Matlock (1986–1995)
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The Don: Part 1 

Ben and Charlene take the controversial case of a Mafia don accused of murdering a business rival; Charlene is attracted to the man's son.


Leo Penn


Dean Hargrove (created by), Anne Collins (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Griffith ... Ben Matlock
Linda Purl ... Charlene Matlock
Kene Holiday ... Tyler Hudson (as Kene Holliday)
William Conrad ... D.A. James L. McShane
Joe Penny ... Paul Baron
James McEachin ... Police Lt. Frank Daniels
Betty Lynn ... Sarah
Doran Clark Doran Clark ... Cathy Baron
Mark La Mura ... Dr. Daniel Baron
Joseph Hacker ... Phillip Kovack
Claude Earl Jones ... Mr. Henderson
Ron Karabatsos ... Dave Christopher
Sheree North ... Alice Jenkins
José Ferrer ... Nicholas Baron (as Jose Ferrer)
Alan Campbell Alan Campbell ... Palmer


Ben and Charlene take the controversial case of a Mafia don accused of murdering a business rival; Charlene is attracted to the man's son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

28 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was a kind of back door pilot for the TV show Jake and the Fatman which would premiere a year after this. Both William Conrad and Joe Penny appear in this one, and while Conrad has a similar role as the Fatman (with a slightly different name), Penny plays a different type of character. Both shows were created by Dean Hargrove. See more »


On leaving the house, Donald is having trouble starting his 1986 maroon Rolls-Royce, but the car that explodes in the fiery bombing is a 1975-vintage Ford Granada. See more »


Featured in Matlock: The Kidnapper (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

"Jake and the Fatman" fans, take note!
8 September 2009 | by SamBlobSee all my reviews

This 1986 episode of "Matlock" is notable for giving the viewing public a sort of preview of "Jake and the Fatman", which premiered in 1987. Not only does it feature the entire main cast (Joe Penny, William Conrad, and Alan Campbell), but Conrad and Campbell play basically the same characters with different names. Conrad's character, James L. McShane, doesn't even vary much in name from J. L. McCabe, a.k.a. the Fatman. Penny's character, however, is rather different; a crime boss accused of doing his own dirty work for once. It is left to Matlock to remove all reasonable doubt from this shady character, which he does in characteristic fashion by revealing the real killer - but not in this episode, as it is the first of a two-part.

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