Berry Berenson

Berry Berenson

It is often tragic for the world to know that some great photographers die in unexpected events. Born on 14 April 1948, in Manhattan, Berry Berenson was an American actress, model and photographer. After a short career in modeling, in the late 60s, she started doing freelance photography. By the year 1973, photographs taken by her were published in top magazines, such as Vogue, Newsweek, Life, and Glamour.

Berry appeared in many motion pictures, like Malcolm McDowell and Cat People. She starred with Anthony Perkins in Remember My Name in 1978 by Alan Rudolph.  Moreover, she acted alongside Jeff Bridges in Winter Kills (1979).

In 1973, Berenson married Anthony Perkins, her co-star in one of the movies. They married in Massachusetts’s Cape Cod. Berry and Perkins had two children, both were sons. Oz Perkins is a musician and actor, and Elvis Perkins is a rock artist. In 1992, Perkins died from complications related to AIDS.

Berry’s sister Marisa was a popular model of that time. During this time, Berry Berenson fascinated the columnists of the society and editors of fashion, with her work.  Diana Vreeland was an editor at Vogue who knew the sisters from a young age and used to call them Berengaria and Mauretania, after the ocean liners of Cunard. Even editors of Harper’s Bazaar commissioned Berry to do fashion photography for them.

Berry was born to wealthy European folks. Her father was a American Foreign Service official. From the side of her father, she was related to the collector and art critic, Bernard Berenson.  Berry traveled to Italy, France and Switzerland for educational purposes and in the meantime met some of the famous personalities from the high social classes, who her grandmother and mother knew. Her grandmother was an Italian fashion designer who knew many socialites. Her niece was an astronomer.

Berry was famous for her tomboy look which was completely in contrast to the style and dressing of her sister. After her death, people claimed that the photographer cum actress was a gentle and fun-loving person who made friends with people, the moment she met them. She has been described as an extraordinary female who lived her short life to the fullest – she was sultry and funny. Moreover, her best friend said in a personal tribute that Berry was a gracious and generous person.

Berry worked in Andy Warhol’s magazine Interview for sometime, as a photographer. At the time, it was discovered that she had a crush on Anthony Perkins, so the magazine sent Berry on an assignment to photograph and interview Anthony.

Berry Berenson’s black and white fashion photos, including outdoor modeling and models from runways as well, for Vogue were outclass, elegant and sophisticated. She photographed in long shots as well as close ups. Her photography prints are sold on the internet on websites, such as Condé Nast Collection.

Both the Berenson sisters had published Dressing Up, a book on the ways of looking perfect for any social gathering. Berry took portraits and Marisa pitched in the text. Marisa also wore some outfits and modeled for the book.

At the age of 53, Berry died in the unfortunate event of the twin towers in New York, famously known as 9/11, just a day before Perkins’s ninth death anniversary. She was on a holiday at Cape Cod and was returning to her home in California when this incident happened.


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