Hard to believe, but Traci Lords is turning 46 years old today (that being May 7, 2014), which means that she’ll soon be marking the 31st anniversary of when she started working in porn. Which is also a reminder that Traci Lords shot into the mainstream as one of the porn industry’s biggest scandals, since she had used a fake driver’s license to start working in the porn biz at the age of 15. The authorities only discovered Traci was underage very shortly after her 18th birthday. That turned Traci Lords into a major news figure while porn companies called up their lawyers and got busy dumping a few million dollars worth of old inventory.
Traci Lords, meanwhile, decided to see what else Hollywood had to offer. It wasn’t difficult to put her porn past behind her. There was only one Traci Lords movie that could be shown without anyone getting arrested. She kept her new name (having been born in Ohio as Nora Louise Kuzma ) and began taking acting lessons at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Her first legit film appearance was in 1987 in a remake of the ’50s sci-fi classic Not of This Earth–where Lords played a sexy nurse who also had a memorable scene in a blue bikini. Lords got more legit that same year with an appearance on the acclaimed CBS mobster series Wiseguy.
Traci then hit the multiplexes with her turn as a teenage tough in 1990’s Cry-Baby. That was also the most legit film yet for cult filmmaker John Waters, with Johnny Depp in his first starring film role. Traci Lords was still a sex symbol, but kept doing impressive work in low-budget movies like Skinner and television roles. Traci would even enjoy a long story arc as a serial killer on the tv series The Profiler, and surprised even more folks by recording some great dance music in the ’90s.
Traci still does some great music, and we’re looking forward to her in the upcoming Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. For today, though, let’s look back (but not too far back) at Traci’s amazing career–and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how recent some of these pics are…