The Facts About Me


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    I went back to Hollywood with the same blind confidence most rookies feel when they're called up for a trial in the big leagues. I couldn't miss. For eight or nine weeks I was everybody's hot cake. I played cops, gangsters, burglars and assorted villains on all the major radio shows. I had screen tests and voice tests, and I was exposed to the casting directors at the movie studios.

The future looked so good that I married Julie London the girl I had been courting for some time. We moved into a twenty-eight-dollar-a-month apartment, put in a telephone and sat around waiting for the big money calls. When you're freelancing there is nothing more exasperating than the ominous silence of the phone bell. You pace the floor and look at the clock and light cigarettes. You glare at that inhuman black box and snarl, "Ring, damn you, ring!"

It didn't ring for me. I was suddenly the forgotten man. The magic carpet unraveled and I couldn't get a job.

Nine months after our marriage Julie and I separated. Many cutting things have been written about my marriage to Julie, and there were many blue moments when I had the impulse to strangle the columnists who were spreading these half-truths. I don't know what makes a marriage fail. I doubt if anyone does. The counselors and the sociologists and the other experts will give you advice, but they're usually working with surface clues. Julie and I tried to solve the mystery ourselves. We stayed apart for a year, then went back together for five years and had two children. And it still wouldn't work.

Since our divorce—and despite the fact that I am happily married now to Jackie—the gossips still stir up the ashes. Some said I paid Julie a million dollars, and others said I didn't pay her enough. I've never quite understood why people are curious about these intimate details, but they are. Perhaps other people's troubles make our own easier to bear. I don't know. But since these are items people seemingly want to read, I think it is only fair lo set the record straight.

Julie and I entered into a property-settlement agreement in which we divided our property, and by which I pay her $1,750 a month alimony and child support. By the time the children come of age these payments will total more than $375,000, which seems like a lot of money for a man who once had trouble paying the rent.

I'm happy to say that Julie is enjoying a successful career as a singer for records, movies, television and motion pictures.

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September 12, 1959

By Jack Webb as told to Dean Jennings

(This is an excerpt from a autobiographical article by Jack Webb)