Jack Webb Poster

Trivia (34)

Performed charity work related to widows and children of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Upon his death, the badge number 714, used by his character Joe Friday in the "Dragnet" TV shows, was officially retired by the Los Angeles Police Department. The badge belonged to Lt. Dan Cooke, his close friend.

Was buried with full honors befitting an LAPD detective, including a 17-gun salute.

Not only did the Los Angeles Police Department use Dragnet (1951) episodes as training films for a time, it also named a police academy auditorium after Webb.

Contrary to popular belief, his character, Joe Friday, never said, "Just the facts, ma'am" in any episode of "Dragnet". The actual line was "All we want are the facts, ma'am.".

Had just over 6,000 jazz albums in his private collection.

He turned down the role of Dean Wormer in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) because he felt it would be poking fun at his straight-laced, law-and-order image. He was closely identified with law and order, in particular police officers, and he felt that the film would be making fun of that, even though he claimed he was willing to poke fun at himself -- and, in fact, did just that in a famous skit on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).

Was a close friend of Star Trek (1966) creator Gene Roddenberry.

Was the basis for the Brett Chase character in L.A. Confidential (1997).

At the height of Dragnet (1951)'s popularity, people would actually call the LAPD wanting to speak to Webb's character, Sgt. Joe Friday. The Department eventually came up with a stock answer to the large volume of calls: "Sorry, it's Joe's day off".

Was part of the investigation of the infamous "Black Dahlia" murder case in Los Angeles in the 1940s -- in which an aspiring actress was murdered, dismembered, and left in an open field -- which helped to inspire him to create Dragnet (1951).

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 851-853. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.

Was a huge baseball fan and chose badge #714 for Sgt. Friday because it was the number of home runs Babe Ruth hit.

Featured in the book "Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir" by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry (McFarland, 2003).

He was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 7040 Hollywood Blvd. and for Television at 6728 Hollywood Blvd.

Appears as Sgt. Joe Friday on a 44¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued 11 August 2009, in the "Early TV Memories" series of stamps honoring Dragnet (1951).

Father, with Julie London, of daughters Stacy Webb and Lisa Webb. Stacy died in a car accident in 1996.

Despite being unhappy with an article Jack Jones had written about "Dragnet", Webb insisted on paying for Barbara Stewart's wedding to Jones after she told Webb that she had just returned from performing for the military in Europe.

Was best friends with ex-wife Julie London, as well as Bobby Troup, Harry Morgan, Robert A. Cinader, Robert Conrad, John Smith, Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Tim Donnelly, Marco Lopez, Ron Pinkard, Virginia Gregg, Clark Howat, John Nolan, Martin Milner, and Kent McCord.

When he approached veteran western actor Robert Fuller to play the male lead role of Dr. Kelly Brackett in Emergency! (1972), Fuller politely turned down the role. Webb wouldn't take no for an answer and told Fuller to "shut up and sit down!".

Despite his divorce from singer Julie London, the two remained close friends until Webb's death late in 1982. She was his first choice for the female lead role of nurse Dixie McCall in his series Emergency! (1972), along with her second husband Bobby Troup as Dr. Joe Early. She and Troup both accepted the roles.

He allowed Harry Morgan to show his own sense of humor when he co-starred with him on Dragnet 1967 (1967).

Always showed a lot of seriousness on Dragnet 1967 (1967).

When he approached young and unknown actor Randolph Mantooth to play the role of Johnny Gage in Emergency! (1972), Mantooth, like his future co-star Robert Fuller, also politely turned down the role. Webb again wouldn't take no for an answer and told Mantooth what he told Fuller: "Shut up and sit down!".

Before future Emergency! (1972) co-stars Bobby Troup, Tim Donnelly, Ron Pinkard and Randolph Mantooth landed their roles in the series opposite Webb's ex-wife and best friend Julie London, they had all previously worked for him.

Best remembered by the public for his starring role as Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet 1967 (1967).

Met Julie London in 1942 when she was singing in a jazz club at age 15.

Met 34-year-old struggling actor Harry Morgan while the two were working in Dark City (1950), and they became friends until Webb's death in 1982. They also worked together in Appointment with Danger (1950)--ironically, as a team of professional killers.

Was a Republican.

It was Webb's hands that were seen dropping the hammer during the Mark VII logo sequence at the end of Dragnet (1951), Dragnet 1967 (1967), Adam-12 (1968), and other series he and his company, Mark VII Productions, produced.

He was named production head of Warner Bros. Television, but his tenure lasted only eight months before he was terminated and replaced by old friend William Conrad, whose background was similar to Webb's. Webb relocated his production unit to Universal.

Born on the day after Toshirô Mifune.

Webb lived at the Sierra Towers on Doheny in West Hollywood during his last years. It was a couple blocks from the original Cock 'n Bull (home of the Moscow Mule) on the Sunset Strip. He dined there frequently and had a regular table near the bar, facing the front door. When he died, the owners placed roses on his table for a week and would not allow anyone to sit there for that week.

In the 1960s, Stan Freberg, famed for his send-ups of many popular 45 rpm recordings, wanted to do a send-up record of Dragnet, but his agent could not get permission to use the Dragnet theme music, as Jack Webb was extremely protective of this unique theme and almost never allowed anyone else to use it. So, Freberg went directly to Webb and played "Saint George and the Dragon-Net" for him. Supposedly, Jack Webb fell out of his chair laughing -- and gave Freberg permission to use the Dragnet theme.