Birthday: May 7, 1968
Birthplace: Steubenville ,
Years Active: 1984- 1990
Hair Color: Red, Brown, Blond
Tattoo: Yes (Bead of roses on inside of right ankle)
Frequent partners: Christy Canyon, Marc Wallace, Peter North, Steve Drake, Tom Byron
Traci Elizabeth Lords (born Nora Louise Kuzma; May 7, 1968) is an American film actress, producer, film director, writer and singer. She first achieved notoriety for her underage appearances in pornographic videos (she was 16 years old in her first movie in 1984) and Penthouse magazine (September 1984), later becoming a television and B-movie actress.
Lords as a freshman in high school, 1983
Nora Louise Kuzma was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Louis and Patricia Kuzma (nee Briceland). Her stage name is said to be from the first name of her high school best friend Traci and the last name of her favorite actor from Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord or a tribute to Katharine Hepburn’s character Tracy Lord from The Philadelphia Story. She was raped at the age of ten. At 12, she fled from her abusive, alcoholic father to Lawndale, California, with her mother and three sisters. Her mother’s new boyfriend, Roger, was a cocaine dealer who molested her. In 1983, she began attending Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California.
At age 15, Nora dropped out of high school and was living with her mother’s ex-boyfriend, Roger. Posing as her stepfather, he helped her respond to classified ads requesting models. Using a false driver’s license ID provided by Roger’s girlfriend that stated she was 20 rather than 15, she started in the porn industry with Jim South at the World Modeling Agency in Sherman Oaks, under the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman.
She quickly ventured into adult movies. Her first movie was What Gets Me Hot!, followed by Those Young Girls and Talk Dirty To Me Part III, all made in the first half of 1984. Shortly afterward, Nora (now calling herself Traci Lords) was modeling for widely distributed adult magazines, most notably Penthouse, in the same September 1984 issue that exposed Miss America 1984, Vanessa Williams. By the time she was 18, she had appeared in 100 adult films; however, Lords argued in her autobiography that about 80 of those films were composed from leftover and re-edited footage from 21 of her original films.
In late May 1986, around three weeks after her 18th birthday, authorities discovered she had been underage while making all but one of her pornographic movies, took her into protective custody, and provided her with a lawyer. The owners of her movie agency and X-Citement Video, Inc. were arrested (See United States v. X-Citement Video.) The ensuing prosecution against the agencies cost the pornographic film and distribution industry millions of dollars, as they were obliged by law to remove hundreds of thousands of her videotapes, films and magazines from store shelves to avoid the risk of prosecution for trafficking in child pornography. (The legality varies with countries. For example, while it is illegal in France to produce a pornographic film involving an actor under 18, the film itself remains legal to own.)
In her autobiography, Traci Lords: Underneath It All (2003), Lords suggested hypocrisy on the part of the movie producers and the news media, arguing the porn industry actually got richer from the publicity of the scandal, even as they complained of losing money after destroying her illegal movies. Lords felt she was also exploited by the reporters, who used censored stills from her unlawful films. Lords herself was never charged with a crime. Instead, the agents and producers who accepted her false IDs were charged, and people affiliated with the films in question experienced legal troubles for years.
Lords received a salary for her appearances in X-rated movies. According to her autobiography, she received $35,000 as total salary for all of those movies, including the $5,000 for her appearance in Penthouse.
For her last few porn films, she and her boyfriend formed the Traci Lords Company, where he co-produced and directed the movies. Lords received a smaller salary, but also received part of the rights of these movies.
Only one of her adult porn films, Traci, I Love You, videotaped and produced in Paris, France, took place after her 18th birthday, making it the only one legally available in the United States. (However, in non-US jurisdictions where the age restriction on pornography is lower, as well as over the Internet, her earlier films continue to be distributed.) While most of her pre-18 films were removed permanently from distribution in the United States, several were simply re-edited to remove Lords’ scenes entirely (such as "Kinky Business" and "New Wave Hookers"), or in a few cases, had new footage shot with a different actress playing her part (as in "Talk Dirty to Me Part III", where her character was essential to the storyline).
In early 1987, nearly a year after her arrest, Lords sold her rights to Traci, I Love You for $100,000. This action led to claims that Lords herself had tipped off the authorities to gain immunity from prosecution, while profiting from the movie. Lords denies this notion in her autobiography, and claims she was reluctant to sell the rights, since at that time she was trying to become a mainstream actress, and wanted no older movies still available. Also, she wrote that she knew nothing of people’s real names or who produced which film, and did not provide such information to the FBI. The FBI agents "appeared annoyed" when she could not provide the information they wanted. She said the agents claimed to have monitored her for three years.
Government prosecutors declared Lords was a victim of a manipulative industry, maintaining she was drugged and made to do non-consensual acts. But industry insiders, like Ron Jeremy, Ginger Lynn and Tom Byron, say they never saw her use drugs, and insist that she was always fully aware of her actions. One of her co-workers from that time, Christy Canyon, has gone so far as to say about Lords’ autobiography: "I think her book could have been fabulous, except that she was lying throughout the whole thing."
While Lords decries the pornographic film industry, she continues to use the stage name she gave herself as a minor, and ultimately made it her legal name. She wrote, "I chose to stop running from it. Instead, I won it, legally changing my name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. That’s who I was, and that’s who I was going to be." Lords stated she is not trying to deny her past, telling Oprah Winfrey: "I found you can run, but you cannot hide."
Lords moved into mainstream films, and has appeared in several movies. At age 18, Lords began studying method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and soon afterward, starred in Not of This Earth, a remake of Roger Corman’s 1957 film. Then in 1990, she appeared in John Waters’ Cry-Baby, playing the role of Wanda Woodward. Other movies on her resume include Shock ‘Em Dead, Blade, Tommyknockers, Black Mask 2: City of Masks and Chump Change. The last won her a Best Actress Award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. She has also made cameo appearances in Serial Mom, Nowhere, Virtuosity, and Panic Button in 2007 (made for TV).
In addition to movies, Lords has also made many appearances in television series, including Wiseguy in the episode "Date With an Angel", Married… with Children, MacGyver, Highlander: The Series, Tales from the Crypt, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Gilmore Girls, and Will & Grace among others, along with recurring roles in First Wave, Profiler, Melrose Place and Roseanne. She made her musical debut on the Manic Street Preachers’ U.K. Top 40 hit "Little Baby Nothing", which features on the album, "Generation Terrorists". On this song, Lords sings a duet with leading Manics singer, James Dean Bradfield, but did not appear in the music video. She appeared in the music videos of other performers and groups. In 1995, Lords made her solo debut, in collaboration with Juno Reactor and Jesus Jones’ Mike Edwards, called 1000 Fires. The Juno Reactor-produced first single "Control" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Dance Charts. The song "Control" was featured in the 1995 movie adaptation of the game Mortal Kombat, where it was played as an instrumental. She said in 2001 she had auditioned for the 1992 film Army of Darkness. "I didn’t get the part but I clicked with Bruce ", with whom she would later work as a guest star on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
In 2003, she published her autobiography, Traci Lords: Underneath It All (ISBN 0-06-050820-5), which made The New York Times bestseller list. In December of that year, Lords wrote and directed a short film with Fox Searchlab entitled "Sweet Pea", shown at film festivals in 2005. The film is loosely inspired by an experience recounted in her autobiography, and involves a teenage girl who finds herself overcome with doubt after being raped by her boyfriend. In 2004, Lords recorded the independently produced double A-side "Sunshine."
Lords appeared in Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Lords’ character in the former is loosely based on herself, but she refused to appear nude. She also starred in the 2009 low-budget science fiction film Princess of Mars.
In October 2007 at age 39, Lords gave birth to a son, Joseph Gunnar, her first child with her husband of five years, Jeff Lee.
Devil May Call (2013) …. Valerie Kramer
Here & Now (2010) – Diane
Au Pair, Kansas (2010) – Helen
Princess of Mars (2009) – Dejah Thoris
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009) – Connie
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) – Bubbles
Your Name Here (2008) – Julie Frick
The Chosen One (2007)
Crazy Eights (2006) – Gina Conte
Novel Romance (2005) – Max
Frostbite (2005) – Naomi Bucks
Home (2003) – Lorna
Black Mask 2: City of Masks (2002) – Chameleon
You’re Killing Me… (aka: The Killing Club) (2001) – Laura Engles
Chump Change (2001) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Sam
Certain Guys (2000) – Kathleen
Epicenter (2000) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Amanda Foster
Extramarital (1999) – Elizabeth
Me and Will (1999) – Waitress
Stir (1998) – Kelly Bekins
Blade (1998) – Racquel
Boogie Boy (1998) – Shonda Lee Bragg
Nowhere (1997) – Valley Chick No. 1
Blood Money (1997) – Wendy Monroe
Underworld (1996) – Anna
Virtuosity (1995) – Media Zone Singer
Skinner (1995) – Heidi
Your Studio and You (1995) – Herself
Ice (1994) – Ellen Reed
Serial Mom (1994) – Carl’s Date
Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994) – Norma
Desperate Crimes (1993) – Laura
Intent to Kill (1992) – Vickie Stewart
Laser Moon (1992) – Barbara Fleck
The Nutt House (1992) – Miss Tress
Raw Nerve (1991) – Gina Clayton
A Time to Die (1991) – Jackie
Shock ‘Em Dead (1991) – Lindsay Roberts
Cry-Baby (1990) – Wanda Woodward
Fast Food (1989) – Dixie Love
Not of This Earth (1988) – Nadine Story
Celebrity Ghost Stories (2009)
Head Case (2007)
Panic Button (2007)
Andy Barker, P.I. (2007) – Loretta Crispin
Celebrity Paranormal Project (2006) (as herself)
Will and Grace (2005) – Rose
Gilmore Girls (2003) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Natalie Zimmermann
Deathlands: Homeward Bound (2003) – Lady Rachel Cawdor
They Shoot Divas, Don’t They? (2002) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Mira
First Wave (2000–01) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Jordan Radcliffe
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1999)
D.R.E.A.M. Team (1999) (as Traci Elizabeth Lords) – Lena Brant
Profiler (1997–1998) – Sharon Lesher
Nash Bridges (1997) – as Sean Collins
Dead Man’s Island (1996) – Miranda Prescott
As Good As Dead (1995) – Nicole Grace
Melrose Place (1995) – Rikki
Dragstrip Girl (1994) – Blanche
Roseanne (1994) – Stacy
Bandit: Bandit’s Silver Angel (1994) – Angel Austin
Highlander: The Series (1993) – Greta
Tales from the Crypt (1993) — Emma Conway
The Tommyknockers (1993) – Nancy Voss
Murder in High Places (1991) – Diane
Married… with Children (1991: Season 6, Episode 11) – Vanessa Van Pelt; (1989: Season 4, Episode 4) – T.C.
MacGyver Jenny (1 episode, 1990)
Wiseguy (1 episode, 1989:Season 1, Episode 22) – "Date with an Angel"
Hitman: Absolution (2012) – Layla Stockton
True Crime: New York City (2005) – Cassandra Hartz
Ground Control II: Operation Exodus (2004) – Dr. Alice McNeil
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2004) – Pestilence
Defender (2002) – Commander Kyoto
"He’s My Bitch" (Traci Lords v. The House Rejects Featuring Brian Lucas) (2012) No. 25 Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart
"Last Drag" (2011) (single) No. 4 Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart
"Come Alive" (2007) (single)
"You Burn Inside Me" (2005 – used for Duprey Cosmetics commercial)- directed by Mike Ruiz, produced by Jeff Beasley.
"Walking in L.A." (2004) (single) The music video was directed by the fashion photographer Mike Ruiz and was produced by Jeff Beasley for CAYA FILMWORKS. It was premiered on an episode of "Oprah" during her interview with Traci Lords.
"Sunshine" (2004) (single)
1000 Fires (1995) (CD)
"Fallen Angel" (1995 Paul Oakenfold) (CD single and vinyl LP) No. 11 Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart; UK #72
"Control (Juno Reactor Instrumental)"—featured on the Mortal Kombat film soundtrack
"Control" (1994) (CD single) No. 2 Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart
Acid Eaters (1993 Ramones album) (background vocals on "Somebody to Love")
Generation Terrorists (1992 Manic Street Preachers album) (vocals on "Little Baby Nothing" – UK # 29)
Notable adult videos
What Gets Me Hot! (1984) – Lannie (her first adult movie; credited as Tracy Lords)
The Sex Goddess (1984) – Marilyn
Talk Dirty To Me Part III (1984) – Mermaid (later reissued with Lords’ scenes replaced by new scenes featuring Lisa De Leeuw)
Those Young Girls (1984) – Traci
Sister Dearest (1984) (later reissued as Back To Class with Lords’ scenes edited out)
Educating Mandy (1985) – Mandy (scenes are used in the comedy From Beijing with Love by Stephen Chow, as the "painkiller" when he was undergoing the operation for bullet removal)
Holly Does Hollywood (1985) – Tracy
Black Throat (1985) – Debbie
Electric Blue 28 (1985) – Nikki (scenes deleted)
Future Voyeur (1985)
Harlequin Affair (1985) (credited as Tracy Lords)
Hollywood Heartbreakers (1985)
Kinky Business (1985) (later reissued with Lords’ scenes deleted)
It’s My Body (1985) – Maggie
New Wave Hookers (1985) – The Devil (later reissued with Lords’ scene deleted)
Perfect Fit (1985) – Diane
The Grafenberg Spot (aka The G-Spot) (1985) – credited as Tracy Lords
Traci Takes Tokyo (1986) – Traci (currently banned in the U.S.)
Beverly Hills Copulator (1986) – Michelle Leon (credited as Tracy Lords)
Traci, I Love You (1987) – Traci Lords’ last porno film and her only one featuring all of her scenes intact that is legally available in the U.S.
Nicolas Barbano: Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner (Rosinante, Denmark 1999) ISBN 87-7357-961-0: Features a chapter on Traci Lords.
Steve Rag (= Tim Greaves): Norma K. nr. 1-2 and Nora K. nr. 3-6 (England 1990–1992): Traci Lords-fanzine
Steve Rag (= Tim Greaves): The Nora K. Kompendium (Media Publications, England 1996): The best from Norma K./Nora K.
Brad Linaweaver (pub): Traci Lords – Incomparable (Mondo Cult, 2009) Interview and article.
Suzanne Somers (ed): Wednesday’s Children: Adult Survivors of Abuse Speak Out (Putnam Adult, 1992): Features a chapter on Traci Lords.
Frank C. Naylor El cine X underground. Llevandolo al limite, 2009 Ed.: Lulu
Porn Star Traci Lords is one of the most controversial and well-known figures in porno history. A blowsy blonde strumpet with a penchant for vocal sexual hysterics, Traci Lords was one of the top starlets of the mid-80’s.Traci Lords naturally breasty figure and wide-mouthed, pouty good looks took her straight to the top of the business within months of her debut.Traci Lords was born Nora Louise Kuzma in Steubenville, Ohio on May 7, 1968.Her only legal sexvid is 1987’s ‘Traci, I Love You,’ a self-produced star vehicle she made in France. The huge publicity generated by her admission made Traci Lords a household name, and she has since parlayed her notoriety into a good deal of mainstream success. Traci Lords has landed parts in quite a few ‘legit’ flicks, including John Waters’ ‘Cry Baby,’ ‘Not Of This Earth,’ and the 1998 vampire thriller ‘Blade.’ Traci Lords’ had a stint as the resident bad girl on Fox’s ‘Melrose Place’ and even had a hit record in the mid-90’s with her dance CD ‘1000 Fires.’ Traci Lords continues to pursue a mainstream acting and singing career. Ironically, her banishment from the porno biz has led her to more crossover success than any other hardcore starlet to date.