Hope Summers

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Hope Summers
Clara 01.jpg
Hope Summers as Clara Edwards on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show
Sarah Hope Summers

(1902-06-07)June 7, 1902
DiedJuly 22, 1979(1979-07-22) (aged 77)
Resting placeMountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.
Other namesHope Sommers
Years active19501978
Spouse(s)Claude James Witherell
Parent(s) John W. Summers
Jennie Summers

Sarah Hope Summers (June 7, 1902 July 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.

Character actor actor who predominantly plays unusual or eccentric characters

A character actor or character actress is a supporting actor who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters. The term, often contrasted with that of leading actor, is somewhat abstract and open to interpretation. In a literal sense, all actors can be considered character actors since they all play "characters", but in the usual sense it is an actor who plays a distinctive and important supporting role.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

<i>The Andy Griffith Show</i> American sitcom (1960–1968)

The Andy Griffith Show is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from October 3, 1960, to April 1, 1968, with a total of 249 half-hour episodes spanning over eight seasons—159 in black and white and 90 in color. The series partially originated from an episode of The Danny Thomas Show.


Early life

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.

Mattoon, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census. The city is home to a Burger King that is not related to the worldwide Burger King chain.

John W. Summers American politician

John William Summers was a U.S. Representative from Washington.

Walla Walla, Washington City in Washington, United States

Walla Walla is the largest city and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States.

Acting career

A regional actress who often performed in one-woman shows, [1] 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 .

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. .

<i>The Rifleman</i> American Western television program

The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son Mark McCain. It was set in the 1870s and 1880s in the fictional town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black and white, in half-hour episodes. The Rifleman aired on ABC from September 30, 1958, to April 8, 1963, as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series on US television to show a single parent raising a child.

Chuck Connors Athlete and actor

Kevin Joseph Aloysius "Chuck" Connors was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 13 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).

<i>Maverick</i> (TV series) television series (1957-1962)

Maverick is an American Western dramatic television series with comedic overtones created by Roy Huggins and originally starring James Garner. The show ran for five seasons from September 22, 1957, to July 8, 1962, on ABC.

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). [2]

Roman Polanski French-Polish film director, producer, writer, and actor

Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, and actor. Since 1978, he has been a fugitive from the U.S. criminal justice system, having fled the country while awaiting sentencing in his sexual abuse case, where he pleaded guilty to statutory rape.

<i>Rosemarys Baby</i> (film) 1968 American psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin. The cast features Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian, Clay Tanner, and, in his feature film debut, Charles Grodin. The film chronicles the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult wants to take her baby for use in their rituals.


She acted until 1978, a year before her death from congestive heart failure in 1979, aged 77, 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 CatherwoodUnknown episodes
1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mrs. Gillespie's housekeeperS2 Ep22 'End of the Indian Summer' credit: Hope Summers
1957 Private Secretary Della LoganburyEpisode: "Not Quite Paradise"
1957 Zero Hour! Mrs. Summers
1957 Wagon Train Unnamed passenger"The Ruth Owens Story" (NBC-TV)
1958Wagon TrainMae O'Malley"The Luke O'Malley Story"
1958 I Want to Live! Ethel, Policewoman on busUncredited
1958-1960 The Rifleman Hattie Denton16 episodes
1959 Maverick Martha AbbottEpisode: "Brasada Spur"
1959 Rescue 8 DoraEpisode: "If the Bough Breaks"
1959 Hound-Dog Man Jewell Crouch
1959 Edge of Eternity Motel AttendantUncredited
1960 Inherit the Wind Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman
1961 Parrish MaryUncredited
1961 Angel Baby Roman at Revival MeetingUncredited
1961 Homicidal Mrs. Martha AdrimsUncredited
1961 Claudelle Inglish Ernestine PeasleyUncredited
1961 The Children's Hour Agatha (Tilford's maid)Alternative title: The Loudest Whisper
1961-1968 The Andy Griffith Show Clara Edwards32 episodes
1962 The Couch Mrs. Quimby
1962 Rome Adventure Mrs. St. UwellUncredited
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 EdwinaEpisode: "I'll Leave It to You"
1964 One Man's Way Mrs. Elwood Thompson
1965 The Hallelujah Trail Mrs. Hasselrad
1965 Petticoat Junction Mabel DentonEpisode: "The Crowded Wedding Ring"
1966 The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Suzanna BlushUncredited
1966 Penelope Shop LadyUncredited
1968-1970 Mayberry R.F.D. Clara Edwards5 episodes
1968 Rosemary's Baby Mrs. Gilmore
1968 The Shakiest Gun in the West Celia
1968 5 Card Stud Female customer in general storeUncredited
1969 The Learning Tree Mrs. Kiner
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Mrs. WhittakerEpisode: "Epidemic"
1970 Bewitched CarolynEpisode: "Samantha's Old Man"
1971 Hawaii Five-O Minnie Leona MoroneyEpisode: "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 CrattyEpisode: The Trial of Henry Blake
1973 Charley Varrick Mess VestaAlternative title: Kill Charley Varrick
1974 Our Time Biology TeacherStarsky and Hutch
1975 Chico and the Man Lucille NelsonEpisode: "Garage Sale"
1975 Welcome Back, Kotter Ms. RileyEpisode: "Mr. Kotter, Teacher"
1976 Little House on the Prairie Addie BjornesenEpisode: "The Collection"
1977 Evil Town Alice Wylie
1978 Another Day Olive GardnerRegular cast member (4 episodes)
1978 Foul Play Ethel
1978Smokey and the Good Time OutlawsMarcie(final film role)

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  1. "Hope Summers". I May Berry. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  2. Gallagher, Pat. "Rest in Peace, Cast of The Andy Griffith Show". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2015.