Sarah Hope Summers
June 7, 1896
Mattoon, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 22, 1979 (aged 83)|
|Resting place||Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.|
|Other names||Hope Sommers|
|Spouse(s)||Claude James Witherell|
|Parent(s)||John W. Summers|
Sarah Hope Summers (June 7, 1896 – June 22, 1979), better known as Hope Summers, was an American character actress known for her work on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD, portraying Clara Edwards.
Hope Summers was born in Mattoon, Illinois, the daughter of U.S. Representative John W. Summers and Jennie (née Burks). She was reared in Illinois and later in Walla Walla, Washington. She graduated from Northwestern School of Speech at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and taught speech and diction there. From here, she became the head of the Speech Department at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
A regional actress who often performed in one-woman shows,. She made her network television debut in 1951 on the soap opera Hawkins Falls, broadcast from Chicago. She was past fifty when she came to Hollywood to begin her career as a character player.
Hope Summers first attracted attention in 1958 in the semi-regular role as Hattie Denton on the western series The Rifleman, starring Chuck Connors. She guest starred on dozens of series including Maverick, Wagon Train, State Trooper, Rescue 8, Peter Gunn, Dennis the Menace, It's a Man's World, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Hazel, Gunsmoke, The Danny Thomas Show, My Three Sons, Petticoat Junction, Love on a Rooftop, The Pruitts of Southampton, The Second Hundred Years, Adam-12 and The Paul Lynde Show, and was a regular in the cast of the short-lived 1978 situation comedy Another Day. She made thirty-six appearances on the Andy Griffith Show during the 1960s (in earlier episodes her character was called Bertha), and five appearances on the post-Griffith spinoff, Mayberry R.F.D..
Her film work usually was in quite small parts, often unbilled, but she had a credited part as Mrs. Gilmore, one of the kindlier members of the witches' coven at the heart of Roman Polanski's film classic Rosemary's Baby (1968). Cast against type she utters the line "Hail Satan!" in the film's climactic scene.
In the 1970's, Sarah Summers was the voice for Mrs. Butterworth's syrup commercials with actress Kim Fields.
She acted until 1978, a year before her death from congestive heart failure in 1979, aged 83, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. She is interred at Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla, Washington in the Masonic Section.
|1951-1952||Hawkins Falls||Belinda Catherwood||Unknown episodes|
|1957||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Mrs. Gillespie's housekeeper||S2 Ep22 'End of the Indian Summer' credit: Hope Summers|
|1957||Private Secretary||Della Loganbury||Episode: "Not Quite Paradise"|
|1957||Zero Hour!||Mrs. Summers|
|1957||Wagon Train||Unnamed passenger||"The Ruth Owens Story" (NBC-TV)|
|1958||Wagon Train||Mae O'Malley||"The Luke O'Malley Story"|
|1958||I Want to Live!||Ethel, Policewoman on bus||Uncredited|
|1958-1960||The Rifleman||Hattie Denton||16 episodes|
|1959||Maverick||Martha Abbott||Episode: "Brasada Spur"|
|1959||Rescue 8||Dora||Episode: "If the Bough Breaks"|
|1959||Hound-Dog Man||Jewell Crouch|
|1959||Edge of Eternity||Motel Attendant||Uncredited|
|1960||Inherit the Wind||Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman|
|1961||Angel Baby||Roman at Revival Meeting||Uncredited|
|1961||Homicidal||Mrs. Martha Adrims||Uncredited|
|1961||Claudelle Inglish||Ernestine Peasley||Uncredited|
|1961||The Children's Hour||Agatha (Tilford's maid)||Alternative title: The Loudest Whisper|
|1961-1968||The Andy Griffith Show||Clara Edwards||32 episodes|
|1962||The Couch||Mrs. Quimby|
|1962||Rome Adventure||Mrs. St. Uwell||Uncredited|
Alternative title: Lovers Must Learn
|1962||It's a Man's World||The Salvation Army Woman||"Drive over to Exeter"|
|1963||Spencer's Mountain||Mother Ida|
|1964||My Living Doll||Edwina||Episode: "I'll Leave It to You"|
|1964||One Man's Way||Mrs. Elwood Thompson|
|1965||The Hallelujah Trail||Mrs. Hasselrad|
|1965||Petticoat Junction||Mabel Denton||Episode: "The Crowded Wedding Ring"|
|1966||The Ghost and Mr. Chicken||Suzanna Blush||Uncredited|
|1968-1970||Mayberry R.F.D.||Clara Edwards||5 episodes|
|1968||Rosemary's Baby||Mrs. Gilmore|
|1968||The Shakiest Gun in the West||Celia|
|1968||5 Card Stud||Female customer in general store||Uncredited|
|1969||The Learning Tree||Mrs. Kiner|
|1970||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Mrs. Whittaker||Episode: "Epidemic"|
|1970||Bewitched||Carolyn||Episode: "Samantha's Old Man"|
|1971||Hawaii Five-O||Minnie Leona Moroney||Episode: "The Bomber and Mrs. Moroney"|
|1972||Get to Know Your Rabbit||Mrs. Beeman|
|1972||Where Does It Hurt?||Nurse Throttle|
|1973||Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies||Laura|
|1973||M*A*S*H||Nurse Meg Cratty||Episode: The Trial of Henry Blake|
|1973||Charley Varrick||Mess Vesta||Alternative title: Kill Charley Varrick|
|1974||Our Time||Biology Teacher||Starsky and Hutch|
|1975||Chico and the Man||Lucille Nelson||Episode: "Garage Sale"|
|1975||Welcome Back, Kotter||Ms. Riley||Episode: "Mr. Kotter, Teacher"|
|1976||Little House on the Prairie||Addie Bjornesen||Episode: "The Collection"|
|1977||Evil Town||Alice Wylie|
|1978||Another Day||Olive Gardner||Regular cast member (4 episodes)|
|1978||Smokey and the Good Time Outlaws||Marcie||(final film role)|