Although of Jewish descent, Nina’s parents became Zen Buddhists when she was a child.
Her family was originally from Alabama, and her grandfather was one of the lawyers who defended the black teenagers accused (as it turned out, falsely) of raping a white woman in the infamous 1931 "Scottsboro Boys" case in Alabama.
Profiled in the book "Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985" by Jill C. Nelson.
Holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Is a registered nurse.
Appeared on many daytime talk shows, including Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue, as a defender of the X-rated film industry. She was also often asked to discuss alternative marriages such as her own open three-way marriage in which she, her husband and a third woman (to whom he had committed to prior to her) all share a home.
Switched from nursing to pornography because she couldn’t handle seeing people die.
Her first adult film was "Educating Nina".
Engaged to adult film director Ernest Greene. 
She and her husband at the time moved to southern California from the San Francisco area specifically to break into the porn business. One day her husband ran into actress/producer Juliet Anderson in a market and told her about his wife. Anderson said to send her a photo and when she saw it, she hired Hartley almost immediately.
Often to discuss alternative marriages such as her own open three-way marriage where she, her husband, and a third woman (to whom he had committed to prior to her) all share a home.
Retired from eligibility to be named AVN (Adult Video News) star of the year following her third win, and is now in the AVN Hall of Fame.
Appeared in an MTV documentary about the porn industry.
Said in an interview that she chose the name "Nina" because it was easy for Japanese tourists to say during the time she was a dancer in San Francisco. She chose "Hartley" because she liked the popular camera commercials Mariette Hartley was making with James Garner at the time.