People in the entertainment industry usually excel at either Hollywood or the Music industry. However, unlike the vast majority, Kris Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) propelled in both scenes. After getting recognized as a singer in the music arena, Kris pursed a successful Hollywood career.
He completed Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from Pomona College, where he became famous for being featured in Sports Illustrated's “Faces in the Crowd” for playing rugby. He joined Oxford University's Merton College in Rhodes Scholarship, where he was awarded Blues for boxing and also played rugby. He also started writing songs there. While at Oxford, he first recorded for Top Rank Records under the name Kris Carson.
Military Career and Family Fallout
Due to continued pressure from his family, Kris joined the army. He eventually earned the rank of Captain while in the army, completed Ranger School and became a helicopter pilot. Kris got a taste of real country music while he was in the army and in 1965, with his tour complete, moved to Nashville to pursue his music.
The decision caused a rift among his family. His parents disowned him and it is unknown if they ever reconciled. After a few dead-end jobs, Kris achieved an exceptional success as a country singer and songwriter in the early 70s.
Burgeoning Music Career
His most popular songs like Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through the Night, Sunday Morning Coming Down and For the Good Times redefined country songwriting and the country music genre as a whole. In 1971, Dennis Hopper approached him to write the soundtrack for The Last Movie, which also became his acting debut.
Career as an actor
The 82-year-old has appeared in more than 50 Hollywood movies. He rose to prominence as an actor after starring in A Star is Born (1976), which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor. He has appeared in movies like Blade trilogy, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Blume In Love, all of which became cult classics.
Awards and Accolades
Kris has won Grammy awards for a total of 3 times and has been nominated 13 times. He won a Golden Globe for his performance in A Star is Born. However, he has also won the Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actor.
He has recorded 29 albums, which also includes works of his friends Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of The Highwaymen. The band was a country super-group, spawning several singles that topped the charts in USA and Canada.
Illnesses and Misdiagnosis
Kris has struggled with various issues in the past few years. In 1999, he had a bypass surgery. The surgery was a success but his good health did not remain for long. From 2004 to 2015, he suffered from Lyme Disease, which had initially been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. It is suspected that he contracted Lyme Disease while filming in a remote cabin at Vermont.
Kris is currently under treatment from a specialist in California. According to his wife Lisa, the doctor added special antibiotic injections to his regular treatment. Kris's misdiagnosis was caused due to memory losses, it was considered to be an early onset of Alzheimer's.
He is currently living with his wife Lisa Meyers (married since 1983) in Malibu California. They share five kids together. He also shares two children with his first wife, Fran Beer (married 1960-1969) and a daughter with Rita Coolidge (married 1973-1980).
Kris was a part of Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw on Saturday, January 12, 2019, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. From his successful career both as an actor and singer, Kris has amassed an estimated net worth of $160 million.