Obituary: Actress Marie-France Pisier, 1944-2011

Marie-France Pisier pictureMarie-France Pisier, the stunning actress who launched her career as go-to gal for the leading filmmakers of the French New Wave, died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Var, France on Sunday, April 24, 2011. She was 66 years old.

Beginning in the early 1960s, Mme Pisier appeared in seminal films of the Nouvelle Vague by Francois Truffaut (Love on the Run, Stolen Kisses), Jacques Rivette (Celine and Julie Go Boating) and Andrew Techine (1969’s Pauline is Leaving, Techine’s first film). She became a staple in French cinema and television over the years, appearing in dozens of TV and film productions, including the international cross-over comedy Cousin Cousine. She even did a little slumming in Hollywood, popping up in such silly fare as French Postcards and the high-trashy TV miniseries Scruples.

Antoine et Collette (1962)

Antoine et Collette (1962)

A hardworking career actor, Mme. Pisier was seen most recently in the 2009 French TV legal drama Les Chasseur.

Much of Marie-France Pisier’s movie canon isn’t available on DVD in the U.S., but here’s a small round-up of some of her notable work that is:

Antoine et Collette (1962)
At the age of 17, Marie-France Pisier appeared in this Truffaut film shot as the elusive love interest of Jean-Pierre Leaud’s Antoine.
Available on DVD from Fox Lorber

Phantom of the Liberty movie scene

Phantom of the Liberty (1974)

Diary of a Suicide (1973)
An interesting piece from Yugoslavia’s Stanislav Stanojevic finds Marie-France Pisier portraying a terrorist who fails at killing herself and ends up in jail, denied the death penalty that she so wants.
Available on DVD from Facets

Phantom of the Liberty (1974)
The classic dinner party scene in Luis Buñuel’s surreal treat finds Mme. Pisier taking her seat … on a toilet!
Available on DVD from The Criterion Collection

Barocco movie scene

Barocco (1976)

Barocco (1976)
The lady co-stars alongside Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu as a prostitute with a heart-of-gold in Andre Techine’s romantic thriller.
Available on DVD from Pathfinder

The Other Side of Midnight (1977)
Marie-France Pisier sizzles in this film, her best-known star turn in a Hollywood project. Based on Sidney Sheldon’s glossy 1973 novel, the movie, however, didn’t deliver at the box office.
Available on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.