List of Matlock characters
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These are the characters of the American television legal drama Matlock.
|Ben Matlock||181||Andy Griffith||Lawyer||Main|
|Charlene Matlock||1||Lori Lethin||Assistant||Main|
|Tyler Hudson||57||Kene Holliday||Private investigator||Main||Guest||Cameo|
|Michelle Thomas||73||Nancy Stafford||Lawyer||Main||Cameo|
|Cassie Phillips||13||Kari Lizer||Assistant||Main|
|Julie March||40||Julie Sommars||Prosecutor||Recurring||Main||Cameo|
|Conrad McMasters||57||Clarence Gilyard Jr.||Private investigator||Main||Cameo|
|Leanne MacIntyre||35||Brynn Thayer||Assistant||Guest||Main|
|Cliff Lewis||39||Daniel Roebuck||Private investigator||Main|
|Jerri Stone||14||Carol Huston||Assistant||Main|
Benjamin Leighton "Ben" Matlock is a renowned, folksy yet cantankerous defense attorney who charges a fee of $100,000 to take a case. He is known for visiting crime scenes to discover overlooked clues, as well as his down-home style of coming up with viable, alternative theories of the crime in question (usually murder) while sitting in his office playing the banjo or polishing his shoes. Matlock also has conspicuously finicky fashion sense (wearing nothing but grey suits) and an insatiable appetite for hot dogs (an explanation for this is featured in the Diagnosis: Murder cross-over double episode "Murder Two", which also marked the last appearance of Matlock on television). Despite his high fees and apparent wealth, he is something of a cheapskate.
Charlene is Ben's daughter and is also a lawyer. She assists her father at his law practice in Atlanta for a short time, appearing only in the first season of the series. Purl replaced Lori Lethin who appeared as Charlene in the pilot "Diary of a Perfect Murder".
MacIntyre is Matlock's daughter. After divorcing her husband, of whom her father did not much approve, she moves back to Atlanta to help him with his legal practice. She assists her father for three years before leaving for her own practice. During that time, she works with her father on numerous cases, including defending him on one occasion. They once found themselves on opposite sides of a divorce case, though she also defends her father in a personal injury case simultaneously during the same episode. Leanne uses the same courtroom techniques her father at times, which often results in her clients being proven innocent.
March is the assistant D.A. of Atlanta, and a good friend of Ben Matlock. After a chance meeting with Ben Matlock in an elevator, the two hit it off, and Matlock was surprised to learn that she would be the prosecutor for the case he was working on. The two lawyers soon become friends, though their relationship is never really defined much further than that, and upon Julie's return in the season nine episode "The Confession", she reveals that she has feelings for him.
Thomas is Ben Matlock's assistant. While working with Ben, she is approached by college classmate Andrea Morrow to defend her, after she is accused of killing her ex-husband. She also has a few dates with men. Prior to working on a case with Melinda Stuart, she dates Jed Palmer for a while. She also dates Arthur Saxon, Ben's corrupt client who is found innocent of not killing Robby Moore. While in Chicago, she also works with writer Paul O'Neill, who helps her boss out in the murder of Mayor Brian Barelli, when popular court officer, Judge Stuart Franklin hires Eddie Lomax in killing both the mayor and Joseph Chan. Hence, he is found guilty, after the actual killer is murdered himself.
Geraldine Margaret "Jerri" Stone is an assistant who works for Ben Matlock in the final season. She has a forthright style, once even jabbing her foot into a man's foot who was looking through some files while investigating a murder. She also enjoys singing old songs with Ben on occasion. She drives a blue Ford SUV.
Hudson is a private investigator for Ben Matlock. Before working for Matlock, Tyler was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He is interested in cooking and investing in venture capital projects on the side, such as in pecans. In the episode "The Chef", he says that he entered the Junior Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off, which he wins $2,000 for his chili. It is a Victoria Edwards recipe: chili with chicken, peanut butter sauce, and a few secret ingredients. Tyler rarely misses Victoria Edward's TV cooking show.
McMasters is a private investigator for Ben Matlock. Before working for Ben Matlock, he worked as a deputy sheriff in Manteo, where Matlock meets him in hopes of figuring out whether if Spencer Hamilton killed his brother.
In "The Informer", Conrad works with Ben's client's partner/investigator, Angela Page, to work on a case on the night one of David's clients got murdered. After Matlock's client abruptly fires Angela, she turns to Conrad, who would then figure out who actually killed Sam Chandler while traveling in Jacksonville, who happened to be Al Brackman.
In "The Secret", when Matlock sends him to Chicago to talk to Sherry Brown in questioning her about the negatives he is supposed to find, he receives word that she died from jumping off the apartment building.
In "The Cover Girl", he has a short fling with Carla Royce, a model. When Carla's boss Jackie Whitman, the head of a modeling agency, is murdered, Carla reveals to Conrad that it is not easy being Jackie's partner, much less one of her models. After Conrad asks why, Carla replies that Jackie is a control freak, and always has to have the last word in everything, which Carla refers to as "infuriating". However, Conrad breaks up with her before she is found guilty of the murder of Jackie.
Lewis is an attorney, but is described as Ben Matlock's friend in the season eight episode, "The Godfather". He lies once to the people from Mt. Harlan, saying that he is a full partner with Ben, but he later confesses that Ben Matlock does not have any partners. Cliff is the son of Billy Lewis, Matlock's high school girlfriend's brother, who he had known back in Mt. Harlan.
- Charlie Matlock (Andy Griffith), father of Ben Matlock; his only appearances take place somewhere in the 1950s or 1960s (appears in the episodes: The Dame season 6, The Legacy Parts 1 and 2 Season 7, and "The Diner" Season 8)
- Young Ben Matlock (Steve Witting) in episodes "The Dame" and "The Diner"
- Lt. Bob Brooks (David Froman; 58 episodes), Atlanta PD detective and friend of Ben Matlock (seasons 1-6 and 1 appearance in Season 9,where he was murdered)
- Lloyd Burgess (Michael Durrell; 54 episodes), D.A. seasons 1-6
- Richard Cooksey (Richard Newton; 24 episodes), judge seasons 1-6
- Judge Clagett (Al Wiggins; 17 episodes), judge in the 7th-9th seasons
- Les Calhoun (Don Knotts; 16 episodes), Matlock's neighbor in seasons 3 to 6
- Billy Lewis (Warren Frost; 16 episodes), friend of Ben Matlock and brother of his old high school girlfriend; the father of Cliff Lewis seasons 6-9
- Irene Sawyer (Lucille Meredith; 15 episodes), judge seasons 1-6
- Arthur Beaumont (Jason Wingreen; 13 episodes), judge seasons 1-6
- Lt. Harmen Andrews (Jordan Rhoades), friend of Ben Matlock; works in the Atlanta PD Season 8
- Lt. Frank Daniels (James McEachin; 8 episodes), friend of Matlock; works in the Atlanta PD season 1
- Cynthia Justin (Aneta Corsaut; 7 episodes; played Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith show), judge
- Ed Wingate (J. Kenneth Campbell; 3 episodes), FBI agent
- Sarah (Betty Lynn; 4 episodes; played Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show) (Matlock's Secretary in 4 episodes of Season One)
- Ms. Hawkins (Diane Shalet) (Matlock's Housekeeper season 5)
- Mrs. McCardle (Marge Redmond) (Matlock's Housekeeper season 5)
- Billy Wheeler (Randy Travis; 2 episodes), in "The Big Payoff" (1992): a guitar-playing wanderer who travels around doing odd jobs. Matlock hires him to paint his house, but then encourages him to try music after hearing him play. In "The Mark" (1993): now an aspiring country singer who wins the lottery and shortly thereafter finds himself framed for the murder of his cheating business partner.
Notable one-time characters
- Carter Addison (Dick Van Dyke), in "The Judge" (1.2), a judge who murders his lover and then presides over the murder trial in which Ben is trying to clear someone else's name for.
- Laura Miller (Laura Robbins), in "The Godfather" (8.19), goddaughter of Ben Matlock. The last time she saw her godfather was 11 years prior to her wedding, at her mother's funeral. She no longer lived in Mt. Harlan at this point, instead working in an Atlanta-area mall in a clothing store as an assistant manager in Marietta.
- David Sears, silent film actor Eddie Quillan made his last acting appearance in the season one episode "The Author".
- Hazel (Alice Hirson) Appeared in the Pilot Diary Of A Perfect Murder, Hazel is Matlock's Secretary.
- Diana Huntington (Christina Pickles) in the "Picture" (6.12-13) Is Matlock's Annoying Cousin.