• France's news in English

French stars turn out for funeral of Kate Barry

Ben McPartland · 19 Dec 2013, 17:47

Published: 19 Dec 2013 17:47 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A memorial service for the photographer Kate Barry, daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin and famed Bond film composer John Barry, was held at a Paris church on Thursday.

Several stars of screen and stage were among the mourners at the Eglise Saint Roch in Paris's first arrondissment on Thursday morning, including Barry's own half sister the renowned French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Barry died on December 11 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 last Wednesday evening.

(Jane Birkin, the mother of Kate Barry, leaves the Eglise Saint Roch with French Junior Minister for La Francophonie Yamina Benguigui)

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'.

Among those who turned out to say their goodbyes were France's former first lady and singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (pictured below) and French actress Catherine Deneuve (also pictured).

(Singer and former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy hides her face as she arrives at the funeral of Kate Barry.)

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

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.

Story continues below…

(French actress Catherine Deneuve (centre) leaves the church after Kate Barry's funeral on Wednesday.)

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, who was also present on Wednesday.

Barry's body was laid to rest at Montparnasse Cemetery.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available