Traci Elizabeth Lords (born May 7, 1968) is an American actress, singer, model, writer, producer and director.
Born Nora Louise Kuzma in Steubenville, Ohio, she was first known for her underage appearances in pornographic films. Initially landing a job as a nude model at the age of 15, she then ventured into adult films. After being featured in the September 1984 issue of Penthouse magazine, Lords appeared in dozens of illegal videos between 1984 and 1986, and became one of the most sought-after pornstars of the era. In May 1986, when authorities discovered she had been underage while making all but one of her pornographic films, distributors were ordered to remove all her material to avoid the risk of prosecution for trafficking in child pornography. The withdrawal of her films cost millions of dollars and her case became the biggest scandal to affect the adult film industry.
After her departure from pornography, Lords focused on her career as a mainstream actress and enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute where she studied method acting. She made her mainstream film debut in 1988, when she was offered the leading role in the remake of Roger Corman's classic Not of This Earth. Lords followed with the role of Wanda Woodward in John Waters' teen comedy, Cry-Baby (1990), which established her as a legitimate actress. Her other acting credits include the television series MacGyver, Married... with Children, Tales from the Crypt, Roseanne, Melrose Place, Profiler, First Wave, Gilmore Girls and Will & Grace. She also appeared in films such as Virtuosity (1995), Blade (1998), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) and most recently Excision (2012) and Devil May Call (2013).
In the mid 1990s, Lords pursued her musical career. After her song "Love Never Dies" was featured on the soundtrack to the film Pet Sematary Two (1992), she was signed to Radioactive Records. Lords was featured on the songs "Little Baby Nothing" by Manic Street Preachers and "Somebody to Love" by the Ramones. Her debut studio album, 1000 Fires, was released in 1995 to a critical acclaim but was a commercial failure. However, the lead single "Control" noted a moderate success, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. It appeared on the soundtrack to the film Mortal Kombat (1995) and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album's second single, "Fallen Angel", was also successful in charts. Lords briefly returned to music in 2004 and again in 2011 with the release of her single "Last Drag".
In 2003, Lords published her autobiography, Traci Lords: Underneath It All. The book received positive reviews from the critics and made The New York Times Best Seller list.