Lance Loud

From Academic Kids

Lance Loud (June 26, 1951 - December 22, 2001) was an openly gay columnist probably best known for his role in An American Family, perhaps the first reality show (it was broadcast in the U.S. on PBS in 1973, drawing 10 million viewers and causing considerable controversy at the time).

The show was based in Santa Barbara, California; Lance moved to New York City to live, where he frequented various clubs and drag shows. After the series ended, he went on the Dick Cavett Show to say that he thought the filmmakers had edited the series to make him seem obnoxious and grating. In New York he revived his band called The Mumps, which played at CBGB but never signed a contract with a recording company, and he developed an addiction to crystal meth which lasted for over 20 years.

Loud became a columnist for various magazines, including The Advocate, Details, Interview, and Creem.

At age 50, Lance entered a hospice suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C. The film crew had revisited him for the program American Family Revisited, shown in 1983; on realizing he was dying, Lance called the film crew back again, expressing dissatisfaction with how the series ended and how various people were portrayed in it. He died in December 2001. The documentary of his final days, A Death in An American Family, was shown on PBS in January 2003.

Quotations

(In his last few days, commenting about injecting crystal meth for 20 years): "That's not very smart."
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