Loud and Clear
updated 01/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST
Loud, who was 50 when he died of hepatitis C in Los Angeles Dec. 22, might also serve as a cautionary example for the currently swelling ranks of reality-TV grads. Post-Family, he struggled to make ends meet as a punk-rock singer and then freelance journalist. Living in a one-bedroom cottage, he took in stray cats (up to 10 at a time) and came to terms with his weird fame, once joking that the series "raised my family to the status of a recurring question on Hollywood Squares."
But family nonetheless. "They were actually very loving," says a friend, photographer Ann Summa. In his final months in a hospice, Loud was visited by his father, 80, now a semiretired real estate broker, and brothers Kevin, 48, an Internet entrepreneur, and Grant, 47, a promotions executive for Jeopardy! His mother and sisters Michele, 44, a clothing designer, and Delilah, 46, a TV advertising executive, were with him at the end. "We never thought he could die," says Pat. "We're going to miss him so much."