obt-matlock101115

Norman T. Matlock

Norman Talmadge Matlock was an actor and a playwright.

He died on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. He was 90.

He was born on Aug. 8, 1925 to the late Thomas M. Matlock and Anna E. Baker in Pittsburgh. He graduated from Central High School in Akron, Ohio, and was drafted into the United States Navy during World War II. He later enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in philosophy.

According to the African-American ROTC newspaper, he was noted for his athletic prowess in track. He competed in the second annual Philadelphia indoor track meet at Convention Hall. After graduating, he married Clementine Carroll and to this union a son was born, Norman G. Matlock.

Talmadge or “Tal” as he was known, taught school in Cleveland and performed at Cleveland’s historical Karamu House and the Cleveland Playhouse. He later moved to New York where he acted in plays and movies. It was there he welcomed his daughter Elizabeth D. Matlock. His Broadway plays included “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” which ran from 1971 to 1973. He toured across the United States and internationally, living for a time in Los Angeles where his daughter Yolanda was born. Matlock loved his children very much.

He authored three plays, which were set to music, some of which can be heard today. In addition to his work on stage, he was a studio singer where he sang in “Sugar in the Cane” and “Lonesome Man.”

On television, Matlock played in the “Line of Duty,” “Kojak,” “Spencer for Hire,” and a three-day miniseries “Chiefs.” He also played the role of Jeffrey in “Love of Life.”

His movies include “Taxi Driver,” “Sweet Revenge,” “Thieves and Wilma,” “Blues Brothers,” “Fort Apache, the Bronx,” “Murder in Coweta County,” “Ghostbusters,” “The Long Walk Home,” “Crooklyn,” “Clockers,” “Night Falls on Manhattan” and “The Day the Ponies Came Back.”

In addition to his children, he is survived by: his niece, Vernita Hamilton; cousins, Maurine Stovall, Shirley Waller, Patricia Liggins, Louis Dillard; granddaughters, Ayanna Matlock and Angela Lugo; grandsons, Alexandres Lugo and James Moore; seven great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

A memorial service was held Oct. 8 at Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, 6653-75 Chew Ave. Burial was private.

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