Nancy Stafford

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Nancy Stafford
Nancy Stafford.jpg
Stafford in 1990.
Born Nancy Elizabeth Stafford
(1954-06-05) June 5, 1954 (age 63)
Wilton Manors, Florida, USA
Occupation Actress
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Larry Myers (1989–present)
Children 1

Nancy Elizabeth Stafford (born June 5, 1954) is an American actress, speaker and author, known for her roles on television. She came to prominence in the 1980s as Ben Matlock's (played by Andy Griffith) law partner and friend, Michelle Thomas, on Matlock. She later hosted a syndicated TV series called Main Floor (1995–2005), a show about fashion and beauty.

Early life[edit]

Nancy Elizabeth Stafford was born in Wilton Manors, Florida, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, in 1954, where she was raised as a Southern Baptist. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.[1] She is a practicing Christian.[2]

After graduating from Ft. Lauderdale High School in 1972, she was Miss Florida 1976, competing in the 1977 Miss America Pageant.[3]

She began her career working as a public relations specialist. In addition she worked as a model in New York at the Ford Model Agency.[citation needed]


Stafford moved to Los Angeles in 1982, where she had her first guest-starring role playing the dual role of Adrienne/Felicia Hunt on the daytime soap opera The Doctors. She had guest starring roles in shows such as Riptide, Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Who's the Boss?, Hunter, Quantum Leap, and Magnum, P.I.. In 1983, Stafford won her first regular role on the NBC medical drama series, St. Elsewhere, as Joan Halloran, opposite Ed Flanders's and William Daniels's characters. She played the role for two seasons and came back for one more episode, in 1986. She later starred as Patricia Blake in the short-lived ABC series Sidekicks from 1986-87.[citation needed]

Stafford is best known for her role as Ben Matlock's assistant Michelle Thomas in the legal drama Matlock, opposite Andy Griffith, from 1987 to 1992, replacing Linda Purl, who left after the first year. Stafford had been a lifelong Griffith fan, since the early 1960s, as a six-year-old girl.[4]

She auditioned and won the role, after years of struggling as an actress. Before she played Michelle, she guest starred on the same show in 1986, where she played a call girl. Beginning with her second season of the show's third year, she was unavailable for appearances, because of her busy scheduling. When the show relocated its filming from the west coast, Stafford opted to leave Matlock.[5] After her departure from Matlock, she began public speaking and hosted Main Floor, a 1990s talk show.[citation needed]

In 2008, she co-hosted the first season of Love, Marriage and Stinkin' Thinkin alongside Mark Gungor. Stafford continued to guest star in many shows, such as ER, Frasier, Babylon 5, Baywatch and The Mentalist.[citation needed]

Stafford is the author of many Christian books, such as: Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You, The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God, and her 2006 book, Mothers & Daughters Taking Your Adult Relationship to a Deeper Level.[1] Stafford continued to have a relationship with Andy Griffith after her departure from Matlock, until her TV lawyer's death on July 3, 2012. After Griffith's death, Stafford said about him that "Andy was more than you can imagine. Obviously, he was an American icon, but he was an incredible professional. He set a tone on the set, every single day that was absolutely inspiring. He was fun. He was profoundly loyal. He was just an amazing wonderful man and he left an indelible mark on my life as well as the lives of everyone who watched him over the years." She recalled speaking to him on his 86th birthday (shortly before his death), saying, "He sounded so wonderful, he picked the phone right up and he was upbeat and he sounded full of energy and we laughed and we joked. I told him how much I loved him and we just had a great, great, great conversation; so glad that we did. He sounded amazing."[6]

Personal life[edit]

Stafford married Larry Myers, a pastor. They have a daughter and grandson. Her older brother, Tracy Stafford,[7] was a two-term Mayor of Wilton Manors and a five-term member of the Florida House of Representatives.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Q Eyewitness
1987 U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart Joyce Television film
1993 Moment of Truth: A Child Too Many Sharon Davis Television film
1995 Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare Karen Ingram Television film
2002 Destiny Counselor
2004 The Proverb Lady in Park Short film
2007 Wager, TheThe Wager Annie Steele
2011 Christmas with a Capital C Kristen Reed
2012 Race to the Finish Julie
2012 Christmas Oranges Mrs. Hartley
2013 Foreclosed Terri Boyd Short film
2013 Superheroes Don't Need Capes Jenny
2013 Season of Miracles Nurse Barbara
2013 Assumed Killer Dr. Weston
2013 Christmas for a Dollar Mrs. Rathbone
2014 Heaven Help Us Kat Banks Short film
2016 Heritage Falls Laura Fitzpatrick
2016 I'm Not Ashamed Mrs. Talbot
2017 Heaven Bound Josie
2017 A Mermaid's Tale Thaleia


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Doctors, TheThe Doctors Adrienne / Felicity Hunt 1 episode
1983 Lone Star Amanda Talbot Television pilot
1983–1986 St. Elsewhere Joan Halloran Series regular, 30 episodes
1984 Who's the Boss? Trish Baldwin Episode: "Sorority Sister"
1985 Riptide Lt. Peggy Burke Episode: "Prisoner of War"
1985 Hunter Nell Armstrong Episode: "The Avenging Angel"
1985 Magnum, P.I. Amy Griswald Episode: "The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u"
1985 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Colleen Donnelly Episode: "Flight to Freedom"
1985 Remington Steele Jennifer Davenport Episode: "Stronger Than Steele"
1986 You Are the Jury Diane Blake Episode: "The State of Arizona vs. Dr. Evan Blake"
1986 D.C. Cops Molly St. Clair Television pilot
1986–1987 Sidekicks Patricia Blake Series regular, 23 episodes
1986 Matlock Caryn Nelson / Caroline Nathan Episode: "The Seduction"
1987–1992 Matlock Michelle Thomas Series regular, 109 episodes
1990 Quantum Leap Peg Myers Episode: "Miss Deep South - June 7, 1958"
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Judith Trudell Episode: "The Poker Game"
1996 Frasier Claire Barnes Episode: "Moon Dance"
1996 Babylon 5 Dr. Mary Kirkish Episode: "Messages from Earth"
1997 Baywatch Cassie Rose Episode: "Rendezvous"
2003 Judging Amy Judge Bell Episodes: "Motion Sickness", "The Wrong Man"
2008 Mentalist, TheThe Mentalist Rosemary Tennant Episode: "Seeing Red"
2017-2018 Scandal BNC Anchor 4 episodes


  1. ^ a b " About Nancy Stafford - author bio and information". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Actress Nancy Stafford, a True Ambassador for Christ in the Entertainment Industry". 2014-10-12. Archived from the original on 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  3. ^ Mediating Faiths. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nancy Stafford: Andy Griffith was a 'consummate professional'". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Matlock` Moves To Abc, Stafford Moves On". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Andy Griffith: America's Favorite Sheriff Dies". 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Playing by Ear, Nancy Stafford Finds the Key to TV's Matlock". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ann K. Schmalzried
Miss Florida
Succeeded by
Cathy La Belle