Jun. 22nd, 1936
Brownsville, Texas, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Special Guest Star
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.
- A young Kris Kristofferson can be seen on one of of his album covers in 'Martin Scorsese' (qv)'s _Taxi Driver (1976)_ (qv).
- In June of 1999 Kristofferson underwent elective heart bypass
- When Kristofferson hosted the season finale of _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv) in 1976, the cast and crew reported that he was drunk, and were worried that he wouldn't be able to do it. Still, Kristofferson proved himself to be quite the functioning drunk, and the show went pretty well. Kristofferson has remarked on numerous occasions that his drinking was often a way to survive when performing, because he is pretty shy and does not have a great deal of confidence in himself.
- 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.
- One of the few male celebrities to have appeared as a model in both Playgirl and Playboy. The Playboy piece was especially daring, with Kristofferson posing with co-star 'Sarah Miles (I)' (qv) as a promo for "The Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea". Kristofferson regretted it, and admitted he had been drunk and couldn't even remember doing it. He posed in Playgirl as a favor to his good friend 'Jane Fonda' (qv), who was interviewed about their movie "Rollover".
- Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.
- Played football with 'Burt Reynolds (I)' (qv) in preparation for _Semi-Tough (1977)_ (qv). Both men had been outstanding footballers in college - Reynolds almost turned pro.
- Was a member of The Highwaymen with fellow country music stars 'Johnny Cash (I)' (qv), 'Waylon Jennings' (qv) and 'Willie Nelson' (qv).