Andy Griffith’s Character in ‘Matlock’ Was Based On Real-Life Lawyers


Andy Griffith’s Character in ‘Matlock’ Was Based On Real-Life Lawyers

Andy Griffith’s second most renowned television character, after Sheriff Andy Taylor, was Atlanta lawyer Benjamin Matlock.

More about the ornery, belligerent, hot dog-loving courtroom personality may be found here.

Griffith’s television career was relaunched with the success of ‘Matlock.’

Following The Andy Griffith Show, the actor starred in a string of subpar shows, never achieving the kind of fame he achieved on his own show. When it came to Matlock, the show’s makers had only one person in mind when they cast Griffith in the lead role.

Dean Hargrove, one of Matlock’s producers and writers, was part of the team that created the character of Benjamin Matlock.

“Andy was a fantastic actor. “They had never really given him his due,” Hargrove said Daniel de Visé, author of Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

The fictional lawyer ‘Matlock’ was partially modeled on a real-life lawyer.

The character’s creators didn’t have to seek far for inspiration when conceiving the colorful role of high-priced Atlanta attorney Benjamin Matlock.

Bobby Lee Cook, a well-known Atlanta attorney, served as a model for the part. Cook’s role in inspiring Matlock was hinted at by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which said of him, “His crafty moves in court, mixed with a gentlemanly charm, made him possibly Georgia’s most famous attorney and may have inspired a classic television character.”

Matlock’s character was also shaped by Texan lawyer Percy Foreman, who, according to de Visé, “managed 1500 death-penalty cases and lost only 53.” Hargrove said of Foreman, “He always got his money in advance.” ‘He once encountered a woman who owed him money in a restaurant and took the chain from her neck.’

‘Matlock’ is a… This is a condensed version of the narrative. I hope you found it entertaining.


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