Lance Loud (1951-2001)
Loud became part of one of the world's first reality shows when PBS aired An American Family in 1973. Lance, the eldest son of the Loud family, came out to an estimated 10 million viewers during the second episode and changed the television landscape forever. Later, Loud moved from California to New York, formed a band called the Mumps, and eventually settled into his status as a gay icon. Loud died in 2001 of liver failure caused by hepatitis C and HIV. In 2011, HBO films made Cinema Verite, a film about the making of the original PBS documentary series, starring Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini, and Thomas Dekker as Lance.
Steve Rubell (1943-1989)
Brooklyn-born Rubell, along with business partner Ian Schrager, opened famed disco Studio 54 in 1977. The club was known for excess and as a place where everyday people could party with the beautiful ones. Just a few of the regulars were Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger, Halston, Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, Diana Ross, Madonna, and Cher. Top music stars of the '70s were also known to take the stage; the Village People, Donna Summer, and Gloria Gaynor all entertained revelers. After Rubell was convicted of tax evasion in 1979, nightclub watchers said the club scene in New York was never the same. Even though he was taking AZT, Rubell died in 1989 of AIDS complications, including hepatitis and septic shock.