2002 F-150 door lock

My 2002 F-150 ext. cab front passenger side door lock won't open with the remote key fob, so I figured that it's probably the lock actuator that fritzed
like the one in my old 1990 model. However, when I attempt to unlock the door with the key, the lock button pops up as it should, but drops back down when I pull on the door handle (from outside the truck) to open the door. The only way to open the door is from inside the cab - leaning across the big center arm rest (not "convenient"). Is the actuator still at fault here, or is there something else amiss? I'd like to be forewarned before I pop off the door panel. TIA for any insights.
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