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Reality show pioneer Pat Loud (1926-2021)


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Pat Loud, whose family life in Santa Barbara, California was recorded by television cameras decades before the Kardashians excelled at it, has died at the age of 94. The death of the matriarch of the 1973 PBS reality series "An American Family" was posted on the official Loud Family Facebook page. She is said to have died Sunday of natural causes.

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In 1973, Loud, her husband Bill and their five children became celebrities when they allowed TV cameras to follow their activities for the groundbreaking public television 12-part series.  Pictured below from the top left: Lance (1951-2001) and Michele (b. 1957); middle row, Kevin (b. 1953), Delilah (b. 1955) and Grant (b. 1954); and bottom row, Pat and Bill (1921-2018). Lance, who died of AIDS-related hepatitis, was one of TV's early openly gay figures. The series exposed problems with Pat and Bill's marriage that ultimately led to a breakup. They later reunited.

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In one episode, Grant entertained family members with his cover of a 1970 song by the British band The Kinks. The tune was written by the group's frontman Sir Ray Davies.

On November 18, 1978, the Not Ready for Prime Time Players (and guest host Carrie Fisher) did a Loud Family parody (of sorts) on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

In the 2011 HBO production "Cinema Verite," a drama about the "An American Family" experience, Loud was portrayed by the actress Diane Lane. Thomas Dekker co-starred as Lance. Tim Robbins appeared as Bill and James Gandolfini was creator-producer Craig Gilbert.

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The incredible Pat Loud has moved on to the next place. She graced us with 94 years of charisma, power and bravery and there are so many things she championed and supported, not least her equally electric son Lance, whom I had the pleasure of portraying in the film
 
 
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I'm sad to learn of the death of Pat Loud, of "An American Family" fame, a great mother of television and (say people I know who know) in life.
 
 

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Rest in peace, Patricia Loud. Her acceptance and support of her son Lance before and after his death was an important part of LGBTQ media history.
 
 
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This was nothing like these people nowadays in the reality shows. It was actual life as these people were living it.

Normal people, not media freaks.

They decided to have a divorce on camera and I believe their son Lance came out on camera.

This was in the 1970's, and you have to realize how negative and dangerous it was to declare yourself to be gay at that time in some areas.

I love how Pat tried to be so understanding always with Lance.

I read her autobiography and she was an interesting woman. This was also a time Where people for the first time were actually listening to women and seriously considering their lives being worth talking about.

And undoubtedly, Pat's openness about Lance helped a lot of other mothers who had children come out at that time.

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  • jakeem changed the title to Reality show pioneer Pat Loud (1926-2021)

Sorry to hear this. I watched that series and came to know the family. I didn't see the later one (I think on HBO) but did see the one about Lance in his final days and it said at the end that Pat and Bill had got back together. That series was trailblazing at the time. I really liked Pat. I can still remember the theme song from the show. Is Bill still alive?

I read Pat's later book as well.

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5 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Sorry to hear this. I watched that series and came to know the family. I didn't see the later one (I think on HBO) but did see the one about Lance in his final days and it said at the end that Pat and Bill had got back together. That series was trailblazing at the time. I really liked Pat. I can still remember the theme song from the show. Is Bill still alive?

He passed away 2 years ago, at age 97.

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On 1/13/2021 at 3:21 AM, jakeem said:

It's interesting that Jane Curtin also was in the SNL parody.

SNL's Underrated 'Loud Family': Sketch | Best Classic Bands

???  

As Jane WAS a member of the original"Not Ready For Prime Time" players, it really couldn't have been that much of a surprise, eh?

But I vaguely recall that PBS series as at the time I thought it disinteresting to watch the daily goings on of some "average" family, just as I thought if it was MY family involved it would be just as disinteresting.    The SNL sketch was good, as was ALBERT BROOKS' parody REAL LIFE ('79) with Charles Grodin.

But I am sorry for the loud family's loss,  and past losses of family members and hope the best for their survivors.  And know I don't blame them for the glut of  senseless, asinine "reality" shows cluttering up valuable  TV time these days.

Sepiatone

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