Patricia Loud, best known as the matriarch from the PBS docuseries An American Family, died Sunday. She was 94. The news was confirmed by her family on their shared Facebook page.
“With inconsolable sorrow, we are sad to share the news with friends and family that on Sunday, January 10 at 1:55pm PT, Pat Loud passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes,” the Loud family wrote. “She was snuggled up safe in her comfy home, attended by loving children Michele, Delilah, Kevin and Grant.”
Loud starred in the 1973 television documentary created by Craig Gilbert that aired from January to March of that year. An American Family is viewed by some as the first American reality TV series. The show followed Loud, her husband, Bill, and their five children throughout their daily lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., documenting the separation and eventual divorce of Loud and her husband, as well as the coming out of their late son, Lance.
During her time on the series, Loud made guest appearances on The Dick Cavett Show and The Mike Douglas Show, after the series had taken off and found its audience.
“Pat Loud was a fierce, inflexible, forthright matriarch and loyal champion of outsiders and iconoclasts,” the Loud family continued in their Facebook post. “Her door was never locked and there was always room at her table. Never one for regrets or reflection, she moved forward in life with enthusiasm and courage.”
Loud is survived by her four children.