rulez 2018-10-31
Known For
Poster of The Selling Of The Pentagon
Poster of Dragnet
Poster of The Colgate Comedy Hour
Poster of The Ed Sullivan Show
Movie Slaughterhouse Rulez Xenephon Boy (uncredited) 2018-10-31
Movie Greenboy: Prescription for Death Joe Friday (archive footage) 2013-04-20
Movie The Selling Of The Pentagon Self (archive footage) 1971-02-23
Series The Partners Unknown 1971-09-18
Movie Dragnet Joe Friday 1969-01-27
Series Dragnet 1967-01-12
Movie The John Glenn Story Narrator 1962-01-01
Series General Electric True Unknown 1962-09-30
Movie Red Nightmare On-Camera Narrator 1962-02-11
Movie A Force in Readiness Unknown 1961-05-25
Movie The Last Time I Saw Archie William 'Bill' Bowers 1961-05-27
Movie -30- Sam Gatlin 1959-11-11
Movie The D.I. Gunnery Sgt. Jim Moore 1957-05-30
Movie Pete Kelly's Blues Pete Kelly 1955-07-31
Movie 24 Hour Alert Himself 1955-12-22
Movie Dragnet Sgt. Joe Friday 1954-09-04
Series The Oscars Unknown 1953-03-18
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie Halls of Montezuma Correspondent Dickerman 1951-01-04
Series Dragnet Sgt. Joe Friday 1951-12-16
Movie You're in the Navy Now Ens. Anthony 'Tony' Barbo 1951-02-23
Movie Appointment with Danger Joe Regas 1950-04-07
Movie The Men Norm 1950-07-20
Movie Dark City Augie 1950-10-17
Series The Colgate Comedy Hour Unknown 1950-09-10
Movie Sunset Boulevard Artie Green 1950-08-10
Movie He Walked by Night Lee Whitey 1949-02-05
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Three on a Match Boy in Schoolyard (uncredited) 1932-10-29