Rita is a "gun moll" bandit who appears in an episode of western adventure series Bonanza (USA. NBC net. 1959 - 1973).Played by - Lory Patrick (b 1938)
Episode: 8:21 - Journey to terror
First broadcast - Feb 5 1967
Little Joe Cartwright visits an old friend, Ellie Blackwell, and finds the family have fallen on hard times. Husband Tom returns from a seeking work, telling his wife he's had no luck. Not long afterwards a criminal gang invade the Blackwell cabin and the family, along with Joe, are taken hostage. The gang consists of Wade Hollister, his father, Neal, and Rita, who is Wade's moll and an active participant in the robberies. The criminals have recently stolen a lot of money in a bank robbery, but in the course of it Neal has been badly wounded. During the robbery the bandits had committed a murder. In the course of events it transpires that Tom Blackwell, in his desperation for money, had become a confederate of the gang.
Wade intends to hole up for a while at the cabin and then try to get to Mexico. However it becomes clear his father can't travel with his serious injury, requiring proper medical attention; despite the risk involved, Wade is finally convinced he needs to send for a doctor. However, Joe deliberately sends to town for a horse doctor rather than an MD, which alerts the local sheriff something is wrong at the Blackwell homestead. The "doctor" arrives to treat the injured bandit, but the robbers soon find that the sheriff and 2 deputies have followed and are outside in the undergrowth. Rita breaks the cabin window and fires outside; there is a struggle inside the cabin in which Tom (who had by now turned against the criminals after Wade says he isn't getting any of the stolen money) is gunned down by Rita. Joe charges at Rita and slaps her in the face - she collapses; Joe battles with Wade and subdues him. The sheriff and his deputies enter the building to arrest the criminals.
Appearance - A good looking dark haired Caucasian woman in her late 20s.
Clothes - A check shirt; blue jeans tucked into brown boots; gun-belt and holster
Weapons - Two revolvers.
Fate - The lawmen arrest Rita and the Hollisters. As Rita had murdered Tom she would either serve a life term or face execution.
Notes - Lory Patrick was briefly married to science fiction author Harlan Ellison in 1966.She is the widow of actor Dean Jones.
This 1967 Bonanza episode was her last appearance as a guest star on a TV series.