How do you go from being the head assistant director of Snow White, the head of Disney’s personnel department, and the production supervisor of The Mickey Mouse Club to a homeless panhandler living on the streets of Manhattan? That, in a nutshell, is the strange life of Hal Adelquist, who died in 1981 at the age of 66. At the time of his death, he had moved back to Long Beach, California, and was living with his mother.
The most comprehensive biography I’ve found about him is at this Mickey Mouse Club website. The bio states that he resigned from Disney in 1956, his last major role being the production supervisor of The Mickey Mouse Club: “If there is a tangible reminder of Hal’s contribution to the Mickey Mouse Club, it is that the production made it onto the air on-time, and was such a smashing success in it’s first season. The nerve-wracking effort to bring this off in just a few months weighed more heavily on Hal than on anyone else…Hal’s nerves were badly shot by the experience, and he began to drink heavily.” According to Neal Gabler’s biography of Walt Disney, Adelquist asked Disney a year later to hire him back, even telling Walt that “I’m not particular about the kind of work involved,” but Walt refused.