Traci Lords

  1. Kim Basinger, Cool World, 1992.     Obvious choice! In Ralph Bashki’s first script, the heroine was named: Debbie Dallas, after the porno hit, Debbie Does Dallas, 1978. Traci missed out here for Jessica Rabbit reframed as Holli Would (no, really!), but later became the most successful crossover from hardcore to mainstream movies and TV. My favourite critic Roger Ebert nailed the Cool’s coffin tight. “Surprisingly incompetent.”    
  2. Melinda Clark, Killer Tongue, 1996.     Terrible title for the ex-porn star.  Traci  made about 95 hardcore  movies (and compilations) during 1984-1986 when she was under-age.  Therefore, one film  only was legal  – Traci, I Love You,, made in France  with the French Lords: Mariiyn Jess – and Traci  held all rights to it!)  After her first straight movie, Not Of This Earth, 1988, she won 70 screen roles in the next 20 years.  So, she rightfully declared: “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!”
  3. Sadie Frost, Dracula, 1992.     Her screen (now legal) name stems not from Grace Kelly’s High Society role, but, from a former school friend, and in honor of her favorite actor, Jack Lord.  Traci later owned a white Persian cat named Mr Steve McGarrett, the name of Lord’s cop  in  Hawaii Five-O, 1968-1980.
  4. Sharon Stone, Casino, 1995.  The  role? Robert De Niro’s ex-show-cum-call-girl wife in Martin Scorsese takedown of the Mafia running the biz called Las Vegas.  Michelle Pfeiffer felt it was too close to her 1982 Scarface. (It was also close to Goodfellas but that didn’t hinder the De Niro-Joe Pesci-Scorsese trinity). Traci Lords nearly won after an impressive  test.  Likewise, another ex-porn queen, Ginger Lynn Allen and Madonna.  Amber Smith also tested and De Niro got her into Faithfuland  Abel Ferrar’s The Funeral. Also seen: Cameron Diaz, Melanie Griffith, Nicole Kidman, Rene Russo and Uma Thurman. De Niro was happy with director pal Martin Scorsese’s final choice.  They had first met when she auditioned forRaging Bull’s wife.  “I knew she’d do very well. She really wanted  the part and …was very excited  to get it.”    Stone had told her drama coach: “I want to be good enough to work with Robert De Niro.” This time she was. Never again.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4