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Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson, Hall of Fame singer-songwriter, was born in Brownsville, Texas just over the border from Matamoros, Mexico. The son of an Air Force Major-General, Kristofferson spent his youth moving around the country, finally finishing High School in San Mateo, CA. This life in motion style has never left him, clocking well over a million miles in his tour bus alone since 1970 when his songs, Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make it Through the Night, For the Good Times, Loving Her Was Easy and Why Me, to name a few, made him a much sought-after concert performer. Kristofferson has toured several months of the year for the last thirty years with his band as well as part of the Highwaymen with his longtime friends, Willie Nelson, and the late Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He currently performs solo acoustic to capacity crowds. This year Kris will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Kristofferson is a graduate of the Pomona College in California where he majored in Creative Writing and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied William Blake while never abandoning his lifelong admiration for the down-home poet of country music, Hank Williams.

After Kris served 4 ½ years as an Army captain and pilot, he declined a teaching position at West Point and moved to Nashville to pursue a writing career and a foothold in the country music scene. He took up various jobs including janitor at Columbia Studios, a bartender and a helicopter pilot ferrying workers and execs back and forth to the Gulf oil rigs. Within a few years, success arrived when his now classic song, Sunday Morning Coming Down, won 1970's country music Song of the Year and Kris received the Songwriter of the Year award. He has since been named to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and has had his songs recorded by hundreds of major artists.

Kristofferson's acting career lifted off in tandem with his musical success. He starred in his first film in 1971, and followed this success with several hits. Certainly a landmark in his film career was his role in A Star is Born with Barbara Streisand, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. He has acted in an array of films over the last 30 years: Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, John Sayles' Limbo, Silver City and Lone Star, Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Heaven's Gate, Payback James Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries and Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes.

A man of many accomplishments, Kristofferson lists writer under occupation in his passport. "It's where the stuff you feel in your heart is expressed, it's the closest thing to your soul, he says of his music. To me it's satisfying to express things that you feel and have other people say ' Right, that's exactly how I feel too.'"

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Kris Kristofferson Facts

OccupationActor, Musician
BirthdayJune 22, 1936 (87)
BirthplaceBrownsville, Texas, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Kris Kristofferson compared to you?
Awards1977 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for A Star Is Born)

Selected Filmography

Planet Of The Apes
He's Just Not That Into You
The Land Before Time: The Complete Collection
The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
Dolphin Tale 2
Fire Down Below
Dolphin Tale
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