September 20, 1986 - May 7, 1995
NBC & ABC Legal Drama - 195 Episodes


Benjamin L. Matlock:   Andy Griffith
Charlene Matlock:   Linda Purl
Tyler Hudson:   Kene Holliday
Michelle Thomas:   Nancy Stafford
Cassie Phillips:   Kari Lizer
Asst. D.A. Julie March:   Julie Sommars
D.A. Lloyd Burgess:   Michael Durrell
Lt. Bob Brooks:   David Froman
Judge Richard Cooksey:   Richard Newton
Judge Irene Sawyer:   Lucille Meredith
Les Calhoun:   Don Knotts
Conrad McMaster:   Clarence Gilyard, Jr.
Leanne McIntyre:   Brynn Thayer
Cliff Lewis:   Daniel Roebuck
Billy Lewis:   Warren Frost
Jerri Stone:   Carol Huston
Mark Carter:   Steven Eckholdt
Judge Arthur Beaumont:   Jason Wingreen

Ben Matlock was a Southern attorney who came
on like a country boy, but don't let that fool you.
That sly old fox was full of courtroom tricks and
commanded $100,000 retainers. He was aided by his
daughter, Charlene, who was also an attorney, and
by Tyler Hudson, a private investigator.

Matlock's supporting characters showed considerable
turnover. Charlene was replaced by Michelle, who
gave way to Leanne (who was also Ben's daughter).
Ben's legman Tyler was replaced by Conrad, then
Cliff. Others seen with varying regularity were
eager law clerk Cassie, pesky neighbor Les, Cliff's
eccentric dad Billy, investigator Jerri, and a
number of judges and officials.


Andy Griffith, best known for his roles as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the hit 1950s sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show," as well as the title character on the hit 1980s courtroom drama "Matlock," has died at age 86.

Griffith died of a massive Heart Attack on July 3, 2012 at his home in Manteo, North Carolina, survived by his wife, Cindi Knight, and grown daughter, Dixie Nan, from his first marriage to Barbara Edwards.

Andy Samuel Griffith was born on June 1, 1926 in Mount Airy, North Carolina. An only child, Andy, after graduating high school in 1944, intended to become a Preacher when he grew up, but instead changed his major to music soon after enrolling in college at the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

After college graduation, Andy taught high school music and drama before his big break in the hit 1957 Warner Bros. Picture movie "A Face in the Crowd," directed by Elia Kazan, in which Andy portrayed Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, a drunk ex-con who suddenly finds fame as a TV celebrity--only to discover, too late, the downside of sudden fame.

Griffith's career included stints on Broadway, notably "No Time for Sergeants." No Time for Sergeants was filmed and released by Warner Bros. in 1958.

2 years later, in 1959, TV producer Sheldon Leonard, a writer for Danny Thomas via Danny's hit 1950s sitcom "Make Room for Daddy," conceived a sitcom pilot casting Andy as Sheriff Andy Taylor, a Sheriff in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina.

Joining Andy were 5-year-old Ronny Howard as Andy's son, Andrew Jackson "Opie" Taylor, Jr.; the late Frances Bavier as Andy's Aunt Bee, who raised Andy from the time he was a boy after Andy became orphaned at an early age; and Don Knotts as Andy's Deputy, Barney Fife.

The original "Andy Griffith Show" pilot was used as an episode of "Make Room for Daddy," in which Danny Thomas is arrested for rolling through a stop sign and spends 10 days in the Mayberry Jail; though not included in the pilot, soon after seeing the pilot, Don Knotts suggested that Andy needed a Deputy, to which Andy humbly agreed, thus forming a life-long friendship on and off camera until Don died of lung cancer in 2006, at age 81.

Also worth noting is that Frances Bavier portrayed a different character, the widowed Mrs. Perkins, than the character she portrayed on the original series, that of Aunt Bee.

"The Andy Griffith Show" made its debut on October 3, 1960 on the CBS Television Network; during its 8-season, 249-episode run, Mayberry citizens ranged from Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle (later spun off into his own military sitcom, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," airing for 5 successful seasons from 1964-1969) to British actor Bernard Fox as Malcolm Merriwether, a temporary resident while awaiting American citizenship.

After quitting the show in 1968, Andy embarked on a movie career that resulted in the 1969 movie "Angel in my Pocket," a multiplex failure; as a result of the failure, Andy's contract with Universal Pictures was terminated. By this time, "The Andy Griffith Show" was rechristened "Mayberry R.F.D.," with Ken Berry becoming the focal point of the show as widower father Sam Jones.

During the Fall 1970 TV season, Andy appeared in 2 notable TV failures--"The Headmaster," a half-hour dramedy where he portrayed a headmaster of a Christian school, and "The New Andy Griffith Show," where he portrayed the mayor of a small rural town.

In Spring 1971, in an attempt to de-ruralize its programs, CBS canceled, among others, "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres," and "Mayberry R.F.D." "The Andy Griffith Show" concludes its original run, meanwhile, on April 1, 1968.

In 1986, after nearly 15 years away from TV, Andy, by this time age 60 and in full recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (which caused him to have bad feet for the rest of his life along with brief paralysis in 1983 for 7 months), returned to TV as Atlanta, Georgia-based lawyer "Matlock," the show of which was made entirely near Andy's home in North Carolina.

"Matlock" aired on NBC from September 20, 1986-May 8, 1992, after which ABC picked it up, airing it from November 5, 1992-May 7, 1995.

Andy was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

After retiring "Matlock," Andy Griffith spent his later years living in full retirement, during which his son, Andy Samuel "Sam" Griffith, Jr., died of a Heart Attack in early 1996 after years of Alcoholism.

Andy's first marriage, to Barbara Edwards, ended in divorce after 23 years of marriage; a brief marriage occurred (also ending in divorce) before Andy settled down with Cindi Knight, marrying her in 1983.

In addition to wife Cindi and daughter Dixie Nan, Andy is survived by a legion of fans who grew up watching him in TV Land.

Andy was buried on his family farm on Roanoke Island a few hours after his death. Andy's burial followed a small, private service with close friends and family in attendance.

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