Nikki Bacharach, daughter of songwriter Burt Bacharach and actress Angie Dickinson, committed suicide, Bacharach and Dickinson said in a statement yesterday.
Nikki Bacharach, 40, suffered from Asperger’s Disorder, a form of autism.
She killed herself on Thursday night at her home in Thousand Oaks, California, said Linda Dozoretz, a spokeswoman for the family.
“She quietly and peacefully committed suicide to escape the ravages to her brain brought on by Asperger’s,” the statement said.
Nikki Bacharach died of suffocation using a plastic bag and helium, said Mike Feiler of the Ventura County coroner’s office.
Born prematurely in 1966, Lea Nikki Bacharach studied geology at Cal Lutheran University, but could not pursue a career in the field because of poor eyesight.
“She loved kitties, and earthquakes, glacial calving, meteor showers, science, blue skies and sunsets, and Tahiti,” the statement said.
Nikki Bacharach was the only child of Burt Bacharach, 77, and Dickinson, 75, who were married from 1965 to 1981.
It was the second marriage for both Bacharach, the Oscar-winning composer of Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, and What the World Needs Now is Love, and Dickinson, star of the film Dressed to Kill and the TV show Police Woman.
Bacharach has three children from other marriages.
Autism is a developmental disorder. Asperger’s Disorder, also known as Asperger’s syndrome, is sometimes called high-functioning autism.