KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (The Colonel) has been making things
happen his entire life. Born in Texas and raised in a military family, he was a Golden Gloves boxer who studied creative writing at Pomona
College in California. The Phi Beta Kappa graduate earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at
Oxford, where he boxed, played rugby and continued to write songs. After graduating from Oxford,
Kristofferson served in the army as an Airborne Ranger helicopter pilot and achieved the rank of
Captain. In 1965, Kristofferson turned down an assignment to teach at West Point and, inspired by
songwriters like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, moved to Nashville to pursue his music.
"When I was in the army, I was one of the few people outside of his personal
friends who knew about Willie Nelson," Kristofferson recalls. "I listened to a disc jockey who happened
to be a Willie fan. He would play Willie's songs and talk about him all the time. By the time I got
to Nashville, he was a superhero to me. For guys like me, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson were two gods
we worshipped. Then Willie and I got to be best friends. I came from a position of idolizing him to
finding out he's the funniest son of a bitch you could be around." After struggling in Music City for
several years, Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start
of the 1970s. His songs "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Sunday Morning
Coming Down," and "For the Good Times," all chart-topping hits, helped redefine country
songwriting. By 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson's compositions.
His renown as a songwriter triggered Kristofferson's successful career as a
performer and that, in turn, brought him to the attention of Hollywood, leading to his flourishing
career as a film actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films. In 1977 He won a Golden Globe for
Best Actor in "A Star Is Born." He's appeared in cult favorites including the "Blade" trilogy,
"Lone Star," "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries," "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "Blume In
Love," "Cisco Pike," and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Recent films include "Fast Food Nation,"
"Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story," "The Jacket," "Silver City," "He's Just Not That In To You," and
"Dolphin Tale." Heralded as an artist's artist, the three-time GRAMMY winner has recorded 27
albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the
Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent three decades performing concerts all over the world, in most recent years
in a solo acoustic setting, which puts the focus on the songs. "There's an honesty in the
sparseness. It feels like direct communication to the listener," he says. "I still have more fun when I'm
with the band, but being alone is freer, somehow. It's like being an old blues guy, just completely
Kristofferson has reached living legend status, but that hasn't changed or
hindered his creativity. His current CD, Closer To The Bone contains eleven gems that explore love,
gratitude, aging, war, and his ever-present theme of freedom. "If you took freedom out of the songs, you'd
have very few Kristofferson songs," he laughs. Kris will release his new album, produced by
Don Was, in 2012. In addition to many other awards, Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music
Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was
honored with the American Veteran's Association's "Veteran of the Year Award" in 2002. For
Kristofferson's 70th birthday in 2006, his friends and admirers gifted him with a tribute CD, The
Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson. Stars including Willie Nelson, Russell Crowe, Emmylou
Harris, Gretchen Wilson, Rosanne Cash, and Brian McKnight recorded 17 of Kristofferson's compositions for
the tribute. In 2007, Kristofferson was honored with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from
Country Music Television and in 2009 BMI lauded Kristofferson with the Icon Award. He will receive the
Frances Preston Music Industry Award from the T.J. Martell Foundation in March, 2012.
Home | Theaters | Video | TV
Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
© 2016 Lions Gate Films®, All Rights Reserved.