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Lords, Traci (Elizabeth) 1968-

LORDS, Traci (Elizabeth) 1968-

PERSONAL:

Original name, Nora Louise Kuzma; born June, 1968, in Steubenville, OH; married Brook Yeaton (a prop master). Education: Studied acting at Strasberg Institute, c. 1986. Hobbies and other interests: Baking, running, kayaking, studying Ninjitsu, lecturing at colleges about drug abuse, and volunteering at a shelter for runaway teenagers.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Southern CA. Office—StarInsider, 5050 Laguna Blvd., Suite 112-399, Elk Grove, CA 95758.

CAREER:

Actress, coproducer, singer, songwriter, and author. Began nude modeling, c. 1983; actress in adult films, c. 1983-86; model, c. late 1980s; actress in mainstream films, including Not of This Earth, Concorde Pictures, 1989; Crybaby, Universal, 1990; Chump Change, USA, 2000; A Time to Die, USA, 1991; Serial Mom, USA, 1994; Extramarital, USA, 1998; Blade, USA, 1998. Actress in television miniseries, The Tommyknockers, 1993; actress in television movies, As Good As Dead; Intent to Kill; actress in starring roles on television shows, including First Wave, Sci Fi, c. 2000-01; Profiler, NBC; actress in recurring roles on television shows, including Melrose Place, Fox; Roseanne, ABC; coproducer of films, including Extramarital; principal in exercise videotape Warm Up with Traci Lords. Guest vocalist on Manic Street Preachers' "Little Baby Nothing," 1992; singer and songwriter on album, 1000 Fires, Radioactive Records, 1995. Guest appearances on television shows, include Nash Bridges, CBS; Wiseguy, CBS; Married with Children, Fox; and Tales from the Crypt.

AWARDS, HONORS:

U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Best Actress Award, c. 2000, for Chump Change.

WRITINGS:

Underneath It All, Harper Entertainment (New York, NY), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

In 2003, Traci Lords, born Nora Louise Kuzma, published her autobiography, Underneath It All, which covers her life from her troubled, difficult childhood to her career as a teenage adult-film star to her successful emergence as a legitimate actress and entertainer. Chris Barsanti in Book praised Lords for her "honesty in a memoir that sidesteps the self-help clichés of the typical Hollywood to-hell-and-back chronicle."

As Lords reveals in Underneath It All, her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother moved the family to California by the time Lords was a teenager. It was there that she began working in the pornography industry. She began as a nude model in adult magazines such as Penthouse then moved into the adult-film industry, using a fake identification card and help from one of her mother's boyfriends. Underneath it All also describes the end of her adult film career when she was eighteen years old. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested her in a raid because she was underage. The book goes on to chronicle Lords's success in overcoming her drug addiction and her move into an acting career in mainstream film and television productions. A critic for Kirkus Reviews called Lords a survivor and her book an "engaging memoir." A Publishers Weekly critic called Lords's prose "bumpy at times," but praised her courage. The reviewer wrote, "She has an amazing story to tell and she tells it well here."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Book, July-August, 2003, Chris Barsanti, review of Underneath It All, p. 80.

Entertainment Weekly, January 12, 2001, Dan Snierson, "Oh, Sweet Lords: Stupid Questions for the Sci Fi Channel's New Intergalactic Babe, Traci Lords," p. 67; July 11, 2003, Caroline Kepnes, "Celeb Bio-Diversity," p. 82; February 13, 2004, Allison Hope Weiner, review of Chump Change, p. 59.

Guardian (London, England), April 13, 1995, Amy Raphael, "Sex and Drugs and, er, Techno," p. 27.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2003, review of Underneath It All, p. 661.

People, May 3, 1993, Tim Allis, "Reborn Yesterday," p. 162; September 1, 2003, Tom Conroy, review of Underneath It All, p. 51.

Publishers Weekly, June 23, 2003, Jeff Zaleski, "Girl on Film: PW Talks with Traci Lords," p. 59; June 23, 2003, review of Underneath It All, p. 60.

Variety, November 6, 2000, Todd McCarthy, review of Chump Change, p. 23.

ONLINE

Adult Industry News,http://www.ainews.com/ (August 7, 2003), review of Underneath It All.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (October 31, 2003), Angela McQuay, review of Underneath It All.

Fox News Channel,http://wwwfoxnews.com/ (July 21, 2003), transcript of interview, "The Big Story with Rita Cosby."

Traci Elizabeth Lords Web site,http:///www.tracilords.com/ (October 31, 2003), biography of Traci Lords.*

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