Jan 15, 2021
Pat Loud along with the rest of her family helped invent reality television. The Loud family was the subject of the PBS program An American Family.
Created by producer Craig Gilbert, the show was a sensation when it aired in 1973. Pat and her then-husband, Bill Loud, allowed a camera crew to film their family of five over seven months in 1971. The purported intention of the show was to chronicle a typical American family, but instead ended up showing the separation and divorce of Bill and Pat. The show is also credited as having televisions first openly gay character. Son Lance's coming-out was one of the main subjects of the show.
Pat passed away on January 11th. According to her obituary in the New York Times, critics at the time called her a materialistic "self-absorbed affluent zombie”. However, unlike Kris Kardashian, Pat was the farthest thing from a vacuous cash fiend. Pat was kind, loved her family unconditionally, and was wildly creative. After American Family had aired, and she completed her divorce from her husband she moved with her children to New York. She found work with Ron Bernstein as a literary agent, and later worked with fashion designer Rudi Gernreich.
In the late 1990s, Pat moved back to California to care for her son Lance who was sick with H.I.V. . She also reunited with her husband Bill, which was one of Lance's final wishes.