In tragic news, CNN reported on Friday, June 8 that chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain had died by suicide. The 61-year-old was world-famous for his travel- and food-focused shows, plus his work as an author. At the time of his death, Bourdain was reportedly in France filming an episode for his CNN show Parts Unknown.
The chef gained attention in the media after he evolved his 1999 New Yorker article, "Don't Eat Before Reading This," into his bestselling 2000 book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He then went on to star in a number of television series and became a major personality.
Bourdain hosted A Cook's Tour on Food Network for two seasons, starting in 2002. He then moved to the Travel Channel in 2005 for his show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which lasted for eight seasons until 2012. He also created the two-season show The Layover for Travel Channel before he moved over to CNN for Parts Unknown. He continued writing over the years and The Hollywood Reporter noted how his 2000 memoir, Kitchen Confidential, even inspired a scripted TV show in 2005 starring Bradley Cooper. Besides being a bestselling author, Bourdain's television work earned him four Primetime Emmy awards and he won a 2013 Peabody Award for Parts Unknown.
"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement Friday morning on their website. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."
Bourdain had his daughter — 11-year-old Ariane — with his second wife, mixed martial arts fighter Ottavia Busia. People reported that the couple split up in 2016 after nine years together. Us Weekly reported that Bourdain had previously been married for 20 years to his high school sweetheart, Nancy Putkoski, from 1985 to 2005. Most recently, he had been dating Italian actor Asia Argento. According to People, the pair met when Argento worked with Bourdain on an episode of Parts Unknown in Rome in 2016. Argento had continued to work with Bourdain on his CNN show and she had directed the Hong Kong episode that aired on June 3.
Through his relationship with Argento, Bourdain also became outspoken about the Me Too movement. Argento is one of the women who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, and Bourdain tweeted his support of her and the other women who came forward while condemning Weinstein. (Weinstein has repeatedly denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.) In November 2017, Bourdain cooked dinner for Argento and Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra, who also have accused Weinstein of sexual abuse. Bourdain tweeted, "It was an honor to cook for this meeting of the minds." He also explained on The Daily Show that Argento helped make the issue of sexual misconduct "personal" for him and that he was "reexamining" his life.
Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
Through his cooking, writing, and shows, Bourdain will be remembered for all the good he left behind.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.
Additional reporting by Rachel Simon.