Jack Webb's specialty as an actor was simply playing himself

"I'm not sorry about it."

NBC/Universal

As an actor, screenwriter, and director, Jack Webb was a master of his own making, and certainly took advantage of his success. Well-known for his police procedural shows like Dragnet and Adam-12, Webb preferred speaking from an honest perspective of the profession and attempted to tell a story about police officers as close to reality as possible.

In a 1966 interview with the United Press regarding the series revival, Webb explained that the series needed to keep up-to-date with current law practices, to maintain the integrity of the show, as well as the show's relationship with the real-life police force, who Webb often turned to for information.

"We must employ all the new laws police have to work with because we work very closely with them," said Webb. "It is as much their show as ours."

Even as the series creator and star, Webb pointed out that Dragnet was the culmination of a group effort. "I don't really care for all this 'I' and 'me' business," said Webb to the Daily News. "If I had wanted a starring vehicle I would have called the show Sgt. Joe Friday."

Webb was even quick to trivialize his role in the series. "You've got to remember that this part I'm doing doesn't require any great dramatic ability," he said. When speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Webb continued to downplay his acting ability. "I know that I'm a fairly limited actor," he said. "About all I've ever done is play myself."

While Webb wanted to be as honest as possible about his acting abilities, he didn't have any regret at pursuing a career behind the camera instead of in front of it. "I got interested in directing, writing, and producing," he said. "I am moderately good at each one. I got too busy at too many things at to work at being a serious actor. But, no, I'm not sorry about it."

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3 Comments

Lantern 1 month ago
I don't think he was "playing himself" in his almost goofy performance in "Sunset Boulevard".
JHP 1 month ago
the way he was on old time radio was golden or even platinum
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
Many actors made/make a living playing versions of themselves. Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, R. Lee Ermey, Tony Danza, etc. When you see their names, you know what you're going to get.
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