Mike Holoboff (1910-1961)
Mike held a variety of positions during the last two years of active production on the Mickey Mouse Club. A Disney Studio employee since the early thirties, he replaced Hal Adelquist as General Coordinator for the show in January 1956, working closely with producer Bill Walsh to oversee all aspects of production.
Michael Holoboff was born December 1, 1910 in Veregin, Saskatchawan, Canada, the fourth of five children of Russian immigrant parents Alexei Holoboff and Vasalisa Perepolkin. Around 1922 the Holoboff family came to Los Angeles, some becoming employees of the Goodyear Tire factory. Eventually, most returned to farming in Canada, but Mike remained in Southern California, attending school while living with his older brother Sam.
Sometime in the early thirties Mike started work at the Hyperion Studio. Like most early employees, he was probably personally interviewed and hired by Walt Disney. He worked on Snow White
(1940), and Fantasia
(1942) as an uncredited assistant director. For the 1945 mixed animation-live action film Three Caballeros
, Mike was an assistant sequence director. He was again an assistant director on Fun and Fancy Free
(1947), Melody Time
, and Cinderella
(1950). Mike's career was centered around on the production side of animation and live-action filming, and he generally did not have creative input into the finished product. When Disney entered the television era, Mike finally got a chance to direct, with The Disneyland Story
episode of Disneyland
Mike was assigned to the Mickey Mouse Club staff for the show's initial creation. He reported to Bill Walsh, and worked closely with Hal Adelquist to accomplish the million and one things that needed to happen before a single frame of film was ever shot. He was generally listed in the first season credits as production supervisor, though his actual role, along with Lou Debney and Chuck Dargan, was more of an associate producer. This was particularly true as the first season filming got underway, and the overworked Hal Adelquist needed more and more help to cope.
In December 1955, Walt Disney, who had hitherto been uninvolved with the MMC, made some major personnel changes. Hal Adelquist was relieved of most of his duties with the show, and would soon resign. Mike Holoboff was made general coordinator in Hal's place, a role he would keep for the remaining seasons of the show. This was a thankless position which entitled the holder to be responsible for almost everything, and the first guy blamed when things went wrong. Mike survived in this job, due to his stoic disposition and temperate personal habits. Unlike his predecessor, Mike was not an outgoing guy, and usually kept a low profile; perhaps a smart thing to do, in view of what happened to Hal.
Besides being General Coordinator, Mike also acted as production manager for Mouseketeer segments during the second and third seasons. Just before the third season, he traveled to England to act as production supervisor for the British-made serial Clint and Mac, a role he would also fulfill back home for the serials New Adventures of Spin and Marty and Annette. With the third season, Mike also finally got the title of associate producer, as he and Lou Debney picked-up most of Bill Walsh's remaining MMC functions, so the producer could devote his time to the new Disney show, Zorro.
Mike stayed with Disney after the Mickey Mouse Club ended, working on both films and the prime-time anthology series. Mike, who was married to Mary Cherkesoff, died in a car accident on December 7, 1961, at 51 years of age.
Some information and the photo on this page come courtesy of Lisa Holoboff Hart