Jack Webb (April 2, 1920 – December 23, 1982), also known by the pseudonym 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. His Jewish father left home before Webb was born, and Webb never knew him. He was raised a Roman Catholic by his Irish-Indian mother. He attendened Our Lady of Loretto Elementary near Belmont High. One of the tenants in his mother's rooming house was an ex-jazzman who began Webb's lifelong interest in jazz by giving him a recording of Bix Beiderbecke's "At the Jazz Band Ball." Webb graduated from Belmont High School in Los Angeles.
Jack Webb began working on scripts for a revival of Dragnet with Kent McCord as his partner. However, he died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 62.
He was interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, and was given a funeral with full police honors. On Webb's death Chief Daryl Gates announced that badge number 714 which was used by Joe Friday in Dragnet would be retired. Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles ordered all flags lowered to half-staff in Webb's honor for a day, and Webb was buried with a replica LAPD badge bearing the rank of Sergeant, and the number 714.
Webb has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for radio at 7040 Hollywood Boulevard, and for television at 6728 Hollywood Boulevard.