Traci Lords is a study of a determined and complex woman with a very controversial background. She was born and raised in Ohio as Nora Louise Kuzma, to Patricia Louise (Kuzma) and Louis Kuzma. She moved with her divorced mother and three sisters to Los Angeles at age 12. While staying at the house of her mother's boyfriend, Roger, she began nude modeling at age 15, then adult films a year later.
An incredibly developed, full-figured girl, she easily duped photographers, producers and directors. Her stage name is a combination of Traci, from a former school friend, and Lords, in honor of her favorite male actor, Jack Lord. Traci made somewhere between 80 and 100 X-rated movies between 1984 and 1986.
In May 1986 she was arrested by FBI agents when it was discovered she was underage, which meant that any films with her in them were illegal to rent or buy, and video stores around the country rushed to remove them. The only legal pornographic movie Traci made was Traci, I Love You, which was filmed in Paris, France, on her 18th birthday. Since she controlled distribution rights, many people believed she orchestrated the revelation herself so she could be the only one to profit from her X-rated career. The federal government tried to prosecute the producers of the first adult film Traci appeared in for child pornography. However, the case fell apart when the government admitted that it, too, had been duped when Lords traveled to Europe to shoot Traci, I Love You on a false passport.
In 1987 she enrolled in the Lee Strasberg acting school, began voice lessons and built on her natural acting talents. Her first mainstream break came in Not of This Earth, a remake of the classic Roger Corman sci-fi film from the 1950s. Throughout the 1990s her hard work earned her a reputation as a reliable and respected actress.