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Culture

Jane Birkin’s daughter dies after Paris apartment fall

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-13

Photographer Kate Barry, the daughter of actress Jane Birkin - partner of late French singer Serge Gainsbourg - and composer John Barry, has died aged 46 after falling from her fourth floor Paris flat, police said Thursday.

Kate Barry, the photographer daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin and James Bond film composer John Barry, has died after falling from her fourth floor Paris flat, police said Thursday.

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

She lived alone and anti-depressants were discovered inside her flat, which was locked from the inside, police said. An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of death.

Barry 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'.

Her parents 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 the most famous couple in France known as much for their bohemian and hedonistic lifestyle as for their work.

Barry had studied fashion but later turned to photography, something she had been interested in since childhood, starting out with Gainsbourg's Polaroid camera.

Her work has been featured in numerous magazines including British Vogue and the Sunday Times magazine, and were recently on exhibition in Paris.

“As a child, I was photographed a lot. That must have left an impression,” she told the French newspaper Liberation in 2012.

She also suffered from drug and alcohol problems, which later prompted her to found an addiction treatment centre outside Paris.

French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti paid tribute to Barry in a statement Thursday, saying that her "loving and heartfelt thoughts" were with a "family we all love".

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

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

She is survived by her son, Roman de Kermadec, 26.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Date created : 2013-12-12

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