Patrick was discovered in San Francisco by a talent scout for the Eileen Ford Modeling Agency, and at the age of 13 she was signed to a contract to be a model. She moved to New York City shortly thereafter and her career as a runway and catalog model began. At 18, she left the world of modeling and enrolled at Boise State University where she received her associate's (two year) degree in nursing and a BS in Microbiology. She then transferred to University of California, Santa Barbara, where for financial reasons she began modeling again.
In the late 1990s, Patrick transitioned to appearing in nude and soft-core features. In 2000, she made the transition to hard-core porn in Andrew Blake's Aroused. Since that time, she has become one of the most popular and recognized porn stars in the world, having graced the pages of Playboy and Penthouse, where she was a "Pet of the Month" and was selected as "Pet of the Year" runner-up, as well as having appeared in more than seventy adult features. Tera is noted for her sultry voice and her aroused and enthusiastic portrayals of sex. Because of this, she has won several awards from the adult-movie business organizations. Today, she hosts the popular webcast The Tera Patrick Show and she is active in the adult film community, raising money for both the Free Speech Coalition and A.I.M Healthcare.
Tera has been a frequent and favorite guest of Howard Stern on his TV and radio programs. She was featured on the cover of the July 2006 edition of the more mainstream FHM, revealing candid details in an interview inside. Patrick, who had been named one of FHM's 100 sexiest women, was the first porn star to grace the cover.
In December of 2002, she severed ties with Digital Playground, and brought suit against them, contending she was not paid for her appearance in several Digital Playground productions. Digital Playground's countersuit contended that it owns exclusive rights to the name "Tera Patrick," and that she is signed up to produce adult entertainment only for them until January 2008. Despite her ongoing lawsuits with Digital Playground, Patrick signed a two-year exclusive contract with Vivid Video in December 2003.
Awards and prints
- 2006 FHM 100 Sexiest Women
- 2006 VH1's Top 40 Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends & Wives
- 2006, 2005, 2004 FOXE Fan Favorite
- 2005, 2004 Genesis Magazine Pornstar of The Year
- 2002 Runner-up Penthouse Pet Of The Year
- Playboy Covergirl (Along with Dasha and Kira Kener)
- Star Of Playboy Nightcalls 411
- 2002 Hustler Honey
- 2001 XRCO Awards - "Best New Starlet"
- 2001 Genesis Magazine - "Best New Cummer"
- 2001 AVN Award - "Best New Starlet"
- 2000 Hot D'Or (Cannes Film Festival) - "Best New Starlet"