Kris Kristofferson Biography

Kris Kristofferson is an American singer, songwriter and actor. This biography profiles his childhood, career, life, achievements & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: June 22, 1936

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Kris Kristofferson Alcoholics

Age: 83 Years, 83 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: Kristoffer Kristofferson

Born in: Brownsville, Texas, U.S.

Famous as: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Lisa Meyers (m. 1983), Fran Beer (m. 1960–1969), Rita Coolidge (m. 1973–1980)

father: Lars Henry Kristofferson

mother: Mary Ann

children: Blake Cameron Kristofferson, Casey Kristofferson, Jesse Turner Kristofferson, Jody Ray Kristofferson, Johnny Robert Kristofferson, Kelly Marie Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson, Tracy Kristofferson

U.S. State: Texas

More Facts

education: Merton College, Oxford (1960), Pomona College (1954–1958), University of Oxford, San Mateo High School

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Kris Kristofferson gave up a promising career in the military, because he wanted to be a song writer. He is best known for penning such classics as ‘Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down’, ‘Once More with Feeling’, ‘For the Good Times’, ‘Help Me Make It Through the Night’ and ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. He recorded his début album, ‘Kristofferson’, but it flopped commercially. His second album, ‘The Silver Tongued Devil and I’, fared very well. The song, ‘Why Me’, from his fourth album ‘Jesus Was a Capricorn’ was an incredible hit. He began to focus on films debuting in ‘The Last Movie’, and then starring in the cult movie, ‘Cisco Pike’. His most successful films were ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’, ‘Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore’, ‘Vigilante Force’, ‘Convoy’, the Blade series and Dolphin. Though critics were not too happy with ‘A Star is Born’, the musical film gave him a Golden Globe. The soundtrack for the movie he performed along with Barbara Streisand sold 15 million copies. He went on to record many more albums with his then wife, Rita Coolidge, and collaborated successfully with country singer Willie Nelson and their band ‘The Highwaymen’.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Kristofferson joined the army and was posted in West Germany during the early 1960s. In 1965, assigned to West Point military academy as an English instructor, he decided to resign from the Army to take up songwriting seriously.
  • Shifting to Nashville, he struggled to make ends meet. He succeeded as a songwriter with ‘Viet Nam Blues’ for singer, Dave Dudley, which made the Top 20 in 1966.
  • In the 1970s, Ray Stevens (‘Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down’), Jerry Lee Lewis (‘Once More with Feeling’), Ray Price (‘For the Good Times’), Sammi Smith (‘Help Me Make It Through the Night’) recorded his songs.
  • Though his debut album ‘Kristofferson’ had flopped, his second album ‘The Silver Tongued Devil and I’, released in 1971, did extremely well on the Country and Pop charts, and gave him recognition as a singer.
  • In 1971, he made his acting debut in Dennis Hopper’s ‘The Last Movie’, but got a starring role in the Bill Norton’s cult movie ‘Cisco Pike’. He played a failed musician-turned-drug peddler.
  • Following closely on the heels of his third album, ‘Border Lord’, ‘Jesus Was a Capricorn’, his fourth album was released. Its chartbusting single, ‘Why Me’, ensured the success of the album.
  • He starred with James Coburn and Bob Dylan in the 1973 Sam Peckinpah film, ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’. His role as Billy the Kid brought him BAFTA nomination for Most Promising Newcomer.
  • Along with his then-wife Rita Coolidge, he released a successful duet album, ‘Full Moon’. However, the duo’s two other albums, ‘Spooky Lady's Sideshow’ and ‘Fall into Spring’, which were released the following year, disappointed.
  • In the Martin Scorsese comedy film of 1974, ‘Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore’, he starred opposite Academy Award winning actress, Ellen Burstyn. The film was critically appreciated and won many Oscars and BAFTAs.
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  • ‘Vigilante Force’ (1976) saw him play Aaron Arnold, a Vietnam War veteran who undertakes the task of protecting a town from a gang of raucous oil-field workers.
  • In 1978, he again starred in a Peckinpah film, ‘Convoy’. A grand success, it made $45 million at the box office. He participated in the Havana Jam the following year.
  • Together with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee, he released the double album, ‘The Winning Hand’, in 1982, which peaked at No. 4 on U.S. Billboard Top Country Album.
  • In 1989, he joined Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to form the super group ‘The Highwaymen’. Their albums, ‘Highwayman’ and ‘Highwayman 2’ were smash hits.
  • He co-starred with Wesley Snipes in the1998 Vampire-action film, ‘Blade’. He went on to reprise his role as Blade’s mentor Abraham Whistler in the sequels ‘Blade II’, and ‘Blade: Trinity’.
  • Between 2001 and 2008, he acted in ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story’, ‘The Wendell Baker Story’ and ‘Beer for My Horses’ and released his music album, ‘This Old Road’.
  • In 2009, he released the album, ‘Closer to the Bone’. It had the song, ‘Good Morning John’ about Johnny Cash, while the single ‘Sister Sinead’ was a tribute to Sinéad O'Connor.
  • He starred in the film, ‘Dolphin Tale’, an actual story of a dolphin. He is also starred in the film’s sequel, ‘Dolphin Tale 2’ in 2014.
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Major Works
  • ‘Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down’, penned by Kris Kristofferson was a hit for Ray Stevens, but Johnny Cash’s version of the song in 1970, topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles and won many awards.
  • ‘Me and Bobby McGee‘ co- written by him, was a hit for Roger Miller and Johnny Cash, but Janis Joplin's version is pegged at No. 148 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs.
  • He portrayed a super star in the 1976 musical film, ‘A Star Is Born’. The soundtrack performed with co-star Barbra Streisand, certified 4 xs platinum, topped the Billboard 200 chart for six weeks.
  • In 1977, Kristofferson won a Golden Globe in the category Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy for his role as a musician whose career was going through a bad phase in ‘A Star Is Born’.
  • Inducted to The Songwriters Hall of Fame (and presented the Johnny Mercer Award), the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, he was awarded CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Kristofferson has married thrice, and fathered eight children. His first two wives were his childhood sweetheart Frances Bier, and singer Rita Coolidge; he is now married to his third wife, Lisa Meyers.
  • This singer-songwriter-actor auditioned for the role of Superman in the film, ‘Superman’ and considered for playing Rambo in the film, ‘First Blood’.
  • This songwriter is supposed to have landed a helicopter in singer, Johnny Cash’s backyard to give him a song that he had penned, and Cash did record the song.

1. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

  (Romance, Drama)

2. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

  (Western, Drama, Biography)

3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

  (Thriller, Western, Action, Crime, Drama)

4. Lone Star (1996)

  (Drama, Mystery)

5. A Star Is Born (1976)

  (Drama, Romance, Music)

6. Heaven's Gate (1980)

  (Drama, Western, Adventure)

7. Payback (1999)

  (Action, Crime, Thriller, Drama)

8. Cisco Pike (1972)



Golden Globe Awards
1977 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical A Star Is Born (1976)
Grammy Awards
1976 Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Winner
1974 Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Winner
1972 Best Country Song Winner

See the events in life of Kris Kristofferson in Chronological Order

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Last Updated
- September 22, 2017
Kris Kristofferson

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