Marie-France Pisier was born in French Indochina, where her father was a colonial administrator. As a teenager in France, she began acting with an amateur drama group. She was discovered at age 17 by director François Truffaut and made her screen debut in his 1962 film Antoine and Colette. She appeared in two more of his films, Stolen Kisses (Baiser volés, 1968) and Love on the Run (L'Amour en fuite, 1979), for which she was credited as a co-writer of the screenplay. She had a supporting role in the movie Celine and Julie Go Boating (Céline et Julie vont en bâteau, 1974) and also collaborated on that screenplay. She became famous for her role in the popular comedy Cousin Cousine (1975), which earned her a César Award for Best Supporting Actress. She made her directorial debut with The Governor's Party (Le Bal du gouverneur, 1990), which she adapted from her own novel. She was married to Thierry Funck-Brentano and had two children. She was found dead in her swimming pool at age 66.