Her body was found around 6.30pm on Wednesday on the pavement outside her home in the 16th arrondissement.
Barry, 46, was Birkin’s eldest daughter and was born in London. Her father was the British composer John Barry, best known for his film music including the James Bond theme and Out of Africa. He died in 2011.
Her parents separated shortly after she was born in 1967, and Birkin moved to France where she brought up her daughter with the French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and later the film director Jacques Doillon.
Barry carved out a name for herself as a fashion photographer, but in France remained less famous than her actor half-sisters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. Barry once said she preferred to remain behind the scenes.
“At first, I was better known because of my family: my mother, my stepfather, my father, my sisters … now I hope I’m known a bit more for my own work,” Barry said.
She was thought to have been alone in the flat, where antidepressants were reportedly found by police, who have launched an inquiry into her death. The door to her flat was locked from the inside.
“The matter is under investigation, but we can confirm the death,” a police spokesperson said on Thursday.
Birkin has often spoken about her closeness to her daughters, saying not a week passed when she did not talk to all three.
“My eldest daughter, Kate, looks most like me. She’s a photographer. She had a Polaroid camera in her hand from a young age and photographed her sisters all the time,” Birkin, 66, said in an interview.
Barry spent many years battling drug and alcohol addiction and in 1994 set up a free centre for addicts in France.
Two years later she began her photography career, which took off with a major exhibition in Japan. Afterwards her images were published in several major publications, including British Vogue and Paris Match.
As well as her mother and half-sisters, she leaves a 26-year-old son, Roman de Kermadec.
Jane Birkin and John Barry’s daughter Kate Barry dies after falling from apartment in apparent suicide
- DECEMBER 13, 2013 1:27AM
The building where British photographer Kate Barry was found dead after jumping from her Paris flat. Picture: AFP Source: AFP
British actor and singer Jane Birkin with 7-month-old Kate Barry, her daughter by composer John Barry, on November 9, 1967. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images
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 includingGoldfinger 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,” Mr 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 andLe 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.