Born in Paris, Marie-Louise Iribe is considered one of the early pioneers of cinema in France. Her career began as an actress in a series of short films in the early 1910s, including two films by Louis Feuillade in 1914 – Her Guilty Secret and At the Hour of Dawn. In the 1920s she continued to act in films and co-founded the Les Artistes Réunis production company with her husband, actor Pierre Renoir. The company produced several films in the late 1920s, including Jean Renoir’s silent drama Marquitta (1927), with Iribe starring as a Parisian street singer wrongly accused of theft.
In 1928 Iribe co-directed and starred in Hara-Kiri. Her experience behind the camera on Hara-Kiri would inspire Iribe to begin work on her solo film debut The Erl King (1931), a surrealistic folktale that incorporated innovative special effects and sound design for the time. Iribe’s final film would be Der Erlkönig (1931), a German version of the Erl King story. She died in 1934 at the age of 39.