Lance Loud , First U.S. Reality Star, Died 7 Years Ago Today

Lance Loud, whose family became famous in the early 1970s as the first reality TV family before there was reality TV, appeared in a non-sexual role in gay film, the film’s director Paul Barresi confided to FBLA on the seventh anniversary of Loud’s death.

Loud played a gay masked hero, Mr. Blue, who used magical powers to help lovers fix their troubled relationships.

According to the Advocate, Lance never regretted coming out. He knew he was never forgiven by a society that wanted homosexuals at best to be closeted. Lance Loud preferred to be seen as an outsider, a rebel, someone always living. On society’s edge, Lance’s life was a comic tragedy that spoke volumes about pop culture, sexuality, fame and family life.

Barresi, who wrote, directed and produced “Mr. Blue,” wanted to note that Showtime’s new series about gay men coming out of the closet was territory Loud had covered on PBS years earlier.

According to Extra producer Rob Sheiffele, the Showtime show announced recently that billed itself as the first show to feature men coming out of the closet was also using Loud’s original premise.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network has ordered a pilot presentation from Bryan Freedman, a former journalist and executive producer of A&E’s Intervention. In each episode of “Way Out” a closeted person reveals his or her homosexuality during a group meeting and is then followed while telling others.

The show is one of several Showtime has ordered to beef up its reality programming.