Matlock appeals to its viewers primarily through Andy Griffith, one of the classic television actors of the previous era. Griffith’s connections in the TV industry have led to exceptional cast, writing and even guest stars. Many who watch Matlock believe that they became hooked on the series based on all the great guest stars they would see from week to week. One of the shows from which Matlock borrowed a few recognizable actors was the classic sitcom, Three’s Company.
Of course, Don Knotts played Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show many years prior to Three’s Company, but Three’s Company had provided a resurgence for Knotts. By the time he joined Matlock, he was well known by audiences young and old for his role in the top-rated, prime time sitcom. After Knotts’ character left Three’s Company he was replaced by the Ropers. Mrs. Roper was played by Audra Lindley who may best be identified by her curly hair and her flowing, colorful, drape-like moo-moo gowns.
It is widely known that Audra Lindley was a favorite of the cast and crew on Three’s Company. She was like a mother figure to people involved with the show. What a perfect idea to have her join the man viewed by much of America as THE quintessential TV dad. Audra Lindley appears in the Matlock episode The Author, S1/E15.
Richard Kline made us all laugh with his character Larry on Three’s Company. He also appears on Matlock as the defendant in The Umpire S2/E16. Although less comical than Larry, Kline’s character on Matlock is a bit of a slippery salesman as well. He just seems to have a knack for that type of role.
Since the beginning of television and movies, successful writers and actors have stuck together like family in the industry. In 2013, this phenomenon lives on. Most of the cast of the successful show LOST immediately went to work on other shows together.