May 7, 1968 TRACI LORDS BORN Traci Lords, born on this day in 1968 in Steubenville, Ohio under the name Nora Louise Kuzma, will always be remembered as the teenager who rocked the foundations of the porn world in the 1980s. Lords had a harsh, traumatic childhood: she was raped at the age of 10, suffered at the hands of her alcoholic father, and was molested by her mother’s coke dealer boyfriend. A worldly girl who looked considerably older than her young years, Lords’ got her mother’s boyfriend to get her a fake I.D. that stated she was 20 (she was actually 15) so that she could start modeling. She was soon doing nude magazine work – including a spread for Penthouse when she was still 15 – which lead to work in pornographic films. By the time she was 18, Lords had appeared in around 100 porn films. However, when an FBI investigation uncovered her true age in 1986, copies of almost all of these, plus magazine photos she had done, had to be destroyed because they were deemed child pornography, due to Lords being a minor at the time. The story was a huge tabloid scandal and some people in the porn industry even claimed that Lords herself had orchestrated the bombshell revelation as a publicity stunt to further her career. Lords, however, wanted to leave behind pornography and seek a career as a legitimate actress, even joining the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Over the past two decades, she has worked steadily in film and television, making movies with directors such as John Waters (Cry Baby and Serial Mom) and Kevin Smith(Zak and Miri Make a Porno), though her porn past – the thing which originally brought her infamy – has also prevented her from crossing over to achieve mainstream success.