More details are emerging on the apparent suicide of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, one day after he was found dead in his Paris hotel room. According to people close to Bourdain, the Parts Unknown host had been working an unusually stressful work schedule in recent months, which might have contributed to the exhaustion and the “dark mood” he was feeling in the lead-up to his untimely passing at the age of 61.
Speaking to People shortly after Bourdain’s death on Friday, a source who “worked closely” with the famed chef and author in the past year described Bourdain’s travel schedule as “grueling” enough to leave him stressed out and looking “quite beat-up.” The source added that Bourdain was the type of person to give his maximum effort during Parts Unknown shoots, and “go back to his room to isolate” once shooting wrapped up.
“It never struck me as peculiar, but it was as if he gave everything to his work and then had nothing, zero, left for himself afterwards,” the source related.
“He was always very, very tried. He pushed himself extremely hard.”
The source added that Anthony Bourdain simply did not have the option to take days off from Parts Unknown, which took a toll on his mood once the cameras stopped rolling. However, those who worked with Bourdain didn’t see any signs of depression or mental illness in the time leading up to his apparent suicide.
“He was not especially cheerful or engaging, off camera, but it was never rude or ill-intentioned. The guy was absolutely exhausted.”
Gladys Bourdain, a former New York Times editor and the mother of the late celebrity chef, told the publication that her son was the “last person in the world” whom she would have expected to commit suicide. She did, however, suggest that Anthony might have been troubled by something in recent days, though she wasn’t sure what would have driven him to take his own life.
“Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days. He had everything. Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”
As noted by Page Six, Anthony Bourdain spent about 250 days each year working on Parts Unknown, visiting various cities around the world to sample their cuisine, and learn about and participate in the local customs. Nonetheless, he always tried to free up some time for his family, as he spent breaks in between episodes with his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, who lives in Manhattan with her mother, mixed martial arts fighter Ottavia Busia.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.