Patricia Blair was a popular American television and film actress who starred in several westerns in the 1950s and 1960s. She is best known for her roles as Rebecca Boone in Daniel Boone and Lou Mallory in The Rifleman. She also appeared in other shows such as Perry Mason, The Virginian, and Bonanza. She died at her home in North Wildwood, New Jersey, on September 9, 2013, at the age of 80. The cause of her death was breast cancer, according to a friend and neighbor who confirmed the news.
Early Life and Career
Patricia Blair was born as Patsy Lou Blake on January 15, 1933, in Fort Worth, Texas. She grew up in Dallas, where she became a teenage model through the Conover Agency. She acted in summer stock before Warner Bros. discovered her and gave her a contract in 1955. She changed her name to Patricia Blake and later to Patricia Blair.
She made her film debut in Jump Into Hell, a war drama about the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in French Indochina. She went on to appear in several films for Warner Bros. and MGM, such as The Black Sleep, City of Fear, Crime Against Joe, and The Electric Horseman. She also had a recurring role as Goldy, one of Madame Francine’s hostesses, on the TV series Yancy Derringer.
Fame and Romance
In 1962, she joined the cast of The Rifleman as Lou Mallory, a feisty businesswoman and love interest for Chuck Connors’ character. She appeared in 22 episodes of the show until 1963. She also guest-starred on Perry Mason as murderer Nicolai Wright in “The Case of the Badgered Brother”.
In 1964, she landed her most famous role as Rebecca Boone, the wife of Fess Parker’s legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone. She played the part for six seasons until 1970, co-starring with Darby Hinton as son Israel and Veronica Cartwright as daughter Jemima. She reportedly refused to sign a contract for season three unless Cartwright was dropped from the show, as she felt that having a TV daughter made her look older.
On February 14, 1965, she married land developer Martin S. Colbert in Los Angeles. They lived on a 60-foot powerboat named Don Juan at the Playa del Rey Marina in California. They divorced in 1993, and Colbert died in 1994.
Later Years and Death
After Daniel Boone ended, Blair’s career declined and she appeared in only a few minor films and TV spots. Her last appearance in a feature film was in 1979, as a fashion narrator in The Electric Horseman starring Robert Redford. Her last TV role was in 1988, on the sitcom Me and My Girl.
In her later years, she produced trade shows in New York and New Jersey. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and died at her home in North Wildwood, New Jersey, on September 9, 2013. She was 80 years old. She left behind no immediate survivors.