Alanson Russell "Lance" Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) was an American television personality, 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 that featured his coming out, leading to his status as an icon in the gay community.
Loud was born in La Jolla, California, in 1951, while his father was in the United States Navy. He spent his early childhood with his parents and four siblings in Eugene, Oregon, and his later childhood and adolescence in Santa Barbara, California. During his teens, Loud discovered Andy Warhol, The Factory, and The Velvet Underground. He later became penpals with Warhol.
As a teenager, Loud drove some friends to the Haight-Ashbury to investigate the San Francisco neighborhood's renowned cultural scene. He hitchhiked to Altamont Raceway Park to attend The Rolling Stones concert, later the subject of the documentary Gimme Shelter.
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.
Loud moved to New York City, driven by his obsession with the Velvet Underground band and the Warhol scene. 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, Loud appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, performing with a working version of what would later become the band "Mumps" (which at that point included his siblings 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 during the course of the documentary. His sexual orientation became a topic of national controversy and media scrutiny after several appearances on Dick Cavett and other talk shows, but the positive and grateful feedback from the gay community led Loud to embrace this role with passion and flamboyant, often self-deprecating wit...
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