Hope Summers

Show Count: 12
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: June 7, 1896, Mattoon, Illinois, USA
Died: June 22, 1979, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

Hope Summers (June 7, 1896 – June 22, 1979) was an American character actress known for her work on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD, portraying Clara Edwards.


Born Sarah Hope Summers in Mattoon in Coles County in east central Illinois, Summers was the daughter of John W. Summers and the former Jennie B. Burks. She was reared in Illinois and in Walla Walla, Washington. A regional actress who had often performed in one-woman shows, Summers 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, but it was not until the late 1950s when she kicked off a career as one of the most in-demand character performers on television.

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 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, Love on a Rooftop, The Pruitts of Southampton, The Second Hundred Years, Adam-12 and The Paul Lynde Show but will be forever known for her work as Clara Edwards, Aunt Bee's slightly gossipy best friend on The Andy Griffith Show. Summers made thirty-six appearances on the program during the 1960s (in earlier episodes her character was called Bertha) as well as five appearances on the post-Griffith spinoff,Mayberry R.F.D..

Her film work usually was in quite small parts, occasionally unbilled, but she had a good-sized role in the most un-Griffith-likeRosemary's Baby in 1968.


She was still a very active actress until the year before her death from congestive heart failure at age 83 in 1979. She died in Woodland Hills, California. Summers is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla, Washington in the Masonic Section.

Source: Wikipedia

Broadcast: 29th July 1944
Added: Aug 04 2009