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Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has died at 61 in a suicide, CNN says

Key Points
  • Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a suicide in France, CNN says.
  • He was best known as host of the network's award-winning show "Parts Unknown."
  • The show won five Emmy awards, according to the Television Academy.
Anthony Bourdain dead at age 61

Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN's award-winning show "Parts Unknown," was found dead in a suicide, the network said Friday. He was 61.

Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of the show, CNN said. It said close friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert made the discovery.

The French National Gendarmerie told NBC News that Bourdain's body was found in his room at the Chambard Hotel, in the Alsatian town of Kaysersberg, near Colmar. Suicide was suspected.

"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," CNN said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

A cameraman works outside Le Chambard Hotel in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France, June 8, 2018. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN's food-and-travel-focused "Parts Unknown" television series, killed himself in a French hotel room, CNN said on June 8, 2018.
Vincent Kessler | Reuters

Bourdain ran several high profile restaurant kitchens in New York after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. His memoir "Kitchen Confidential" in 2000 led to The Food Network to offer Bourdain his own food and travel show "A Cook's Tour," which aired 35 episodes. Bourdain joined the Travel Channel in 2005 to create the series "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," which ran for 142 episodes.

He then began "Parts Unknown" on CNN in April 2013, with its 11th season premiering last month.

"Parts Unknown" has won five Emmy awards, and he won one as executive producer of the PBS show "The Mind of a Chef," according to the Television Academy.

In a 2016 episode of "Parts Unknown," Bourdain spoke about suffering bouts of depression.

"I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I'll order an airport hamburger. It's an insignificant thing, it's a small thing, it's a hamburger, but it's not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days," he said.

"I communicate for a living but I'm terrible about communicating with people I care about," he continued. "There's the evil cheeseburger that sets me off, the evil hamburger. Suddenly I'm super depressed for days."

Bourdain dined with President Barack Obama in Hanoi during the latter's trip to Vietnam in May 2016. They ate at a casual restaurant, eating noodles and grilled pork.

Obama mourned Bourdain's death.

"Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer." This is how I'll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We'll miss him.

President Donald Trump told reporters as he left the White
House that Bourdain's death was "very shocking."

"I enjoyed his show, he was quite a character," Trump said, according to Reuters.

It was the second reported celebrity suicide this week. Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday in an apparent hanging in her New York apartment.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 45,000 people committed suicide in 2016, and suicide rates went up more than 30 percent in half of states since 1999.

To get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free and confidential support.

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