Marie-France PISIER

Family tree of Marie-France PISIER

Actor, Director

FrenchBorn Marie-France PISIER

French actress

Born on May 10, 1944 in Dalat , Viet Nam

Died on April 24, 2011 in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Var , France

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Pisier was born in Dalat, Vietnam, where her father was serving as colonial governor of French Indochina. Her younger brother, Gilles Pisier, is a mathematician and a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Her sister, Evelyne, was the first wife of Bernard Kouchner, a French politician and the co-founder of Doctors Without Borders.

The family moved to Paris when Marie-France was twelve years old. Five years later she made her screen acting debut for director François Truffaut in his 1962 film, Antoine and Colette. Pisier had a brief but incendiary romance with the older, married Truffault. Despite its end, she later appeared in Truffaut's Stolen Kisses (Baiser volés, 1968) and Love on the Run (L'Amour en fuite, 1979). Love on the Run was the fifth and final film in Truffaut's series about the character Antoine Doinel, and Pisier was credited as a co-writer of the screenplay. In a review in The New York Times, film critic Vincent Canby praised her for a "ravishing performance".


Pisier later collaborated on the screenplay to Jacques Rivette's Celine and Julie Go Boating (Céline et Julie vont en bâteau, 1974); she also played a significant supporting role in the film. Later in the same year she starred in Luis Buñuel’s Phantom of Liberty.

She gained widespread public recognition in 1975 when she appeared in Jean-Charles Tacchella's popular comedy, Cousin, Cousine. Her role as the volatile Karine earned her a César Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Her subsequent feature films included three with director André Téchiné: French Provincial (Souvenirs en France, 1975); The Bronte Sisters (Les Sœurs Brontë, 1979), in which she portrayed Charlotte; and Barocco (1976), for which she won a second César for her performance alongside Isabelle Adjani and Gérard Depardieu.

Pisier attempted to crack the American film industry with The Other Side of Midnight (1977), adapted from a Sidney Sheldon novel. She appeared on American television in the miniseries The French Atlantic Affair (1979), and Scruples the following year. She made two more Hollywood films, French Postcards (1979) with Debra Winger and Chanel Solitaire (1981) with Timothy Dalton.

Returning to France, Pisier made her directorial debut with The Governor's Party (Le Bal du gouverneur, 1990), which she adapted from her own novel. She also played Madame Verdurin in Raúl Ruiz's adaptation of Marcel Proust, Time Regained (Le Temps retrouvé, 1999).

Pisier resided in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Var, and was married to Thierry Funck-Brentano. The couple had two children, Mathieu and Iris. The 66-year-old actress died on 24 April 2011: she was found dead in her swimming pool and is believed to have drowned. The local mayor announced her death to the news media, and President Nicolas Sarkozy made a public statement honouring “her supreme elegance born of the most perfect simplicity.”

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Geographical origins

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