- Hope Summers
name = Hope Summers
June 7, 1902
July 22, 1979
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Hope Summers (
June 7, 1902– July 22, 1979) was an American character actress known for her work on " The Andy Griffith Show" and "Mayberry RFD", playing Clara Edwards. She was born Sarah Hope Summers in Mattoon, Illinois, the daughter of John W. and Jennie B. (Burks) Summers, and raised in Illinoisand in Walla Walla, Washington.
A regional actress who had often performed in one-woman shows, Summers was past 50 when she came to Hollywood to begin her career as a character player. She made her television debut in 1951 on the series "Hawkin Falls, Population 6200" but it was not until the late 1950's 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". She guest starred on dozens of series including " Wagon Train", " Divorce Court", "Hazel", " Gunsmoke", " The Beverly Hillbillies", " The Dick Van Dyke Show", " Bewitched", " Hawaii Five-0", "M*A*S*H", " Starsky and Hutch", " Welcome Back Kotter", and "Little House on the Prairie" 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 36 appearances on the program during the 1960's (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 unGriffith-like "Rosemary's Baby" in 1968. She was still a very active actress until the year before her death from
congestive heart failureat age 77 in 1979. She died in Woodland Hills, California.
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6859375 Photo]
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