|Born||Sarah Hope Summers
June 7, 1896
Mattoon, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 22, 1979
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Heart failure|
|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.
Life and career
Summers was born in Mattoon, Illinois, the daughter of Jennie (née Burks) and U.S. Representative John W. Summers. 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 was past fifty when she came to Hollywood to begin her career as a character player. She made her television debut in 1951 on the series Hawkins Falls.
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).
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 to 1952||Hawkins Falls||Belinda Catherwood||Unknown episodes|
|1957||Private Secretary||Della Loganbury||Episode: "Not Quite Paradise"|
|Zero Hour!||Mrs. Summers|
|Wagon Train||Unnamed passenger||"The Ruth Owens Story" (NBC-TV)|
|1958||Wagon Train||Mae O'Malley||"The Luke O'Malley Story"|
|I Want to Live!||Ethel, Policewoman on bus||Uncredited|
|1958 to 1960||The Rifleman||Hattie Denton||16 episodes|
|1959||Maverick||Martha Abbott||Episode: "Brasada Spur"|
|1959||Rescue 8||Dora||Episode: "If the Bough Breaks"|
|1960||Inherit the Wind||Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman|
|1961||Homicidal||Mrs. Martha Adrims||Uncredited|
|1961||The Children's Hour||Agatha (Tilford's maid)||Alternative title: The Loudest Whisper|
|1961 to 1968||The Andy Griffith Show||Clara Edwards||32 episodes|
|1962||Rome Adventure||Mrs. St. Uwell||Uncredited
Alternative title: Lovers Must Learn
|It's a Man's World||"Drive over to Exeter"|
|1963||Spencer's Mountain||Mother Ida|
|1964||My Living Doll||Edwina||Episode: "I'll Leave It to You"|
|1965||Petticoat Junction||Mabel Denton||Episode: "The Crowded Wedding Ring"|
|1966||The Ghost and Mr. Chicken||Suzanna Blush||Uncredited|
|1968||The Shakiest Gun in the West||Celia|
|1968||5 Card Stud||Female customer in general store||Uncredited|
|1968 to 1970||Mayberry R.F.D.||Clara Edwards||5 episodes|
|1968||Rosemary's Baby||Mrs. Gilmore|
|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|
|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|
|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"|
|1978||Another Day||Olive Gardner||Regular cast member (4 episodes)|