Sep. 23, 1986
60 min.
ABC TV Network

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Matlock tv show photo


Ben Matlock is a VERY expensive criminal defense attorney who charges a $100,000 to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the REAL killer.

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Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Nancy Stafford, Kari Lizer, Daniel Roebuck and Brynn Thayer all had guest appearances on the show before taking the roles of Michelle, Cassie, Cliff, and Leanne, respectively.
  • Besides Don Knotts, other former cast members of the The Andy Griffith Show to appear were Aneta Corsaut, Jack Dodson, Betty Lynn, and Arlene Golonka.
  • In a couple of flashback episodes that looked at Ben's early career, Andy Griffith played Ben's father.
  • Daniel Roebuck played three different roles on Matlock before finally getting cast as Cliff Lewis in season seven.
  • Nancy Stafford chose to leave the series after season six. She had just gotten married, and with the filming being moved to North Carolina, she did not wish to relocate.
  • Although Charlene and Leanne were supposed to be sisters, no mention is ever made of their connection during the series.
  • Clarence Gilyard Jr. appeared in almost every episode of the NBC edition of the show, after he joined the cast, before production moved to North Carolina for the series seventh year. He was about to co-star in Walker, Texas Ranger, which made Gilyard's scheduling more difficult.
  • Kene Holiday was fired after the third season, due to his ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol.
  • Clarence Gilyard Jr. and Daniel Roebuck were series regulars together for all of season 7 and a few episodes of season 8 (when Gilyard left), but due to one or both not making an appearance in a given episode, they were only in two together.
  • In 1997, two years after the end of the series, Andy Griffith reprised the role of Matlock on a two part episode of Diagnosis Murder. This would mark his final appearance in the role, and the only time the Matlock character was seen on CBS. In the episode, it is explained that Dr. Mark Sloan, played by Dick Van Dyke, advised Ben in 1969 to invest his life savings, $5000, in the 8-Track Tape industry. When Ben lost all his money, he began buying cheap suits off the rack and eating hot dogs because they were all he could afford. By the time he had money again, it was a habit.
  • Long before Nancy Stafford and Clarence Gilyard Jr. joined the cast together, they were both lifelong fans of Andy Griffith's, as little children. Stafford joined the cast in Season 2 (replacing Linda Purl) and Gilyard joined the cast in Season 4 (replacing Kene Holiday).
  • During the third season of Matlock, Kene Holiday had missed a total of 7 episodes, because he was sent to a rehabilitation clinic for his drug and alcohol abuse, where he stayed on an outpatient basis. By the time he became 3 months sober, he was already fired from the show.
  • Ben Matlock is based on a High Point North Carolina attorney.
  • Beginning with Nancy Stafford's second season in 1988, she missed several episodes, due to her busy scheduling. She left the show in 1992.
  • Linda Purl left the show, near the end of the first season, after disputes about her character and castmates.
  • Andy Griffith was only 59 years old when he first played Ben Matlock, despite numerous stereotypes that this show was targeted toward the elderly demographic.
  • Billy Zane and Frances Fisher both appeared on "Matlock" years before their respective roles as the fiancé and mother of Rose (Kate Winslet/Gloria Stuart), the main character of the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic."
  • Clarence Gilyard Jr. and Daniel Roebuck, who played Matlock's private investigators, also appeared in movies featuring Paul Gleason as an officer of the L.A.P.D. Gilyard appeared in "Die Hard" (1988), and Roebuck appeared in "Money Talks" (1997).
  • Bill Mumy - who played in 2 episodes of Night Gallery - and Lost in Space TV series and a cameo in the Lost in space movie plays Ben Matlock nephew in one episode
  • This episode includes Nancy Stafford as a character - well before her becoming Ben's associate.
  • This is Julue Sommars first appearance on Marlock.
  • This episode has been aired alternately under the title "The Widow".
  • This was Daniel Roebuck's first appearance on the show. He would appear several more times over the course of the series' run before he would become a permanent cast member as Cliff Lewis.
  • Ben Matlock tells Michelle Thomas that his daughter, Charlene, left Atlanta and joined a law firm in Philadelphia, thus explaining the character's exodus from the series.
  • This was Nancy Stafford's debut as Michelle Thomas.
  • Greg Evigan, who plays Eric Gordon, also starred in the Season One episode, "The Rat Pack" as Josh Sinclair.
  • First episode to feature Don Knotts. (Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show)
  • Matlock's middle name is Layton.
  • The members of "The Bluesmen" who perform in the closing scene are Andy Griffith, Brownie McGhee, Joe Seneca and Ray Templin.
  • When talking to Tony, Matlock mentions that he knew someone who pronounced kleptomaniac as kleptomenerac. That person was Don Knotts as Andy Griffith's deputy on The Andy Griffith Show. Don Knotts also appeared in 'Matlock'.

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