Nora Louise Kuzma was born on 7th May 1968, in Steubenville, Ohio USA, of Ukrainian-Russian (father) and Irish (mother) descent. She started her career as Traci Elizabeth Lords in the pornographic movie industry, which she quit at the end of the ‘80s, and now she is working as an actress, producer, director, singer and writer.
So just how rich is Traci Lords? Sources estimate Traci’s net worth is over $7 million, the money having been made at first from appearances in adult films, and after 1986 in the television and entertainment industry.
Traci Lords Net Worth $7 Million
Traci’s childhood was marked by violence, from her father, stepfather and allegedly by a male friend when she was 10. She started making money as a nude model when she was 14, working with magazines like Club, Velvet, and Juggs. She was also a model for Penthouse, from which she received $5,000. At the age of 15 she signed her first contracts as a nude model, using a fake identity card which stated that Tracy was 22. By the time she was 18, Traci had made numerous adult films and, in 1986, the authorities found her true story: about 75 of her movies were made while she was under age. However, the scandal made Traci famous, while the media has written that the actress’ case has changed the industry, making pornography more accepted. Her only legal adult film which can be found in the USA is “Traci, I Love You”, as this was made on Traci’s 18th birthday.
Regardless, the media has estimated that Traci had 107 appearances in adult films and, as a porn actress, she was making about $1,000 for each day of filming, being one of the highest paid actresses in the industry back in the ‘80s. Despite this, Traci wrote in her autobiography that she only received $35,000 for all her pornographic appearances, however, it is known though that the film “Traci, I Love You” brought the actress about $100,000.
After the scandal, in 1985, Traci Lords stopped making adult movies and started her career as an actress. She started by taking lessons at the Lee Strasberg acting school and soon after she began performing in television series. In 1988, she received her first important role, in the film “Not of This Earth”, followed by numerous roles in films and television series, including “Blade”, “Married with Children”, “Melrose Place”, “Nash Bridges”, “Serial Mom”, “Profiler”, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, and “The Soccer Nanny”. Besides making money from acting, Traci Lords started focusing also on her music career and, in 1995, she even had an appearance in a television commercial for Guess.
As a singer, Traci Lords released her first recorded album in 1995, called “1000 Fires”, which included the hit “Control”, which later became part of the soundtrack of the film “Mortal Combat” and brought Traci a platinum album. In 2012, she released a second album, called “M2F2”. Her voice can also be heard on several video games, including “True Crime: New York City”, “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, and “Hitman: Absolution”.
In her personal life, Traci Lords has married three times: to Brook Yeaton, from 1990 to 1996, to Ryan Granger, between 1999 and 2000, and to Jeff Gruenewald, since 2002, with whom she has a son. Traci Lords published her autobiography called “Traci Lords: Underneath It All” in 2003 and the book soon appeared in The New York Times’ bestseller list. Traci Lords now lives in Southern California.
Mother, with Jeff Gruenewald, of son Joseph Gunnar Lee, born October 7, 2007. He weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces.
A bra worn by Traci (from her relationship with ex-fiancé John Enos III) sold at auction on eBay for $80.00 in April, 2007.
She contributed vocals to the Manic Street Preachers song "Little Baby Nothing," from the Welsh group's "Generation Terrorists" album in 1992, and released as a single in November of that year. The song is about the sexual exploitation of a woman and singer/guitarist James Dean Bradfield said that "we needed somebody, a symbol, a person that could actually symbolize the lyrics and justify them to a certain degree. Traci was more than happy to do it. She saw the lyrics, and she had an immediate affinity with them. It was definitely easy to incorporate her personality into the lyrics. We just wanted a symbol for it, and I think she was a great symbol." Traci said that "I listened to the tape and really identified with the character in the song...this young girl who's been exploited and abused by men all her life."
She is easily the most successful of former porn stars to make a transition to mainstream movies.
Has 1st KYU in Bujinkan Ninjutsu.
Her father, Louis Kuzma, was born in West Virginia, of Czech, Slovak, and Ukrainian descent. Her mother, Patricia Louise (Briceland), has English, Scottish, and German ancestry.
Had her name legally changed to Traci Elizabeth Lords.
Penthouse Pet of the Month - September 1984
Was the centerfold model for the same issue of Penthouse Magazine that "exposed" Miss America 1984, Vanessa Williams. Because she was underage, it was illegal to own or trade that issue unless the pictorial of Ms. Lords was removed.
[about her first time at an X-rated set] Yeah, it was scary. It was very scary. I was really young, and I was really inexperienced sexually.
[about what drove her to porn industry] My damage drove me into porn. I mean, I was a little girl. And I had like all of this stuff. I'd been raped. I'd been molested. I'd been abused. I was messed up. And I was angry. And the same thing that later helped me to change my life when I was 18 and out of that world that helped me to get sober and helped me to gather the courage to go and do the work I needed to do, to look at some things in my life that were so ugly.
[about porn industry] You know, I can tell you from my personal experience that I've never met a happy porn star.
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.
[about her porn career] I was really young, I was really stupid about some things.
[about her porn career] No one put a gun to my head and said "you have to do this."
My parents never got along. It was a very ugly scene to be a part of.
[asked about her role as Jordan Radcliffe on First Wave (1998)] I jokingly refer to it as the DKNY Militia because she always looks great. When she's battling the aliens, she's always got the best leather pants on.