Jun. 22nd, 1936
Brownsville, Texas, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Himself - Guest
Himself - Guest
Kris Kristofferson's father was an Air Force general who pushed his son to a military career. Kris was a Golden Gloves boxer and went to Pomona College in California. From there, he earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at Oxford. He ultimately joined the army and achieved the rank of captain. He became a helicopter pilot, which served him well later. In 1965 he resigned his commission to pursue songwriting. He had just been assigned to become a teacher at West Point.
He got a job sweeping floors in Nashville studios. There he met 'Johnny Cash', who initially took some of his songs but ignored them. He was also working as a commercial 'copter pilot at the time. He got Cash's attention when he landed his helicopter in Cash's yard and gave him some more tapes. Cash then recorded Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down", which went was voted 1970's Song Of The Year by the Country Music Association. Kris was noted for his heavy boozing. He lost his helicopter pilot job when he passed out at the controls, and his drinking ruined his marriage to singer 'Rita Coolidge', when he was reaching a bottle and half of Jack Daniels daily. He gave up alcohol in 1976. His acting career nose-dived after making Heaven's Gate (1980) in 1980. In recent years he has made a comeback with his musical and acting careers. He does say that he prefers his music, but says his children are his true legacy.
- Father of 'Tracy Kristofferson' (qv) and Kris Kristofferson (b. 1968) with Frances Beir. Casey Kristofferson (b. 1974) with 'Rita Coolidge' (qv). Jesse Turner Kristofferson (b. 1984), Jody Ray Kristofferson (b. 1985), Johnny Kristofferson (b. 1988), Kelly Marie Kristofferson (b. 1991) and Blake Cameron Kristofferson (b. 1994) with 'Lisa Meyers' (qv).
- Tested for the part of Superman in _Superman (1978)_ (qv).
- Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.
- After seeing Kristofferson perform at the popular tavern The Troubadour in Los Angeles and his appearance in _Cisco Pike (1972)_ (qv), Sam Peckinpah decided to cast him as Billy the Kid in _Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)_ (qv).
- He was going to star as the lead in _Hanover Street (1979)_ (qv), but dropped out to mount a concert tour instead. 'Harrison Ford (I)' (qv) got the part.
- He wrote the song "Me and Bobbie (later Bobby) McGee" which 'Janis Joplin' (qv) recorded. The song was a hit for 'Roger Miller (I)' (qv) in 1969, who started recording it even before Kristofferson was done writing it.
- He was one of many names tossed around for the potential role of 'John Rambo' in _First Blood (1981)_. Some producers hoped it would kindle the interest of Kristofferson's friend 'Sam Peckinpah' (qv).
- Has been awarded an honorary Doctorate from Pomona College