Tera Patrick was born Linda Ann Hopkins in Great Falls, Montana, and was raised near San Francisco. After taking weekend classes at the Barbizon School of Modeling for two years, she was hired by a Japanese modeling agency and moved to Tokyo at the age of fourteen. At one of her first photo shoots, she lost her virginity to the photographer, who "was feeding [her] champagne and Valium" until she "was getting wasted". She spent two years in Tokyo, where "she became addicted to Valium and alcohol and spent her paychecks on shopping sprees". When her father learned she had become sexually active, he complained to her agency, pointing out she was underage. It sent her back to the United States, "sixteen years old and already a washed-up model". At eighteen, she obtained a GED, briefly studied nursing at Boise State University, then received EMT certification from a local vocational school.
Patrick started her adult career in 1999 and in 2003 became a contracted "Vivid Girl". She retired from shooting scenes in the Adult industry in 2008, but continues to operate her website, production company, and pursue other business ventures. She licenses her movie catalog worldwide.
Patrick has appeared in Playboy and Penthouse, where she was the "Pet of the Month" for February 2000 and was selected as "Pet of the Year" runner-up. In 2003, Patrick became the masthead publisher of Genesis.
In November 2006, Patrick starred in a Vivid/Teravision production titled "Tera Patrick's Fashion Underground" where she performed with Jean Val Jean and Tommy Gunn. In the same film her husband, under the name Spyder Jonez, performed with Lanny Barby. In an interview, Tera Patrick says she's OK with him doing scenes with other girls. The two made five movies for Vivid and ten for Teravision (with Seinfeld appearing under the name "Spyder Jonez"; he has also directed some features).
In an interview with the Adult Film Database in February 2007, Patrick stated she would only continue to work in front of the camera for two more years, but plans on releasing her starring adult titles over the next decade.
Pornographic actress Tera Patrick played herself in Ultor Exposed.
In April 2007, Patrick and her production company, Teravision INC, filed a lawsuit against Jenna Jameson and Playboy Enterprises (the new owners of Club Jenna) for failing to properly account for and pay royalties on money earned by Patrick's Web site clubtera.com.
Patrick was on the cover of the July 2006 American edition of 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 appear on the cover.
One of Patrick's earliest projects was the launch of an herbal product called Python for men and Naughty for women 2005.
Patrick's clothing lines include Mistress Couture and her T-shirt line with the TITS Brand. She also operates an EBay store as well as a 'Tera Patrick merchandise' store at AllThingsTera.net.
In 2006, Patrick and her then-husband, Evan Seinfeld, launched a talent agency representing models and actors. According to a quote on the agency's website, Patrick's goal "is to help girls (and guys) in the business to be treated with respect, and realize their true potential...." Additionally, she owns a production company called "Teravision," which along with Vivid Video released its first feature, "Desperate," starring Patrick and Seinfeld. In April 2006, it was announced that she would host the Exxxotica Miami convention.
In 2008 Patrick became one of the adult actresses to have a molded product from Interactive Life Forms, LLC, makers of Fleshlight brand products. In 2014 the company added two more designs based on Patrick.
Tera Patrick starred in an Indonesian mainstream horror film Rintihan Kuntilanak Perawan (Moaning of Virgin Ghost), which was presented countrywide from October 14, 2010, through November 16, 2010.
Patrick's memoir, Sinner Takes All, co-written by journalist and author Carrie Borzillo, was published by Penguin imprint Gotham Books on January 5, 2010. The book chronicles Patrick's path to stardom, along with various other life experiences she along the way. During the writing process, which she describes as "cathartic", Patrick discusses how she and her mother repaired their relationship, and how she addressed problems within her relationship with her former husband, Evan Seinfeld. Patrick commented, "I wanted the book to end happily. I knew there were problems with our marriage obviously, and the decision to leave him came about quite suddenly."
Patrick with then-husband Evan Seinfeld in November 2006
On January 9, 2004, Patrick married Evan Seinfeld in a small ceremony, after a three-year relationship, in Las Vegas where they were attending the 2004 AVN Awards show. The couple announced on September 30, 2009 that they were ending their marriage. Tera remains sole owner of her production company, TeraVision INC.
Tera gave birth to a baby girl on February 25, 2012. The father is Hollywood special effects artist Tony Acosta known for his work on 300, Dawn of the Dead, and the Superman movie Man of Steel.