_Nora Kuzma's parents divorced when she was a young girl. Her mother decided to move her family, which consisted of Nora and her three sisters, to a new life. They found it in Lawndale, California - just east of Redondo Beach. Nora entered Redondo Union High School in 1983 and she appears in the Fusion '83 yearbook. She was also on the Junior Varsity Swim Team.
When she was fifteen she became pregnant and decided to have an abortion - which she paid for herself. Also at fifteen, wild child Nora finally ran away from home and an older male "friend" took her to Jim South's World Modeling Agency of Sherman Oaks, California. She signed up using the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman, producing valid-looking documents attesting to her identification and age. South had Nora, or Kristie, strip while he took Polaroid photos as a test shoot. She was sent on her first real "assignment" shortly thereafter.
Nora soon changed her name to Traci Lords.
traci lords sitting in underwearShe says she chose the name "Lords" as a sort of homage to her favorite actor, Jack Lord of Hawaii 5-0 fame. The earliest spellings of her name vary from "Tracie" to "Tracy" to "Traci" - the final spelling that she still uses today. This name game even led to an Adult Video News (AVN) columnist to comment in the November 1984 issue: "How do you spell a name? Tracy Lords, Tracie Lords or Traci Lords? Since it's gotta be a fake name anyway, this little cutie probably doesn't care how we spell it, as long as she can cash her check each Friday when she finishes her weekly film." Within just a few short months, Traci went from being a featured performer to Adult Film Mega-Star.
Traci was at the top
Her videos outsold other porn starlets' by 10-to-1. Traci's sexual fervor and appetite on the set were unparalleled according to many of her costars. They say that she enjoyed what she did and couldn't get enough. The Traci Lords "orgasm" is legendary - those screams and squeals are instantly recognizable.
Traci Lords and the FBI
In the summer of 1986 the FBI raided an apartment at the corner of Catalina and Garnet in Redondo Beach - Traci's apartment. They found her fake IDs. Traci's ride was over. Reportedly an anonymous tip to the authorities led to the raid. There have been some that claim Traci's mother or that even Traci herself was the informant.
Traci had just recently formed her own company, The Traci Lords Company, and was producing her own Adult Films. What better way to corner the Traci Lords market than by making all previous films legally unavailable? This is, of course, only one of many theories and is probably untrue. Who knows? What is known is that Traci's escapades almost brought down the Adult Film Industry with thousands of cassettes being pulled and indictments flying left and right. Traci was never prosecuted. "One day Traci Lords will wind up as the cornerstone of a bank..."
Traci Lords and her new life
Traci disappeared. She needed to distance herself from her former life. Traci denies much of her past and claims a major cocaine addiction and exploitation at the hands of the porn industry. She sometimes states that she doesn't even remember making the videos that made her hundreds of thousands of dollars, she was either too drunk or too high. Others say that this is a bunch of crap. More than a few past acquaintances have noted Traci's tendency to lie - even about silly, pointless things. To this day, many claim Traci is an habitual liar and just can't help herself. She later took voice and ballet lessons, and trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Hollywood.
She released an "exercise" video and got the lead in Not of This Earth. Her straight career was finally going somewhere.
On the set of Cry Baby she met Brook Yeaton, a propmaster, and the two were married on September 29, 1990 in a traditional Catholic ceremony. In 1995 the couple divorced (also a Catholic tradition). In 1996 Traci became engaged to John Enos. In 1997 they broke up. On June 26, 1999 Traci married actor Ryan Riel Grainger. In February 2000 Traci filed for divorce in Torrance Superior Court citing irreconcilable differences. The couple had been living apart since January 5, reportedly. [geez, does she eat crackers in bed or fart at the dinner table? what's the deal with the relationship failure rate Traci?] "Credibility is my goal now."
Today Traci gets regular film and TV work. Some are bit parts with only a line or two and some are starring roles. In 1995 Traci released a CD of techno dance music entitled '1000 Fires.' While not everyone's cup of tea, the CD did receive critical praise. A second release is promised for later in 1999. She continues to strive for credibility because she will always be Traci Lords "ex-porn star." In a perfect world this shouldn't matter, but in this world of hypocrisy and double standards it means everything