DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Matthew Garber (aged 21)
Matthew Adam Garber (25 March 1956 – 13 June 1977) was a British child actor, best known for his role as Michael Banks in the 1964 film Mary Poppins. He also starred in only two other films: The Three Lives of Thomasina and The Gnome-Mobile, all three times appearing alongside actress Karen Dotrice. All three appearances were in movies by Walt Disney Pictures.
DEATH: Garber had unknowingly contracted hepatitis while in India in 1976-77. By the time his father was able to get him home to London (June 1977), the disease had affected his pancreas. Garber’s brother Fergus, who was 13 at the time of Matthew’s death, denied any suggestion that Matthew was using drugs and said the hepatitis likely came from eating bad meat.On 13 June 1977, Garber died at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, of haemorrhagicnecrotising pancreatitis, aged 21.
Garber’s body was cremated at St. Marylebone Crematorium (East Finchley) London on 16 June. Fergus did not attend the funeral and did not know if any memorial had ever been erected for Matthew. Garber’s parents both died in the decade following their elder son’s death.