Harry Morgan and Jack Webb worked together onscreen almost two decades before Dragnet

Previously, the pair played crooks and shady characters.

Everett Collection

Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon. This is the city.

Friday and Gannon are probably one of the most well-known duos on classic TV. Every week, audiences tuned in to watch them chasing down criminals, interrogating suspects, and saying "Just the facts, ma'am."

It's hard to picture anyone else but Jack Webb and Harry Morgan as the crime-busting partners. However, Dragnet was far from the first time they'd shared a screen together. In fact, the first time came 17 years prior.

In 1967, when the new iteration of Dragnet was hitting the airwaves, Harry Morgan gave an interview to the El Paso Herald-Post where he laughed about people questioning if he and Jack Webb would make a good team. "But we're NOT a new team," Morgan said. "We've worked together before. Twice, in fact."

The newspaper noted that their first appearance was easy to miss since they appeared as "fleeting shadows" in a 1951 Alan Ladd movie.

"It's probably a good thing most people don't remember," Morgan said, "because we played a pair of crooks being chased by the police."

Around the same time, they appeared in Charlton Heston's Hollywood debut, Dark City. "Again," the newspaper said, "Jack played a heavy whose buddy was a punch-drunk fighter. Yup, Harry Morgan played the punchy."

Now he was uniting with Jack Webb once more, but on the other side of the badge. 

Watch Dragnet on MeTV!

Weekdays at 5:30 AM & 6 AM
Saturdays at 5:30 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

26 Comments

DannyZ 7 months ago
"Okay Son, have you been blowing reefer?"
Wiseguy70005 8 months ago
Harry Morgan also appeared on the Dragnet radio series back in 1949. In one he played an apartment manager. His voice is unmistakable.
harlow1313 8 months ago
I usually get a chuckle from Joe's monologues. His opponents are strawmen with dialog that's easy to knock down.
harlow1313 8 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Avie 8 months ago
"[The El Paso Herald-Post] noted that their first appearance was easy to miss since they appeared as 'fleeting shadows' in a 1951 Alan Ladd movie."

No, that film, "Appointment with Danger," was their SECOND appearance together: "Dark City," Charlton Heston's first film, was released seven months earlier, in October, 1950.

As for

"Friday and Gannon are probably one of the most well-known duos on classic TV. Every week, audiences tuned in to watch them chasing down criminals, interrogating suspects, and saying 'Just the facts, ma'am.'"

"Most well-known." Just say BEST-known. SIMPLIFY. STOP the gobbledygook.
HeytoGomer Avie 8 months ago
"One of the most"? There can be only one "most". There can be more the one "many" but only one "most". Use "most in a sentence..."Most self-proclaimed 'writers' today cannot."
PINKYLEE 8 months ago
METV didn't go quite far enough back to feature Harry Morgan.

Go back to a series titled "December Bride." You will discover a very young Harry Morgan playing the role of Pete Porter, an insurance salesman and the next door neighbor of Lily Ruskin (played by Spring Byington).

That series ran from 1954 to 1959.
Avie PINKYLEE 8 months ago
Your point? Morgan's film career went back to "To the Shores of Tripoli" in 1942.
PINKYLEE Avie 8 months ago
Tripoli was a movie. December Bride was one of TV's earliest sitcoms.
GaryGoltz 8 months ago
There were 3 or 4 partners in the 50’s version of the show. But I agree Ben Alexander was the best of all of them! Herbert L. Strock who directed the Pilot for the TV show in 1951 also did the Pilot for ‘Highway Patrol’ in 1955.
justjeff 8 months ago
I kind of wish some pristine prints of the original 1950s series would show up with Jack Webb and Ben Alexander... I kind of liked that version better... more "police-y", less "preachy"...
Load previous comments
Mark 8 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Wiseguy70005 justjeff 8 months ago
Kind of? Why can't you just wish and like something?
Wiseguy70005 justjeff 8 months ago
Herb Ellis appeared often on the 1960s Dragnet in different roles.
justjeff Wiseguy70005 8 months ago
I like a LOT of things. I also feel the way I do about certain things. That's what makes us all different. I'll never jump on the bandwagon for something just because it has a consensus. I enjoy the original iteration of Dragnet better that the revival. I DO wish they would find better prints, because what's available is from worn, edited and re-spliced film stock, and that isn't the most enjoyable viewing for me. If you're happy with the old prints, or if you prefer the Harry Morgan version of Dragnet, wonderful...
LoveMETV22 8 months ago
Glad the two of them reunited. They made a great duo.
Runeshaper 8 months ago
They did make a great pair and it's nice to read about their history. Thanks, MeTV!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?