Porn Star Birthdays: Out And Out with Steve Driver and Traci Lords

Steve Driver (with Raquel Devine), Traci Lords

Steve Driver (with Raquel Devine), Traci Lords


One of my favorite truisms about the adult industry is “You can’t flunk out of porn.” As much as I would personally wish this to be absolutely true, this is a rule with exceptions, and some of these exceptions have birthdays this week.

Traci Lords made dozens of movies while underage, having cannily forged a passport, driver’s license, and birth certificate with the help of shady family friends. Born on May 7, 1968, Lords (born Nora Kuzma in tiny Steubenville, Ohio) appeared in movies from the time she was 16. It was just after her actual 18th birthday, in the late summer of 1986, that the documents were revealed to be phony.

Remember that this was a time when people paid for porn in an unsaturated market. Adult VHS tapes could go for as much as $80 each, and Lords was part of the Ginger Lynn/Christy Canyon/Lords trio at the top of Porn’s pyramid. All of her pre-1986 tapes, magazine spreads, and incidental nudie materials had to be removed from shelves and destroyed.

Traci Lords established the first exception to “You Can’t Flunk Out of Porn”: Don’t mess with a pornographer’s money.

Steve Driver is another exception. A tragic case, Driver would have been 37 this week. I met him in 2008 when he was playing Barack Obama opposite Raquel Devine’s Sarah Palin in the weeks leading up to the election.

Driver, born Steven Hill on May 8, 1976, had by 2010 been reduced to sleeping on a porn warehouse floor. In June of that year he was told to vacate, that he had lost his job, and he snapped. He killed former co-worker Herbert Wong with a prop samurai sword. Days later, at a cliffside house used as a porn shooting location, Driver leapt or was beanbagged or tased off the cliff in a standoff with LAPD officers.

Did Driver flunk out of porn? People have wandered back to porn after committing assaults and DUIs, and John Holmes even returned after being implicated in the Wonderland Murders, but it’s safe to say Driver was too much of a liability even for porn.

[Read: Driver dies by sword]

Lisa Ann as Sarah Palin

Lisa Ann as Sarah Palin

No one would ever accuse Lisa Ann of flunking out of porn. Instead, hers is porn’s biggest comeback, igniting the Glorious MILF Renaissance.

Once a Wicked Girl in the 1990s, Lisa Ann, who turns 41 this week, left the business for a time, thinking she had aged out. She returned after awhile, but only to start her own agency. Slowly she began taking “older woman” roles, and even though she has not given birth, she became first a MILF superstar and then grabbed the most fame of her porn career by playing Sarah Palin for Hustler, in Eminem videos, and everywhere she could (Raquel Devine’s Palin never caught on).

Bonnie Rotten

Bonnie Rotten

It s also the delightful Bonnie Rotten‘s birthday this week. She turns 20. Like Traci Lords, Rotten was born in Ohio. Unlike Lords, Rotten has a lot of tattoos.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Nailin’ Paylin for America; This is the story of Bonnie Rotten; Palin in comparison—Raquel Devine ups the ante in “Rode to the White House”; “You can’t flunk out of porn”

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