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The Tragic Story of Matthew Garber from the Disney classic “Mary Poppins”


Matthew Garber was a spectacular child actor who easily managed to stunlock the Disney casting agents with his innate talent and effortless charm, marking his entry into the limelight at the tender age of seven. Garber’s promising debut in “The Three Lives of Thomasina” showcased his remarkable ability to seamlessly embody characters, setting the stage for his iconic role in the timeless Disney classic, “Mary Poppins.” However, despite the initial acclaim and recognition, maintaining his foothold in the fickle world of show business proved to be a daunting task.

Following his meteoric rise at such a young age, Garber went on a long hiatus, spending three years enjoying fame and fortune before securing his next and final cinematic endeavor in “The Gnome-Mobile,” which unfortunately failed to capture even the youngest viewers, signaling a downturn in his career trajectory. Disheartened by the industry’s unpredictable nature, Garber made a pivotal decision to retreat from the spotlight altogether, opting to pursue higher education and chart a different course for his future.

Despite his aspirations for a fulfilling life beyond acting, tragedy struck Garber at the age of 21 during a vacation to India in 1976, where he contracted hepatitis. Despite frantic efforts to seek medical intervention upon his return to London, the horrible disease had already taken a devastating toll on his health, ravaging his pancreas beyond what medicine could treat at that time. On June 13, 1977, Matthew Garber’s promising life was tragically cut short at the age of 21. The doctors diagnosed Garber with hemorrhagic necrotizing pancreatitis, leaving his family and friends devastated for years to come.

Reminiscing about their past and shared experiences, Garber’s former co-star from “Mary Poppins,” Karen Dotrice, said she was extremely regretful for not keeping closer ties with Garber in later years, lamenting missed opportunities to strengthen their bond. Even after all this time, Garber’s memorable presence still resonates deeply within the hearts of those who knew him, forever immortalized as an extraordinary soul who left a real tangible legacy in the annals of cinematic history.