Kris Kristofferson’s journey to stardom was just as dramatic and mesmerizing. Born June 22 in Brownsville Texas to Lars Henry Kristofferson an Air Force Major General fathered an Air Force career officer named Lars Henry Kristofferson; Kris became his own person through music. This background provided Kris with a unique upbringing. His academic prowess became evident early on. After graduating from San Mateo High School in California in 1954, he won a short story contest for ‘Atlantic Monthly’ magazine, displaying his nascent literary talent.
Kristofferson’s academic journey didn’t stop there. He pursued higher education with a B.A. in Literature, followed by a notable achievement—a B. Phil in English literature from Oxford University’s Merton College, secured through a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. These formative years were crucial in shaping his artistic sensibilities.
Military Life and Nashville Dreams
Post-education, Kris joined the army and served in West Germany in the early 1960s. However, his passion for music and songwriting eventually led him to make a life-altering decision—to resign from the military and move to Nashville. This bold move marked the beginning of his struggle and eventual breakthrough in the music industry.
Kristofferson’s early days in Nashville were challenging, but his perseverance paid off. His first notable success came with “Viet Nam Blues,” sung by Dave Dudley in 1966. Despite a lukewarm reception to his debut album, ‘Kristofferson,’ his second album, ‘The Silver Tongued Devil and I,’ released in 1971, established him as a significant voice in the music industry. His songwriting skills shone through hits like ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,’ and ‘Me and Bobby McGee,’ among others.
Kris Kristofferson’s talents weren’t confined to music alone. In 1971, he ventured into acting with roles in ‘The Last Movie’ and ‘Cisco Pike.’ His acting career expanded with notable films like ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ and ‘A Star is Born,’ for which he won a Golden Globe, despite mixed reviews. The soundtrack of this film, performed with Barbara Streisand, was a massive success, selling 15 million copies.
Continued Artistic Evolution
Throughout his career, Kris continued to evolve as an artist. He formed ‘The Highwaymen’ with country legends Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash, leading to chart-topping albums. His filmography expanded with diverse roles in movies like ‘Blade’ and ‘Dolphin Tale,’ and TV series like ‘Texas Rising.’ This versatility kept him relevant and respected in the entertainment industry.
Kris Kristofferson has led an eventful personal life as well. Married three times and father to eight children, his personal journey is full of experiences to keep anyone intrigued! His marriages, first to Frances Beer and then to singer Rita Coolidge, ended in divorce. He is currently married to Lisa Meyers. These relationships, along with his professional pursuits, contribute to the rich tapestry of his life.
Legacy and Recognition
Kris Kristofferson left an immeasurable mark on both music and film industries with his contributions, recognized with many awards and honors – being inducted into both “Songwriters Hall of Fame” and the Country Music Hall of Fame among them. His songs like ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down’ and ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ are considered classics in the country music genre.
Adding to the legend of Kris Kristofferson are fascinating anecdotes. He once auditioned for Superman and was considered for the role of Rambo in ‘First Blood.’ His bold move of landing a helicopter in Johnny Cash’s backyard to share a song epitomizes his dedication and passion for music.
Kris Kristofferson’s journey from military officer to struggling songwriter to celebrated musician and actor is one that testifies to his grit, talent, and versatility. His legacy extends far beyond songs written or roles portrayed; rather it lies within an impact he left upon the hearts of audiences around the globe – cementing his status as an industry icon.