Hope Summers

  • Born on
    • June 7th, 1896
  • Died on
    • June 22nd, 1979
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.


Acting (14 Credits)

1973Charley Varrick as Mess Vesta
1972Get to Know Your Rabbit as Mrs. Beeman
1968The Shakiest Gun in the West as Celia
1968Rosemary's Baby as Mrs. Gilmore
1966The Ghost and Mr. Chicken as Susanna Blush
1965The Hallelujah Trail as Mrs. Hasselrad
1963Spencer's Mountain as Mother Ida
1961Homicidal as Martha Adrims (uncredited)
1961The Children's Hour as Agatha
1961Parrish as Mary
1960Inherit the Wind as Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman
1959Edge of Eternity as Motel Attendant
1958I Want to Live! as Ethel - Policewoman on Bus (uncredited)
1957Zero Hour! as Mrs. Summers

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