An Interview' with Larry Casey
a.k.a. Pvt. Mark T. Hitchcock
In August of 2001 a chance email to the Long Range Desert Convention - 60s TV goes to War email box from someone with a slim connection to The Rat Patrol triggered a series of events that led ultimately to this interview with Larry Casey.
That fellow with The Rat Patrol connection shared contact information for one of the first directors of The Rat Patrol - Mr. John Peyser. Mr. Peyser was contacted and he and his wife graciously shared their memories of The Rat Patrol days in Spain. By the time that 'interview' with John had been completed, the Interviewer felt she had made a good friend. With his Rat Patrol memories refreshed, John, on his own initiative, renewed a thirty-six year old friendship with Larry Casey. They picked up where they'd left off and not long after, Mr. Casey contacted the Interviewer indicating that if The Rat Patrol fans had questions for him, he'd be happy to try to answer them.
Here are the fan questions and Mr. Casey's responses. I have no doubt you will enjoy hearing the man and his memories of a series we continue to hold dear in our hearts.
Sadly, John Peyser died in August of 2002, but we are fortunate that he left some of his memories of directing The Rat Patrol in Spain. (see Quartermaster Store) Without John Peyser's support and enthusiasm none of this would have happened. Thank you, John.
Sincere thanks to Mr. Casey for sharing some of his memories of The Rat Patrol days with us. That kindness is genuinely appreciated by us all.
- The Interviewer (Libby firstname.lastname@example.org)
Let's shake it !
LC: My agent set [up] a meeting with Tom Gries, and the ABC Network. This was the first I had heard of the show. I had no idea what it was about prior to the meeting.
LC: I was the last actor cast as far as I know. I saw no one else until I was fitted for wardrobe. At that time I met Chris George and Eric Braeden at the fitting. I did not meet Tar until we were ready to shoot the pilot.
LC: No, the rumor had it that we were going to shoot the first year in Barstow, at a military base out in the Mojave Desert. It wasn't until much after the pilot was shot and the show sold that we knew that Spain was a possibility. I was thrilled. I had never been to Europe and was looking forward to it. On the down side, my wife was pregnant and we didn't know what was going to happen. At first I thought that I would have to be in Spain without family. Once I landed and began shooting I noticed all of the healthy Spanish kids and babies. I also found a local doctor that was educated at the University of Michigan and interned at Cedars of Lebanon. He spoke perfect English and was a terrific doctor. I called my wife and she and the Melissa were in Spain two weeks later.
LC: Yes, I did a good bit of research before and during the shooting. The reality of the show was really due to John Peyser and Richard Landau. Peyser was one of two directors and Landau wrote most of what we filmed in Spain.
All material in the Larry Casey interview ©2002 Suncompass. All Rights Reserved.