The matriarch “An American Family” was the first reality TV mom – Dateway

Patricia Loud, the matriarch of the Loud family in the television documentary An American family died on Sunday of natural causes. She was 94 years old.

An American family matriarch Dead Pat Loud
Patricia Loud, bottom right, in “An American Family”
Everett Collection

News of Loud’s death was confirmed on the official Loud Facebook page. “With heartbroken grief, we are saddened to share with friends and family that Pat Loud passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes on Sunday, January 10th at 1:55 pm PT. She was safely cuddled in her cozy home, accompanied by the loving children Michele, Delilah, Kevin and Grant. “

Loud was born on October 4, 1926 in Eugene, Oregon. She graduated from Stanford University in 1948, where she studied world history and English literature. Upon returning to her hometown, she met William Loud and they continued to marry in Mexico City. Their first son, Alanson “Lance” Russell Loud, was born in June 1951.

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She and her family were in the spotlight as one of the themes of the first American reality television series. Filmed from May 30th to December 31st, 1971, An American family follows the daily life of the Loud family, an upper-middle-class family based in Santa Barbara. What was originally a glimpse into noisy life turned into a series that recorded William and Pat Loud’s divorce.

An American family matriarch Dead Pat Loud
Patricia Loud, seated right, in ‘An American Family’
Everett Collection

The documentary was a cultural hotspot in its day, showing the unrest in the family and the emergence of Lance, one of the family’s sons who is considered one of the first openly gay TV characters. He died in 2001 and William Loud died in 2018 at the age of 97.

An American family was first broadcast in the US on the Public Broadcasting Service and ran for a season of 12 episodes.

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Loud appeared during her time on the series The Dick Cavett Show and The Mike Douglas Showwhen the PBS series caught the attention of American viewers.

In 2011, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini took a deep dive into the reality television series Cinema Verite. Posted by David Seltzer, Cinema Verite alongside Tim Robbins Bill Loud and James Gandolfini’s Craig Gilbert, Diane Lane was the matriarch.

Cinema Verite He received multiple nominations for the Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. Diane Lane nodded for her portrayal of Patricia Loud.

Instead of flowers, the family is grateful for donations on their behalf to The Rescue Train at

Read the Facebook post and watch the special video below dedicated to Patricia Loud.

Scott Shilstone contributed to this report.

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