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Just the facts, ma'am : the authorized biography of Jack Webb

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  • Author: Moyer, Daniel
    Contributor: Alvarez, Eugene

    On television he was just a cop doing his job. But Jack Webb, in his low-key tough-guy approach in portraying Los Angeles police sergeant, Joe Friday, became an American cult hero. Today, Dragnet continues to appear on cable and syndicated television as a result of Jack Webb’s single-minded determination and his unflagging attention to detail. His non-stop work ethic produced some of television’s greatest moments, but it also took a devastating toll on his personal and professional relationships.
    This authorized biography recalls how Webb grew up in poverty but was able to use his creative talents to find success in high school and in the Army Air Corps. After being discharged, Webb found a position as a local radio announcer in San Francisco and was recruited to do the voice of a hard-boiled San Francisco detective for a weekly program. The popularity of Pat Novak for Hire led to other radio jobs in the forties, culminating in Jack’s creation of Dragnet. The success of Dragnet came from its accurate depiction of the life of a regular policeman, with stories based on files found in the Los Angeles Police Department archives.

    When television’s popularity increased Webb successfully transitioned the Dragnet series to the small screen and experienced unprecedented popularity. Webb would go on to produce great television classics such as Adam-12 and Emergency. When he passed away in 1982, he had left behind a television legacy of gritty realism that lives on today.

    Original Publisher: Santa Ana, Calif, Seven Locks Press
    Language(s): English