Daughter of Bond composer dies after fall

John Barry
John Barry
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The daughter of a Yorkshire composer famous for the scores he wrote for the James Bond films has died in Paris in an apparent suicide.

Kate Barry, the daughter of John Barry and actress Jane Birkin, was found dead outside her apartment building in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital, having fallen 80ft from her fourth floor balcony.

The 46-year-old, a celebrated fashion photographer whose work had featured in Vogue and The Sunday Times Magazine and was recently on exhibition in Paris, was known to have had struggles with drugs and alcohol in the past and opened a centre for addicts near Paris in 1993.

Police investigators are reported to have found anti-depressants in her home after the discovery of her body at around 6.30pm on Wednesday.

She had been at home alone and the door to her flat was locked, according to reports.

Yesterday police in the city would only say an investigation was underway into the cause of her death.

The Foreign Office said it was aware of reports of the death of a British national in Paris and stood ready to offer consular assistance.

She is survived by her son Roman de Kermadec, 26, and her mother, 66.

Her father, from York, died aged 77 in 2011.

Her parents split up shortly after she was born in 1967 and she was brought up by her mother with the late French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and later the film director Jacques Doillon.

Ms Barry was the half-sister of actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and model and singer Lou Doillon.

“I chose a profession that shows,” she told the French newspaper Liberation in 2012.

“As a child, I was photographed a lot.

“That must have left an impression.”

French culture minister Aurelie Filippetti yesterday paid tribute to the “outstanding photographer”, who she said “understood the very meaning of pictures, staging, light and composition”.

She also offered “heartfelt and loving thoughts” to “a family we all love, the French love”.

Similar tributes were paid to her Oscar-winning father’s talent after his death in New York.

He spent his early years working in his father Jack’s cinema, the Rialto in Fishergate, York, which inspired his love of film.

It sparked an illustrious career that saw him compose the soundtracks for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, as well as arranging and performing the theme song for the first film in the series, Dr No, in 1962.

Barry also wrote the scores to the award-winning films Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa.

He was made an OBE for his services to music in 1999 and awarded a Bafta fellowship in 2005 in recognition of his work.

His style, which featured lush strings and grand orchestral movements, was instantly recognisable.

Lyricist Don Black, who co-wrote songs including Born Free and Diamonds Are Forever with Barry, said after his death: 
“The thing about John that I will always remember was he never changed.

“He was very much the Yorkshireman whether he was in Beverly Hills or Manhattan.

“He lived in Oyster Bay, New York, for 30 or 40 years but you would never know it.

“There was no trace of America about him – he brought York to New York.”