Jonathan Barry Prendergast was born on a Friday, November 3 1933. He was the youngest among a sister (June) and two brothers.
He started as a 9 year-old on piano. Stopped public schools at 15, and worked as a projector in a movie theatre (one of many own by his father, Jack Prendergast). At this time, he was already composing to the movies he showed.
Then he joined the army, in Egypt and Cyprus until 1955, where he also played music.
His brother Patrick is presumed deseased around 1985. That's probably why, the music for Out of Africa got an extra sentimental/melancholy stamp. Barry also dedicated this score to Patrick.
His parents died with 16 weeks in between around 1980, where Barry was contracted to score the music for Somewhere in time. This music also got a very sentimental stamp.
On Barry's own compilation Moviola, he conducts The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The album is dedicated to his wife Laurie Barry. Way back in 1966, he was married to actress Jane Birkin. They got the daughter Kate in 1967. He also has two other daughters.
On November 3rd 1994, Laurie Barry (probably) brought John, his best birthday present ever. John's first son Jonpatrick. His score for the 3D IMAX-film Across the Sea of time (1995), is dedicated to his son.