Clara Edwards (originally Bertha Johnson and then Clara Johnson) is a fictional character on the American television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show (1960 – 1968). Clara was portrayed by actress Hope Summers.
Summers appeared as Bertha/Clara in 32 episodes of TAGS and was one of a very few characters who appeared in all eight seasons of the show's run. The character migrated to the show's spin-off series Mayberry R.F.D..
Clara lives in the fictional community of Mayberry, North Carolina. She is a descendant of the earliest settlers, and a widow. She has a brother, (who never appears on the show), and an adult nephew Ferdie, who makes one appearance. She also has a son, Gale, who never appears on the show.
Clara's best friend on the series is Aunt Bee. The two women gossip, shop, and compete with one another. In "The Pickle Story", for example, Clara and Aunt Bee both compete for a blue ribbon at the county fair with their quarts of pickles. Clara wins the ribbon. Clara occasionally looks after Bee's nephew Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie when Bee journeys out of town.
Clara postitions herself as Bee's rival for the attentions of single gentlemen passing through town. One of the most memorable gentlemen is Hubert St. John, a visiting lecturer who takes a fancy to Aunt Bee because she reminds him of his deceased wife. When Aunt Bee dismisses him as a romantic interest, Clara is at hand to console him.
Clara holds the honor of winning the blue ribbon for the best pickles at the Mayberry county fair 12 years running and also wins first place in the Mayberry flower show. She is the organist at All Souls Church and composes an anthem celebrating the good life in Mayberry with Aunt Bee. She joins Opie's rock group as pianist and manager and performs the role of Lady Mayberry in the town pageant to great acclaim from her fellow Mayberryites. She takes a pleasure trip to Mexico with Aunt Bee and their mutual friend Myrtle.
In the first season, Summers' character appeared twice as "Bertha Edwards". In the second season she became "Clara Johnson" and remained so until the fifth season episode "The Pageant" when she became "Clara Edwards". She remained Clara Edwards until the end of the series' run. In spite of the name changes, the character remained the same.