Name:
Traci Lords
Birth Date:
Steubenville, Ohio, USA
Birth Place:
May 7, 1968
Height:
5' 7
Nationality:
American
Profession:
actress, musician, composer
Education:
Redondo Union High School
BIOGRAPHY
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Traci Lords_191112
Excision

Background:

“I hate the phrase “former porn queen.” That part of my life was a long time ago. Think of something else to call me... I'm successful in spite of my past, not because of it.” Traci Lords

American actress Traci Lords first gained notoriety for her underage appearances in adult films and Penthouse magazine. She was 16 years old when she appeared in her first film, “What Gets Me Hot!” (1984). After giving up the pornographic industry, she gained a reputation as a reliable and respected actress on television and B-movies. Traci won the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film “Chump Change” (2001) and the 2013 Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Excision” (2012). Traci also has produced several films.

Traci is married to Jeff Gruenewald and has one son with him. She was previously married to  Brook Yeaton (1990-1996) and Ryan Granger (1999-2000).       


Mother of 1

Childhood and Family:

Traci Lords was born Nora Louise Kuzma on May 7, 1968, in Steubenville, Ohio, to Louis Kuzma, an immigrant from Ukraine, and Patricia Briceland, who is of Scandanavian descent. She enrolled at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California in 1983. Four years later, she attended the Lee Strasberg acting school.

Traci had a difficulty upbringing. She was raped at the age of 10, and had to deal with her abusive alcoholic father until her parents divorced. At 12, she moved to California with her mother and three sisters. Later, they later lived with her mother's boyfriend, Roger, who was a cocaine dealer, and he went on to molest her. By age 15, Traci had been introduced to the world of nude modeling.  

Traci has been married three times. She was married to Brook Yeaton from September 29, 1990 to January 1, 1996. She then married Ryan Granger from June 26, 1999 to February 1, 2000. Traci married her present husband Jeff Gruenewald (aka Jeff Lee), a union iron worker, on February 23, 2002. The couple welcomed their first child, Joseph Gunnar, on October 7, 2007.


Chump Change

Career:

Traci Lords ventured into nude modeling when she was 15 years old. At the time, she used a false license ID that stated she was 20. She joined the World Modeling Agency in Sherman Oaks and worked under the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman. It was not long before Lords entered the adult film business. Her debut film, “What Gets Me Hot!” (directed and written by Richard Mailer), was released in October 1984. She continued to appear in several other titles in 1984 such as “Breaking It... A Story About Virgins,” “Those Young Girls,” “Talk Dirty to Me Part III,” “Bad Girls III,” “The Sex Goddess” and “Night of Loving Dangerously.” In September 1984, Traci modeled for the popular men's magazine Penthouse.     

By 1986, Traci had made approximately a hundred X-rated movies. In May of that year, she was arrested by FBI agents when it was revealed she had been underage while making the videos. The only legal porn movie she made was “Traci, I Love You” (1987), which was filmed in Paris, France, on her 18th birthday. Traci controlled distribution rights that made many persons believed she planned the disclosure herself so she could be the only one to advantage from her X-rated career. Many within the adult industry felt she betrayed the business and then they made an implicit agreement to never talk about Traci and promote her. For her last few porn films, Traci collaborated with her then boyfriend founded the Traci Lords Company, where he directed and co-produced the films. Although getting a smaller pay, Traci also received part of the rights of these movies. After quitting the adult film industry, she started to revive her life and pursue a career in mainstream films.  

Traci made her mainstream debut as Nadine Story in “Not of This Earth” (1988), a remake of Roger Corman's 1957 film, directed by Jim Wynorski. It was followed by a supporting role on the comedy film “Fast Food” (1989), opposite Clark Brandon, Randal Patrick and Tracy Griffith. She went on to appear in a number of films throughout the 1990s, including John Waters' “Cry-Baby” (1990), in which she played the role of Wanda Woodward, “Shock 'Em Dead” (1991), “The Nutt House” (1992), “Laser Moon” (1993), “Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II” (1994), “Underworld” (1996), “Stir”  (1997),  “Blade” (1998), “Extramarital” (1998), which she also executive produced, and “Me and Will” (1999). Traci also appeared in various television series during this period. She received critical acclaim for her recurring role as sneering sociopath Rikki on “Melrose Place”  (1995, 4 episodes). She also had recurring roles on “Roseanne” (1994-1995, 3 episodes) and “Profiler” (1997-1998, 19 episodes), where she played Stacy Flagler  and the schizo-sicko serial killer Sharon Lesher / Jill of All Trades, respectively.

Traci maintained a busy work in the new millennium. From 2000 to 2001, she portrayed the tough heroine Jordan Radcliffe in several episodes of the sci-fi TV series “First Wave.” She also made guest appearances on other TV series like “Gilmore Girls” (2003), “Will & Grace” (2005), “Wanted” (2005) and “Andy Barker, P.I.” (2007). Her feature film credits include “Chump Change” (2000), where she was handed the Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actress at the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival for her performance as Sam, “Black Mask 2: City of Masks” (2002), “Novel Romance” (2006), “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” (2008), “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” (2009), “Here & Now” (2010), “The Soccer Nanny” (2011) and “Excision” (2012), where she won the Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as Phyllis.

Recently appearing in an episode of “Eastsiders” and in the film “Devil May Call” (both 2013), Traci will portray Ann in the drama film “Tag” (2013), directed by Danny Roth, and  Beth in “Crash the Sky, opposite Sean Mead.     


Awards:

Fangoria Chainsaw: Chainsaw Award, Best Supporting Actress, “Excision,” 2013
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: Film Discovery Jury Award, Best Actress, “Chump Change,” 2001
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