Christopher, age 79, died April 24, 2023, at a senior care home in Norwich near his home of Waltertown, England. He had suffered from melanoma and lingering effects of COVID.
He was one of four children born to British writers George Barker and Elizabeth Smart. His father subsequently married three more times and among the four wives produced 15 children. One of the wives, Elsbeth Parker, also a writer, became Christopher’s stepmother. His birth mother was Canadian and Christopher had a North American affinity, though mostly growing up in the English countryside near Norfolk.
Christopher graduated from King’s School in Canterbury, England, where he played rugby. He spent freshman year with us before dropping out to return to England to pursue a career in photography. He became a celebrated professional, first working for London Studios and then for London’s Sunday Times and The Telegraph. His childhood, surrounded by artists and friendships with many parental writer friends, led him to publish Portraits of Poets in the 1980s and later a memoir, The Arms of the Infinite, about his family and English writers and artists he knew and photographed from London’s Soho district. He also photographed British actors Anthony Hopkins and Richard Attenborough.
Christopher married Clare O’Brien in London and they had two children, Leo (1979) and Lydia (1981). He worked in New York occasionally to support his children’s education.
At his death, obituaries recalled how he was admired for his perpetual optimism and friendliness, and brilliant conversation at any party. He loved music, from opera to Welsh choirs to Radiohead. He ran marathons most of his life and in his 70s, partly bored, he worked in movies as an extra to keep busy and supplement his pension. He is survived by his children and partner of eight years, Tina.