8 Things You Didn't Know About Kris Kristofferson

Published December 6, 2019 188,794 Views

Rumble These days Kris Kristofferson is probably best known as "the old guy from the Blade movies." Which is fair if you're under 40. But before he was slaying vampires on the big screen Kristofferson was a country music legend, slaying in Nashville with the likes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings in the outlaw country supergroup The Highwaymen. In fact, the singer-songwriter had such a successful career that he is not only a Grammy winner but also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

"Sunday Morning Coming Down"

"Why Me"

Help Me Make It Through the Night

Here are 8 fun facts to celebrate this American icon. Thanks for the good times, Kris.

1. He's a Military Brat and a Veteran
Long before he made it to the Music City he was born in the Lone Star State. Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in San Mateo, California. His father was in the Army Air Corps (later the U.S. Air Force) where he ultimately rose to the rank of Major General.

As a high ranking officer, Kristofferson's father pressured his son to pursue the same career path and, for a while, he did. Kris Kristofferson rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot. While he was stationed in West Germany Kristofferson began to write music again.

2. His Family Disowned Him For Choosing Art Over the Army
Ultimately Kristofferson didn't want to pursue a lifelong career in the military, turning down a post to teach literature at West Point. Because of this Kristofferson's father disowned his son for going against everything the family stood for. It's unclear if they ever reconciled.

3. He Was Kind of a Genius
Kris Kristofferson attended Pomona College for his undergraduate studies where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in literature. His junior year he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and, after graduation, Kristofferson earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied at Merton College.

4. He Was an Awesome Rugby Player
Kris Kristofferson and his classmates at Pomona College resurrected the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club, which is still a highly regarded Rugby club in Southern California today. Kristofferson also played rugby at Oxford.

5. He's a Star in Nashville AND Hollywood
No, not for the Blade series (though he should've been). But Kristofferson won a Golden Globe for his role in the 1976 version of A Star is Born, which co-starred Barbra Streisand. He's also known for his roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Fast Food Nation, and Heaven's Gate. He was also in the Dolphin Tale movies but... we don't have to talk about that.

6. He's Still Racking Up Grammy Nominations
Kris might be getting up there in years but that doesn't mean he can't still crank out hits. In 2016 his album The Cedar Creek Sessions, which he recorded in Austin, was nominated for Best Americana Album at the Grammy Awards that year.

7. He was Dating Janis Joplin When She Died
Joplin's had a number one hit after her death, "Me and Bobby McGee" which was written by Kristofferson.

8. He Wrote a Song About Jesus That He Performed with Bob Dylan
The song, entitled, "They Killed Him" was a tribute to Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

For more: WideOpenCountry.com