Traci Elisabeth Lords, nata Nora Louise Kuzma (Steubenville, 7 maggio 1968), è un'attrice statunitense, tuttora famosa per la sua breve carriera da attrice pornografica dal 1984 al 1986, intrapresa quando era ancora minorenne. Originariamente pseudonimo, il suo nome attuale è quello legalmente riconosciutole da un tribunale statunitense.
Traci Lords è soprattutto nota per aver provocato uno scandalo nel 1986, anno del suo ritiro dalle scene a luci rosse, che ha falcidiato l'industria cinematografica pornografica statunitense. Quel giorno l'attrice ha rivelato al mondo la sua vera identità e soprattutto la sua vera età, causando seri problemi giudiziari a produttori, registi, attori e quanti altri, tutti accusati di adescamento e corruzione di minorenne.
Nasce nell'Ohio da Louis Kuzma, di origini ucraine, e Patricia Briceland. Nel 1982 Traci Lords, dopo la separazione della madre, si trasferisce con le tre sorelle a Redondo, in California, dove inizia ad assumere cocaina. È un periodo in cui passa da una festa all'altra, perennemente drogata e con due soli scopi: divertirsi e arricchirsi. Traci Lords rimarrà incinta nel 1983, a 15 anni, e dopo aver abortito, grazie a documenti falsi che attestavano la sua maggiore età, posa per i suoi primi servizi fotografici compromettenti. In questo periodo è conosciuta con lo pseudonimo di "Kristie Elizabeth Nussman". Nel settembre di quell'anno è "Pet Of The Month" sulla rivista "Penthouse". Nello stesso anno appare anche nel videoclip del brano "Gimme, Gimme Good Lovin" del gruppo heavy metal canadese Helix (dal disco Walkin' The Razor's Edge - 1984).
Nel 1984 conosce Tom Scott, porno-attore emergente di soli 18 anni, che la presenta al suo agente, Jim South della World Modelling Service. Di qui in poi sarà conosciuta come "Traci Lords", appunto. Poco dopo gira il suo primo film a luci rosse, "What Gets Me Hot!", proprio accanto all'amico, meglio conosciuto nell'ambiente come "Tom Byron". Da qui parte una carriera di successo per Traci Lords, che reciterà in numerosissimi film, e sarà una delle star più seguite del genere. Le verranno attribuiti anche gli appellativi di "dirty angel" e "sex bomb".
L'ultimo film pornografico è "Traci I Love You" del 1987, l'unico girato da maggiorenne, con il quale conclude la sua carriera nel cinema a luci rosse.
Nel 1986, stanca di essere ricattata dalla madre e dal patrigno che lei pagava per il loro silenzio, decide di rendere pubblica la sua storia. L'FBI intervenne e sequestrò tutti i film (74 in totale, di cui uno dove ha curato anche la regia, più le varie compilation e antologie), ma Traci Lords se la cavò con poco: dovette pagare una multa per evasione fiscale e dopo poco aprì una propria etichetta, la "Traci Lords production", curando personalmente il suo rilancio. Curiosamente, proprio nel 1986, un gruppo heavy metal decise di chiamarsi con il nome dell'attrice. Tuttavia la Lords, venuta a sapere del fatto, richiese di farsi pagare per l'utilizzo del nome e così il gruppo fu costretto a cambiare nome in Lord Tracy.
Abbandonato il mondo del porno la Lords ha poi duettato nel 1992 con James Dean Bradfield nella canzone "Little Baby Nothing", contenuta nell'album "Generation Terrorists" dei "Manic Street Preachers".
In seguito ha recitato in un film del regista americano John Waters dal titolo "Cry Baby", poi in alcuni episodi di "Melrose Place" e nella serie TV "The Tommyknocker" ideata da Stephen King, successivamente nel film "Blade" accanto a Wesley Snipes, oltre a numerose altre apparizioni in produzioni minori.
Nel 2003 ha pubblicato un'autobiografia dal titolo "Underneath it All" ("Sotto a tutto").
Il 10 ottobre 2007 Traci Lords ha dato alla luce il suo primo figlio, Joseph Gunnar.
Traci Lords (born Nora Louise Kuzma; May 7, 1968), also known as Traci Elizabeth Lords and Tracy Lords, is an American film actress, producer, film director, writer and singer. She first achieved notoriety for her underage appearances in pornographic films and Penthouse magazine (she was 16 years old in her first film),later becoming a successful television and B-movie actress.
Nora Louise Kuzma was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Louis and Patricia Kuzma (née Briceland). Her stage name is said to be in tribute to Katharine Hepburn's character Tracy Lord from The Philadelphia Story (the same character played by Grace Kelly in High Society), or 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. 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.
 Porn career
At the age of 15, she ran away from home 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 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.
Shortly after, she was modeling for widely distributed adult magazines, most notably Penthouse, in the same September 1984 issue that exposed Miss America 1984, Vanessa Williams. 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. 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, authorities discovered she had been underage while making pornographic movies and arrested her, as well as the owners of her movie agency and X-Citement Video, Inc. (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 remains legal.)
In her book, 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 these adult porn films, Traci, I Love You, was videotaped and produced in Paris, France just after her 18th birthday, making it the only one legally available in the United States. (However, in non-US jurisdictions where the age of consent 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).
Several months after her arrest in early 1987, Lords sold her rights to this film 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 18, Lords began studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and soon after, starred in a remake of Roger Corman's film Not of This Earth. Then in 1990, she appeared in John Waters' Cry-Baby, playing the role of Wanda Woodward. Other movies on her resume include 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 and Virtuosity, and Panic Button in 2007 (made for TV).
In addition to movies, Lords has also made many appearances in TV shows, 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 Profiler, Melrose Place, and Roseanne. She appeared in the music video for Manic Street Preachers' U.K. Top 40 hit "Little Baby Nothing", and also 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 #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.
Lords returned to the music scene in 2004 with a new, independently produced recording, the double A-side "Sunshine."
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 2003, Lords wrote and directed a short film with Fox Searchlab entitled Sweet Pea, released and 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.
Lords made recent major theatrical appearances 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.