The staff at CNN is mourning the loss of Anthony Bourdain, who died from an apparent suicide at the age of 61 on Friday, June 8. He had hosted the travel and food show Parts Unknown on the network since 2013.
“Everyone here is devastated this morning,” a CNN staffer tells Us Weekly. “It’s so shocking and sad.”
A second employee says Bourdain would “make regular visits” to the office in New York City. “Anthony was a standout talent for the network,” the employee tells Us. “Staffers were in awe of Anthony. He was a presence. … He was humble and loved, and everyone is in shock.”
The TV personality was found dead in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he was filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. CNN reported that the cause of death was suicide by hanging. He was found by his close friend and fellow chef Éric Ripert.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
Ripert, 53, was among the many celebrities and culinary experts who mourned Bourdain. “Anthony was a dear friend. He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous,” he said in a statement to Us. “One of the greatest storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”
Bourdain’s girlfriend, Asia Argento, also spoke out. “Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did,” she tweeted. “His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).