Edit
Hope Summers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Mattoon, Illinois, USA
Died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameSarah Hope Summers

Mini Bio (1)

Hope Summers could portray a friendly neighbor or companion as she did for Frances Bavier's Aunt Bee character on many episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (1960) or a seemingly amiable satanist in Rosemary's Baby (1968).

Born in Mattoon, Illinois, she developed an early interest in the theater. Graduating from Northwestern School of Speech in Evanston, Illinois, she subsequently taught speech and diction there. This, in turn, led to her the head position in the Speech Department at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, teaching students privately on the side as well. In the 1930s Hope began to focus on acting. She found work in community and stock theaters in Illinois and earned some notice for putting on one-woman shows such as "Backstage of Broadway." She made use of her vocal eloquence by building up her resumé on radio, performing in scores of dramatic shows, including "Authors' Playhouse," "First Night," "Ma Perkins", and "Step-Mother".

In 1950 Hope transferred her talents to the new medium of television and earned a regular role on the comedy series Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel (1950). By the age of 50 she was customarily called upon to play slightly older than she was, appearing in a number of minuscule matron roles in such films as Zero Hour! (1957), Hound-Dog Man (1959), Inherit the Wind (1960), Spencer's Mountain (1963), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), Charley Varrick (1973) and her last, Foul Play (1978). She never had any major stand-out roles in movies; TV would be a more prolific choice of medium. Her gently stern, old-fashioned looks allowed her to be a part of many small-town settings, including Dennis the Menace (1959) and Petticoat Junction (1963), and in various western locales such as Maverick (1957) and Wagon Train (1957).

She played a rustic regular for many years on The Rifleman (1958). Usually assigned to play teachers, nurses and other helpful, nurturing types, her characters were also known to be inveterate gossips. Hope worked until close to the end of her life, passing away from heart failure in 1979.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Claude James Witherell (17 June 1927 - 19 October 1967) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (6)

She provided the voice for "Mrs. Butterworth" the famous talking maple syrup bottle.
Is a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.
Her father was a member of Congress. Two brothers had successful business careers and later entered the Diplomatic Corps.
Started in radio in Chicago in 1939 and played nearly every show that originated there. She also founded two stock companies in Chicago in which she both produced and acted.
Perhaps best known to younger generations as one of the two dirty-word Scrabble-playing old women in Foul Play (1978).
Father: John William Summers; Mother: Virginia Summers.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed