Anthony Bourdain, who has tragically committed suicide in a hotel room in France, was married twice, had a girlfriend, and left behind a child.
His parents were Pierre Bourdain and Gladys Bourdain, who were both accomplished people in their own right in Manhattan. The Parts Unknown television personality, chef, and author was found dead in his hotel room by a fellow chef named Eric Ripert, according to CNN, which confirmed the cause of death. He was 61. The tragedy has a lot of people wondering about the family Bourdain, known for his travels around the world to sample cuisine and culture, leaves behind.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bourdain’s Father, Pierre, Was an Executive in the Classical Music Industry
Pierre Bourdain died in 1987, according to his obituary in the New York Times, which says he left behind two sons, Anthony and Christopher, both of New York City. Bourdain’s father was only 57-years-old when he died of a heart attack at his home.
The obituary says that Pierre Bourdain was born in Manhattan, served in the U.S. Army, and attended Yale University. “He worked in sales promotion for London Records and was classical merchandising manager for CBS from Records in the 1960s and 70’s,” says the obit, which adds that the father eventually became co-owner of Orpheus Compact Disks in New York.
His father’s family was from France. Bourdain wrote about his father in an essay for Father’s Day in Bon Appetit Magazine in 2012. “I was shucking oysters at a raw bar in the Village when my father died,” he wrote. “He was 57 years old, an age I’m rapidly approaching. I think about that a lot—and about my father, whose face I see in my own more and more with the passing of the years.”
He added in the essay of Pierre Bourdain, “My father was, as he liked to say, ‘a man of simple needs.’ He grew up with a French mother, a French name, speaking French, and spent many summers in France.” To Bourdain’s dad, food was either “marvelous” or not worth mentioning, Bourdain wrote in the moving essay.
2. Bourdain’s Mother, Gladys, Worked at the New York Times
Both of Bourdain’s parents were accomplished people. Bourdain’s mother Gladys “is a copy editor at The New York Times today, but when Bourdain was a boy, she was a stay-at-home mom in New Jersey, and an enthusiastic amateur chef,” CBS News reported in 2007 in an article that referred to Anthony Bourdain as “cooking’s bad boy.”
“He would be curious. Come into the kitchen – we had a great kitchen – and he decorated the gingerbread men at Christmas as a kid,” she said to CBS. “So he always had this interest in good taste, good smells. From a very young age, he loved to try new things. He ate snails that first summer in France, too.”
Gladys Bourdain spoke to The New York Times about her son’s tragic death. “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” she said, adding, “Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days.” She told the newspaper she didn’t know why he would take his life, saying, “He had everything. Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”
3. Anthony Bourdain Was Married & Divorced Twice & Left Behind a Girlfriend
Ottavia Busia was Bourdain’s second wife. They separated after nine years of marriage in 2016. Busia was an MMA fighter, according to US Magazine.
“The pair met through the restaurant scene when Busia was working at Japanese eatery Geisha, US reported, according to a 2012 New York Times profile. “Their first date was at a cigar bar, and soon after, they got matching tattoos of a chef’s knife on their shoulders. After just a few more dates, they tied the knot.”
When the pair split, Busia, then 38, told Page Six, “Because of professional decisions we both have made, my husband and I have been for years in an unconventional relationship. Nothing has changed. We love each other. We respect the decisions the other has made. And we’ll always consider ourselves a family.”
According to US Magazine, Bourdain’s first wife was Nancy Putkoski, his “high school sweetheart,” to whom he was married from 1985 to 2005.
At the time of his death, Bourdain was dating the actress Asia Argento, an Italian actress who was a director on his show. They had been together since 2016. She is one of the women who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her.
Argento made a cryptic Instagram post, now deleted, several hours before Bourdain’s death was reported. It was “a photo of herself wearing a ripped t-shirt that read: ‘F— EVERYONE,'” People Magazine reports, adding that she captioned the post: “You know who you are.” It’s not clear what she meant.
Bourdain had made positive posts about Argento on Instagram recently, though.
According to UK Daily Mail, Earlier in the week, Argento was photographed “walking around Rome with journalist Hugo Clement” and hugging and laughing. Recently, Bourdain “bought a moody painting with the ominous title ‘The world is falling down, I am learning to live with it,'” Daily Mail reports.
4. Bourdain Had a Daughter Named Ariane With Busia
Anthony Bourdain’s decision to have a child surprised his mother. Ariane was born in 2007. She is the daughter of Ottavia Busia and Anthony Bourdain.
“His having a baby surprised me incredibly,” Bourdain’s mother said to CBS. “Because he had always said he didn’t want to be a hostage to fear. And that you have to worry so about children that he really didn’t want it. But I think, frankly, that he’ll be a fantastic father. Because under all the cynicism he has a mushy place that’s very tender.”
Bourdain told People Magazine of his child: “I want to spend as much time with her as I can.”
5. Co-Workers Referred to Bourdain as Family
Those who worked with Bourdain also considered him family. Reporter Christiane Amanpour wrote on Twitter, “My heart breaks for Tony Bourdain. May he rest in peace now. He was a friend, a collaborator, and family. A huge personality, a giant talent, a unique voice, and deeply, deeply human. My heart goes out to his daughter and family, and his longtime partners and friends at ZPZ.”
“I am shocked and deeply saddened. RIP to a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man. @Bourdain ❤️ Prayers for his loved ones,” wrote Antoni Porowski.