Jane Birkin's daughter Kate Barry dies after apartment fall

12th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

Photographer Kate Barry, daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin and famed Bond film composer John Barry, has died after falling from her fourth floor Paris flat in an apparent suicide.

The 46-year-old was found beneath her flat in the city's wealthy 16th district on Wednesday evening.

Barry lived alone and anti-depressants were discovered inside her flat, which was locked from the inside, police said.

She was the daughter of British-born Birkin, best known as the muse and partner of late French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and British composer John Barry, famous for writing 11 James Bond movie themes including 'Goldfinger' and 'Diamonds Are Forever'.

Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti paid rich tribute to Kate Barry, saying that her "loving and heartfelt thoughts" were with a "family we all love".

Barry had studied fashion but turned to photography later. She had drug and alcohol problems which prompted her to open a centre for addicts near Paris.

"Her fragility touched us," Filippetti said, adding that Barry was an outstanding photographer whose "sense of light and composition was very pictorial".

Kate Barry had said in an interview that she was fascinated by photography as a child, starting out with Gainsbourg's Polaroid.

"For me it was something miraculous, the image appeared almost immediately," she said.

Birkin and John Barry, who died in 2011, separated in 1967, the year of Kate Barry's birth, and she was brought up until her teenage years by Birkin and Gainsbourg.

At the time, they were the most famous couple in France, as much for their bohemian and hedonistic lifestyle as for their work. Gainsbourg, a chronic alcoholic, died, aged 62, in 1991.

Kate Barry was also the half-sister of actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon.

Her photographs had appeared in leading French magazines such as Paris Match, Elle and Le Figaro and she had recently held an exhibition of her works entitled "Point of View. Portraits. Still Life" in Paris.

She had one son, Roman, who was born in 1987.


© 2013 AFP

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