A regional Actress who often performed in one-woman shows, 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..
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).