Former beeb soap star couldn’t bring herself to watch her final scenes at the time.
Rita bowed out from her role as Roxy Mitchell in the soap late last year – the character drowning to death on New Year’s Day alongside sister Ronnie (Samantha Womack) who had just married Jack Branning.
Roxy failed to resurface after jumping into a deserted hotel swimming pool while Ronnie’s attempts to rescue her proved futile thanks to her wedding dress getting in the way – the sodden lacy gown eventually causing her own death.
“It wasn’t because I can’t come back,” Rita noted to the Sunday People of her hang-up over the scenes. “I won’t have to spend the rest of my life wondering if I’ll get the call inviting me to return.
“We really loved those characters. We both found watching our death scene really distressing. It’s horribly strange to see yourself and your best friend floating dead in a swimming pool.
“I’ll always be grateful for a part that made me who I am today but the way Sam and I met our end was harsh, really traumatic.”
“She’s like the sister I never had. One of the great sadness’s about leaving is I don’t see her nearly enough any more. I miss her,” she added of co-star Womack. “We’d work together all morning and then go off to get our nails done at lunchtime. We were inseparable.”