The Beginning
(Casey Interview)

On Location
(Casey Interview)

Cast 
(Casey Interview)

Hitch
(Casey Interview)

The Show 
(Casey Interview)

Fannish Delight 
(Casey Interview)

Larry Casey 
(Casey Interview)

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An 'Interview' with Larry Casey of The Rat Patrol

The Cast and Crew

 

Do you have particular recollections about the cast and crew you'd like to share? Was one person the group ‘kidder'? How did everyone get along?

LC:   Everyone got along wonderfully.  Remember we were all in this new project together, we had no idea how the show was being received in the States.  Although Chris and Gary were the stars of the show, we were more like siblings than anything else.

Gary Raymond is a fine, talented actor and a good friend.  Gary was always terrific to work with.  Gary and I began to play chess on the set to pass the time. Chris and Tarr were there by themselves for the most part and I think that it was a harder location for them than it was for Gary and me.  Hans, or Eric, also had his wife there.  He's also a terrific actor and fun to be with.

Have you worked with any of the regular cast since Rat Patrol? 

LC:   No.  I rarely even met with them afterwards.  Doing a show is different than most other ways of earning a living.   Because of the stress to get the show filmed on-time and on budget, there becomes an air of heightened reality.  Relationships become intense; once the show is over you usually go into a tailspin and it's depressing wondering if you'll ever work again.  It takes some time to get over it.  Then, you get your next job and it all starts over again.

Do you remember any of the guest stars particularly well? Did any of them make a special impression on the cast and crew? 

LC:   We had a number of actors that were wonderful.  Character actors from Frank Silvera to Alfred Ryder and Dick Davalos, etc.  You don't have much time to get to know one another.  We shot an episode every three and half days.  New scripts, new stars and new locations.

Do you have any anecdotes that you would relate to us? Stories about the cast or equipment/props - any unusual run ins with flora or fauna?  Any practical jokes or amusing incidents that you recall?

LC:   Nothing that I can recall.  We had good times and did interesting things.  We were the grand Marshal's of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.  We had personal tours of the White House.  Chris and I went and did a hand-shake tour of Viet Nam, Thailand and Japan.

Would you describe the jeep accident that injured several cast members?  The possible cause and what happened after.  Was it difficult to work around the injuries suffered by the cast?

LC:   I was on the side of the camera watching the scene un-fold.  We were filming on a dry lake bed called Lake Rosamond, very close to Edwards Air force base out in the Mojave Desert.  The ground was perfectly flat and dry.  Tarr was driving with Chris in the front passenger seat and Gary was riding in the back holding on to the 50 calibre machine gun.  In the shot, Tarr was supposed to drive forward and then see an enemy convoy coming in the distance.  He was then going to do a 180 degree turn and drive out of the shot.  When he made the turn, the tires crimped under the Jeep, it looked as if it were happening in slow motion, and the jeep flipped over throwing Gary out quite a distance.  Chris was still in the jeep and was saved by the machine-gun mount.  The mount prevented the jeep from coming down on top of Chris and crushing him.  Gary had a broken leg, Chris hurt his back and Tarr had arm problems.  We were closed down for a week or two as I remember.  Afterwards, their stunt doubles did the heavy work until they healed.

Did any of the cast and crew join Eric Braeden (Hans Gudegast) in his passion for soccer?

LC:   A couple of us went to see Hans play at the Rose Bowl once.  He was also an excellent tennis player.  Baseball was my passion when I was young and I started to play tennis during the Rat Patrol.  I still play and I'm a devoted runner for the last 25 years.

Do you know where Justin Tarr is today?  Have you had any contact with him recently? Is he well? Is he alive?  We worry about him particularly because there has been no sign of him in so many years. Why was he missing from a number of episodes in the second season? Curiosity about Justin Tarr is particularly strong, perhaps because he has something of a ‘history'. Do you have any thoughts about why we have no knowledge of what he is doing now?

LC:   I haven't seen Tarr for at least ten years.  He used to drop by every once [in] awhile with his son Achilles.  He was living in Hawaii for a time and the last I heard from him he was living up in Lake Arrowhead 60 miles outside of Los Angeles.  He had a small part in the film "Bullet" with Steve McQueen after the Rat Patrol.

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Hitch

The Show

Fannish Delight

Larry Casey

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