Traci Lords is an American actress, model, writer, singer, producer, director, and ex-porn star. She was one of the most sought-after pornographic actresses in the 1980’s. She is known for appearing in films such as New Wave Hookers and Beverly Hills Copulators.
The FBI would later ban all of her pornographic videos deemed as child pornography after which Lords decided to start afresh. She declined the large amounts of money she was offered to continue in porn. The ex-porn queen has managed to overcome her past drug abuse and has strived to be seen as more than a porn-queen. She is now an ardent worker for the rights of underage sex workers and survivors of sexual abuse.
Who Is Traci Lords?
Traci Elizabeth Lords was born as Nora Louise Kuzma to Louis and Patricia Kuzma on May 7, 1968, in Steubenville, Ohio. Her mother was of Irish ancestry and her father’s parents were Jewish Ukrainian immigrants. Traci has three sisters. One older, Lorraine and two younger, Rachel and Grace. At the age of 7, her parent’s marriage hit the rocks. She and her sisters lived with their mother in their great-grandmothers house and her father got partial custody.
When Kuzma turned twelve, she and her family (which included her mother, her mother’s boyfriend at the time, Roger Hayes, her sisters) moved to Redondo Beach, California. She didn’t see her father for several years, and for this reason, she became bitter with her mother. Kuzma later found a father figure in Roger Hayes, even though he was a drug abuser who molested her in her sleep.
At thirteen, she became pregnant for her then boyfriend. She was afraid of what her mother would do, so she went to Hayes for help. He took her to where she could have an abortion, without saying a word to her mother.
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Her Career
A few years later, she began looking for a job to get money and that’s when Hayes introduced her to his friend. She worked as a babysitter. The woman offered to increase Kuzma’s chances of getting a job by giving her a driver’s license and a new birth certificate but only if she said she stole it if ever caught. The new identification stated that Kuzma was twenty-two instead of fifteen and her name was now Kristie Elizabeth Nussman. Kuzma was now able to go for job interviews.
In February 1984, she answered newspaper advertisement for Jim South’s world modeling talent agency. She went with Hayes who posed as her stepfather. Once she got the job, she signed the contract and began working as a nude model for different magazines. Some are; Velvet, Club, and Juggs.
At some point, she was selected to model for Penthouse magazine’s 15th anniversary and she was asked to choose a stage name, she chose ‘Traci Lords’. She said she chose ‘Traci’ because it was one of the names she had loved as a child and ‘Lords’ because she’s had an obsession with the actor Jack Lord ever since she started watching the television series, Hawaii Five-o.
Traci Lords made her first illicit movies in October 1984, appearing in What Gets Me Hot! alongside Tom Byron. This was her first step into the pornographic world but it was in no way her last. After this movie, Traci went to star in many more sex movies.
When she was 16, she starred in the porno parody of the movie ‘Splash, Talk Dirty to Me Part III’ with John Leslie. The movie won the AVN Award for the best movie. She was then ‘crowned’ the ‘princess of porn’. She became one of the highest paid actresses of that time, earning $1000 a day.
Lords continued making more sex-movies until she was seventeen. She tried to leave the industry then but returned a few months later. About three weeks after she turned 18, the law enforcers found out that she was underage when all but one of those movies were made. She was immediately taken into protective custody and the owners of her movie were arrested.
After investigations were made, they found out that Lords had faked her name and age so no one was charged but all the movies made, except one were banned in the US.
After all this, Lords decided to go for therapy and later decided to take acting seriously. She enrolled in a school, started auditioning and eventually she was recognized as a Hollywood actress. She lost a lot of roles because of her past, that will always plague her but she keeps moving forward.
She even went into music for a while and wrote a book. Basically, Traci Lords turned her life around. She is also a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community.
Traci Lords has been married thrice. Her first marriage was to Brooke Yeaton in 1990. The couple was together for five years before Lords filed for a divorce in 1995. Just after one year, Lords was married to Ryan Granger from 1999 to 2000. She would again tie the knots with Jeff Gruenewald in 2002 and five years later, they welcomed their son, Gunnar Lee who would become her first and only child. Traci was 39 when she birthed the boy. The couple has since remained together.