She was born in Boulogne-Billancourt to actor Jean-Louis Trintignant and his second wife Nadine Marquand. When her younger sister died at the age of nine, Marie Trintignant became withdrawn and virtually stopped speaking. Throughout her early life she was afflicted by severe shyness, but despite this, by her mid-teens she had decided to become an actress.
Marie Trintignant died of a cerebral edema on August 1, 2003 while on a film location in Vilnius, Lithuania after being beaten up by her boyfriend Bertrand Cantat, lead singer for the French rock group Noir Désir. The mother of four, her death caused considerable emotion in France.
She was nominated five times for France's most prestigious acting honor, the Cesar Award for her roles in :