HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVClassic TV‘Matlock’ Star Daniel Roebuck Found His Footing on the Show

‘Matlock’ Star Daniel Roebuck Found His Footing on the Show

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Actor Daniel Roebuck finds himself as part of the Andy Griffith legal drama, Matlock, years ago and it did provide him with a boost. Back in 1992, he started a run of appearing in 55 episodes as Cliff Lewis, who worked closely with Ben Matlock. Roebuck did appear as different characters on the show before starting his run as Lewis.

‘Matlock’ Actor Daniel Roebuck Gets Big Boost From Working With Andy Griffith

The actor did put together a string of work in movies like The Fugitive and TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation. Working alongside Andy Griffith, though, would help make him a star. Roebuck would appear as a doctor in the show’s first season and Griffith remembered him. The veteran star said that he’d find a spot for Roebuck in his show. Well, Griffith was good on his word and picked Roebuck to play Lewis.

One time, Roebuck actually got a friend of his a role on the show. It was a bit part as a jury foreman back in 1994. And it turns out that his friend did get the role. Mind you, this person had no work in TV or movies before this opportunity. This situation helped make Roebuck feel like he was at home and found his footing as an actor. We get more from MeTV.

It also helped that Cliff Lewis became more of a solid sidekick for Ben Matlock instead of a goofy person. When asked about this shift back in 1994, Roebuck said in an interview, “He’s going to be less naïve, more on the ball. It’s been nice playing that not-with-it character, but I’m enjoying dressing nicer and being smarter.” You will not have to wait long to see Roebuck again on TV. He’s going to play Grandpa Munster, made famous by Al Lewis, in a reboot of the classic TV show The Munsters.

Griffith Finds A Couple of Qualities That Aren’t So Cool About Ben Matlock

Meanwhile, Griffith had a couple of thoughts about the legal character. In 1996, he sat down with legendary DJ and talk-show host Ralph Emery for a chat. Emery opens up and says, “Ben Matlock, lawyer. How would you describe him?” Griffith replies, “There again, that’s a wonderful character; it’s a wonderful character. He’s very intelligent – highly intelligent. He’s a wonderful defense lawyer.”

OK, but are there some qualities that he might not like to talk about? When it comes to Ben Matlock, Griffith did not hold back. “He’s very cheap,” he said. “He’s a cheap man. And, he’s very vain. And, those two qualities, well the intelligence is good, but those two, the vanity and the cheapness – those are the two qualities I like to lay on.”