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Kris Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936 in Brownsville, Texas) is an influential country music songwriter, singer and actor. He is best known for hits like "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", many of which were co-written with Shel Silverstein or Fred Foster.
For the next few years, Kristofferson focused on acting. He appeared in Blume in Love (directed by Paul Mazursky) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (directed by Sam Peckinpah) and also married Rita Coolidge. With his new wife, Kristofferson released an album called Full Moon, another success buoyed by numerous hit singles and Grammy nominations. However, his fifth album, Spooky Lady's Sideshow was a commercial failure, setting the trend for most of the rest of his career.
Artists like Ronnie Milsap and Johnny Duncan continued to record Kristofferson's material with much success, but his own rough voice and anti-pop sound kept his own audience to a minimum. He continued acting, in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Vigilante Force, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, and A Star Is Born (with Barbra Streisand).
In spite of his success with Streisand, Kristofferson's career was heading downward with the non-charting ninth album, Shake Hands with the Devil. His next film, Freedom Road, did not earn a theatrical release in the US and he divorced Rita Coolidge. Meanwhile, more artists were taking his songs to the top of the charts, including Lena Martell ("One Day at a Time") and Willie Nelson, whose Willie Nelson Sings Kris Kristofferson LP was a smash success. Kristofferson's next film was Heaven's Gate, a phenomenal failure that temporarily ended his acting career.
In 1982, Kristofferson participated (with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Brenda Lee) on The Winning Hand, a country success that failed to break into mainstream audiences. He then married again, to Lisa Meyers, and concentrated on films for a time, appearing in The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck, Flashpoint and Songwriter. The latter also starred Willie Nelson and Kristofferson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. Music from Songwriter (an album of duets between Nelson and Kristofferson) was a massive country success. Nelson and Kristofferson continued their partnership, and added Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to form the supergroup The Highwaymen.
Their first album, Highwayman was a huge success, and the supergroup continued working together for a time. In 1985, Kristoferson starred in Trouble in Mind and released Repossessed a politically aware album that was a country success, particularly "They Killed Him" (also performed by Bob Dylan), a tribute to his heroes, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and Mohandas Gandhi. Kristofferson also appeared in Amerika at about the same time; the mini-series was controversial, hypothesizing life under Communist domination. In spite of the success of Highwayman 2 in 1990, Kristofferson's solo recording career slipped significantly in the early 1990s, though he continued to successfully record with the Highwaymen. Lone Star (1996 film) reinvigorated Kristofferson's acting career, and he soon appeared in Blade, Blade II, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, Fire Down Below, Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes and Payback.
Kristofferson was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1977 to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. His last album is called Broken Freedom Song and was recorded live in San Francisco in 2003. In 2004 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The Last Movie (1971)
Cisco Pike (1972)
Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus (1973)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
Blume in Love (1973)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976)
Vigilante Force (1976)
A Star Is Born (1976)
Heaven's Gate (1980)
Trouble in Mind (1985)
Big Top Pee-wee (1988)
Welcome Home (1989)
Night of the Cyclone (1990)
Original Intent (1992)
Paper Hearts (1993)
No Place to Hide (1993)
Pharaoh's Army (1995)
Lone Star (1996)
Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival (1997) (documentary)
Fire Down Below (1997)
Girls' Night (1998)
Dance with Me (1998)
A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
The Joyriders (1999)
The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack (2000) (documentary)
Immaculate Funk (2000) (documentary)
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Chelsea Walls (2001)
Wooly Boys (2001)
John Ford Goes to War (2002) (documentary) (narrator)
Blade II (2002)
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003) (documentary)
Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)
Silver City (2004)
Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of 'Heaven's Gate' (2004) (documentary)
Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2004) (documentary)
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Trudell (2005) (documentary)
The Jacket (2005)
The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2005)
The Wendell Baker Story (2005)
Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah (2005) (documentary)
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)
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