“An American Family,” a 12-hour documentary series chronicling the lives of the members of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, premiered in January 1973 on PBS. The series made household names of parents Pat and Bill Loud and their five children: Lance, Delilah, Grant, Kevin and Michele. Each week, 10 million viewers tuned in to watch dramatic life events unfold, including Pat asking Bill for a separation, and their eldest son, Lance, coming out as gay. The program is widely considered the first “reality” television series.
Pat and Delilah Loud will visit the Beinecke on Wednesday, April 1, to discuss the experience of making the series and how the exposure from it affected their lives. Their visit celebrates the acquisition of the Loud Family and Lance Loud Papers by the Beinecke Library. Free and open to the public.