Imagine growing up in the shadow of Kris Kristofferson: a former helicopter pilot, golden gloves boxer and Rhodes Scholarship recipient who'd become even more of a renaissance man as one of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge from Nashville. Beyond that, he's a featured actor in numerous Hollywood productions (from Barbra Streisand's A Star is Born to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Heaven's Gate and the Blade trilogy).
On the flipside, if your dad studied at Oxford University before going on to write "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "For the Good Times," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," "Why Me," "The Silver Tongued Devil and I," Bob Dylan's "They Killed Him" and other classics and join Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings in country music supergroup The Highwaymen, then you only need to inherit one of his many talents to have a leg up on your peers.
Kristofferson's eight children follow his songwriting or acting legacy in their own way, whether they're performing on stage, in front of a camera, in a wrestling ring or in the legal sphere.
Tracy Kristofferson (Born January 9, 1962)
Kristofferson's daughter Tracy is one of two children from his marriage to Fran Beer, his high school sweetheart from San Mateo, Cal. The Stanford graduate is an actor and producer, credited on IMDB for the films A Place to Grow (1995), Night of the Cyclone (1990) and Trouble in Mind (1985). She's the ex-wife of Richard Tyson, the American actor best known as the bad guy from Kindergarten Cop.
Kris Kristofferson Jr. (Born in 1968)
Less is known about Tracy's brother, except that he got passed down the most famous name this side of Hank Williams Jr.
Casey Kristofferson (Born in 1974)
The lone child of Kris Kristofferson and his second wife, fellow recording artist Rita Coolidge, inherited her parents' musical talents. Casey's a North Carolina-based touring and recording artist and the leader of the Casey Kristofferson Band.
Jesse Kristofferson (Born Oct. 7, 1983)
After Kristofferson and Coolidge ended their marriage in 1980, he met his third wife Lisa Meyers at a gym in Malibu. The couple married in 1983 and are still together, spending much of their time in Maui, Hawaii. Meyers has helped her husband navigate an early onset Alzheimer's misdiagnosis that was later identified as Lyme disease.
The first of Kristofferson's five children with Meyers, Jesse caught the acting bug, leading to roles on the Melrose Place reboot (2010) plus a 2012 run on long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives.
Jody Kristofferson (Born May 21, 1985)
Jody took the Kristofferson family's need to perform for an audience in a new direction. He's a professional wrestler, billed as Garrett Dylan during his 2012-2014 run in the WWE's developmental system and known by his birth name on the independent scene. He's teamed at times with fellow wrestler Dalton Frost as the Sons of Texas.
Johnny Kristofferson (Born in 1988)
Like his mother before him, Johnny studied law at Pepperdine University. He now works in California as an attorney.
Kelly Marie Kristofferson (Born in 1990)
Kristofferson's youngest daughter inherited more than one of his talents. She's an actor, singer and multi-instrumentalist.
She's married to painter Aydin Hamami.
Blake Kristofferson (Born in 1994)
Like Kris Jr., there's minimal information out there about Blake, except that he, too, has a degree from Pepperdine.
This story was originally published on Dec. 30, 2020.
Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Country are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Enjoy Country Music?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.