Anthony Bourdain was found dead Friday in Strasbourg, France as the result of suicide by hanging, CNN confirmed. He was 61.
Bourdain was in France while filming an episode for the next season of CNN’s Parts Unknown. He was found in his hotel room by longtime friend and fellow chef, Eric Ripert.
Born June 25, 1956 in New York City, Bourdain was a groundbreaking figure in the culinary world, molding a profile as a gritty, no-nonsense head chef with the release of his first book, Kitchen Confidential, in 2000. Bourdain’s memoir offered a sardonic look into kitchens of some of New York’s finest restaurants while also detailing his experiences while training to be a chef at the Culinary Institute of America, serving as executive chef at the now-closed Brasserie Les Halles, and frank discussions about his own battles with addiction.
Bourdain became a household name as a TV personality, as well known for his far-flung travels as his culinary pedigree, starting with a short run from 2002 to 2003 as host on A Cook’s Tour. He shot to stardom with Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which ran from 2005 to 2012.
“He took us to places we’ll never go, but he also brought us home sometimes,” remarked CNN host and colleague Brian Stelter while announcing the news on the air on Friday morning.
Bourdain has been the host of CNN’s Parts Unknown since 2013, which drew upon both the out-of-the-ordinary food and travel roots with a heavier journalism influence. Recently concluding its eleventh season, Parts Unknown has been an acclaimed hit for CNN, winning a Peabody Award in 2014 and a string of Emmys from 2013 through 2016.
Bourdain also served as a producer and narrator on PBS’s Mind of a Chef and served as a celebrity judge on ABC’s food-inspired game show The Taste. Bourdain recounted his experiences as a famous food personality with his famously wry tone in another memoir, Medium Raw, in 2010.
“He was all about the unknown frontier and bringing it back to us,” said CNN host Poppy Harlow, later in the hour.
Married and divorced twice, Bourdain was most recently in a relationship with actress Asia Argento, and Bourdain had been steadfastly vocal in his support for her after she went public last fall with sexual assault allegations against now-disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein.
Bourdain is survived by a daughter.
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here are ways to help: Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Available 24 hours a day and seven days per week, it provides free and confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or distress.