Jack Webb Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Christian Mba
Jan 31, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Jun 04, 2022
Read about Jack Webb, who is most well-known for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday in the 'Dragnet' series.
All ages
Read time: 5.9 Min

About Jack Webb

Jack Webb was an American actor, screenwriter, television producer, and director.

Jack Webb was deeply intrigued when he learned about true murder cases while collaborating with the LAPD. He always wanted to be a producer and director who would someday show the real face of crime to the world and his journey towards stardom started with his most acclaimed work 'Dragnet'.

Born and brought up in Santa Monica, California, Jack started a production company named Mark VII Limited but the American actor is most renowned for his depiction of Sergeant Joe Friday in 'Dragnet', a television as well as radio series.

Jack Webb passed away on the morning of December 23, 1982, in the city of West Hollywood, California. The celebrated artist was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery located in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.

Jack Webb Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Jack Webb’s net worth?

The net worth of Jack Webb was estimated to be $10 million.

How much did Jack Webb earn per year?

Details about the annual earnings of Jack Webb aren't known, however, the primary source of his income was his acting and production work.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Jack Webb?

Jack Webb had a height of 5 ft 10 in (178 cm).

How old was Jack Webb?

Jack Webb was born on April 2, 1920, and was 62 years old when he died on December 23, 1982. He suffered a heart attack when he was residing in West Hollywood, in California.

Childhood And Education

On April 2, 1920, Jack Webb was born to Samuel Chester Webb and Margaret Smith Webb in Santa Monica, California, USA. He was named John Randolph Webb at birth.

Jack never lived with his father as he left home before his birth. He was brought up by his Irish mother and grandmother in the Roman Catholic faith. Jack grew up in acute poverty. In his early years, Jack lived at the parish of Our Lady of Loretto Church while he both studied and served as the altar boy at Our Lady of Loretto Elementary School. He was then admitted to Belmont High School located near Los Angeles. There, he was elected the president of the student body. After completing his education, Jack pursued arts at St. John's University in Minnesota. However, Jack was called to serve in the US Army Air Force during World War II but was offered hardship discharge because he was the sole bread earner of the family.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Jack Webb’s partner?

Jack Webb married Opal Wright, his associate, in 1980 and the couple stayed together until Jack's passing. However, before Opal Wright, he was married to Julie London, Dorothy Towne, and Jackie Loughery. His first wife was the famed actress and singer Julie London with whom he had two daughters named Lisa and Stacy.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Jack Webb commenced his career in the entertainment industry in 1932 when he was only twelve. His career took off when he was hired to be a disc jockey. Within a very short span, he scaled the ladder of success and created the series 'Dragnet'. After his role as a DJ, Jack Webb hosted a comedy show called 'Believe It or Not!'. In 1946, his 'Jack Webb Show' aired for a short span on ABC radio.

Around the late '40s, he transitioned from comedy to drama and featured on the radio show 'Pak Novak, For Hire'. In the program, he performed with the actor Raymond Burr. In 1948, he bagged a role in 'He Walked by Night' that was based on a true murder case. Some of Jack's significant radio shows include 'Jeff Regan', 'One Out of Seven', 'Johnny Madero, 'Pier 23', 'Investigator', 'Pete Kelly's Blues', and 'Murder and Mr. Malone'. However, his most noteworthy role was in the film 'The D. I.' (1957) where he played the Gunnery Sgt. Jim Moore. Nevertheless, the film turned out to be a failure at the box office. By the '60s, Jack Webb had starred in three cult classics namely Billy Wilder's 'Sunset Boulevard', Fred Zinnemann's 'The Men' co-starring with Marlon Brando, and William Dieterle's 'Dark City' where he shared the screen with the famous Harry Morgan.

Jack Webb was inspired by an infamous real-life murder to produce 'Dragnet' It was the murder of the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short. Jack developed the content of 'Dragnet' from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He was assisted by William Henry Parker, LAPD chief, and Sgt. Marty Wynn. On June 3, 1949, 'Dragnet' was launched on NBC Radio and it ran until 1957. The huge success of 'Dragnet' led NBC to produce its television series. Jack was cast as the famous Sgt. Joe Friday while Barton Yarborough played Sgt. Ben Romero.

In the early '60s, Jack Webb took charge as an executive producer of '77 Sunset Strip' at Warner Bros. but the show was discontinued owing to its massive failure. In the meantime, he teamed up with Jeffrey Hunter and started Apollo Productions, producing yet another flop series 'Temple Houston' that ran until 1964. Webb next joined forces with Universal Television and produced a renewed 'Dragnet' series in 1967 that ran until April 16, 1970. The following year, Jack collaborated with television producer Robert A. Cinader and created the hit 'Adam-12'. Later, the duo also produced 'Emergency!'. Jack Webb grew as a producer by learning from his mistakes while as a director, he focused on the minutest details to try and deliver a sense of realism.

Charity Work

Jack Webb was involved in charities that helped children and widows. He extended his support, particularly to organizations that catered to children suffering from cerebral palsy. He worked tirelessly for over seventeen hours straight to organize a telethon for San Francisco Cerebral Palsy. Additionally, he has always expressed solidarity, gratitude, and respect for the law enforcement team in many interviews. In fact, his 'Dragnet' series was his tribute to police personnel.

What awards did Jack Webb win?

Jack Webb received several nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards and a Directors Guild of America Award. He bagged an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Episode in a TV Series for 'Dragnet'. Jack Webb was also inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he has been honored with two stars. The first one was for radio and the second for television. In fact, after his death, he also became a part of the Television Hall of Fame.

Jack Webb’s Hobbies And Interests

Apart from acting, Jack Webb harbored a great interest in jazz. He had a collection of jazz recordings that included over 6,000 recordings. He was also in love with the cornet which enabled him to embrace jazz culture. He aspired to be a director from a very young age owing to his undying love for movies.

Other Interesting Jack Webb Facts And Trivia

  • Jack's daughter, Stacy Webb, collaborated with the authors Eugene Alvarez and Daniel Moyer to publish 'Just the Facts, Ma'am: The Authorized Biography of Jack Webb, Creator of Dragnet, Adam-12, and Emergency!' in 1999.
  • Jack Webb was offered a role in the comedy film 'National Lampoon's Animal House' but he declined the role because it was unappealing to him.
  • Jack Webb was spotted wearing a chain bracelet throughout most of his life and career. It is speculated that it was in remembrance of the military personnel who sacrificed themselves during the war.
    Main image credit: catwalker / Shutterstock.com

Jack Webb Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

John Randolph Webb

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth

Santa Monica


178 cm

Eye Color

Hazel brown

Child Star?



Actor, producer, director, screenwriter


Belmont High School

Net Worth



Opal Wright


Samuel Chester Webb, Margaret Smith Webb


We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction