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Alanson Russell "Lance" Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) was an American magazine columnist and new wave rock-n-roll performer. Loud is best known for his 1973 appearance in 'An American Family', a pioneer reality television series which featured his coming out, which led to his status as an icon in the gay community.
Loud's fame came with 'An American Family', a documentary of his family's life, which was broadcast in the U.S. on PBS in 1973, drawing 10 million viewers and causing considerable controversy. The show was based in Santa Barbara, California. He moved to New York City, driven by his obsession with the Velvet Underground and everything related to Warhol. He became a regular at Max's Kansas City and attended Charles Ludlam productions at La Mama, with luminaries such as Jackie Curtis (who later became a close Loud family friend) and Holly Woodlawn. Shortly after the series ended, Lance appeared on 'The Dick Cavett Show', performing with a working version of what would later become Mumps (which at that point included Delilah Michelle and Kevin in the line-up), under the name "Loud". He stated at the time that he thought the filmmakers had intentionally edited the series to make him seem obnoxious and grating.
Loud became a gay icon by having his homosexuality revealed to a national audience in the documentary series, although he never explicitly came out on the series. His sexual orientation became a thing of national controversy and media scrutiny after several appearances on 'Dick Cavett' and other talk shows. But the overwhelmingly positive and grateful feedback of thousands of gay men led Lance to embrace this role with passion and his usual flamboyant, often self-deprecating wit.
From the press release:
CINEMA VERITE tells the behind-the-scenes story of the groundbreaking 12-hour PBS documentary series "An American Family," which chronicled the lives of the Louds in the early 1970s and catapulted the Santa Barbara family to notoriety while creating a new genre: the reality TV series. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Diane Lane, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins and Golden Globe and Emmy winner James Gandolfini star in the HBO Films presentation. CINEMA VERITE debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 23 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) only on HBO.