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Newsmaker: Kris Kristofferson

Actor-musician Kris Kristofferson is writing a memoir, which Hyperion will publish in 2005. Early years: Kristofferson was born June 22, 1936, in Brownsville, Texas. He graduated from high school in San Mateo, Calif., and earned a Rhodes Scholarship.

Actor-musician Kris Kristofferson is writing a memoir, which Hyperion will publish in 2005.

Early years: Kristofferson was born June 22, 1936, in Brownsville, Texas. He graduated from high school in San Mateo, Calif., and earned a Rhodes Scholarship. In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a master's degree in English literature, married childhood girlfriend Fran Beir, and became an Army helicopter pilot.

After resigning his commission in 1965, he moved to Nashville, and worked odd jobs while struggling in the music business. He and Beir divorced.

Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Johnny Cash's front yard and gave Cash some demos. In 1970, Cash recorded "Sunday Morning Coming Down" which won Song of the Year with the Country Music Association.

Kristofferson recorded his first album, which didn't sell well, but his second "The Silver Tongued Devil and I," established his success as a singer. He made his acting debut in "The Last Movie." Kristofferson married Rita Coolidge and, with her, released the album "Full Moon."

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Kristofferson continued acting in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and "A Star is Born," for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. As his alcoholism progressed, his career stalled, and, in 1980, he and Coolidge divorced.

Kristofferson has continued writing music, appearing in films and has found success singing with pals Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson as the Highwaymen.

Family: Kristofferson is married to attorney Lisa Meyers and they have five children. He has two children with Fran Beir and one daughter with Rita Coolidge.

In his words: (Of his music) "It's where the stuff you feel in your heart is expressed, it's the closest to your soul."

Web link: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Kristofferson

Sources: Associated Press, Biography.com

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