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Celebrity Chef and TV Host Anthony Bourdain commits suicide at 61

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U.S. celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN's food-and-travel-focused "Parts Unknown" television series, has died at the age of 61, the network said on Friday.

Celebrity Chef and TV Host Anthony Bourdain Commits Suicide at 61

Bourdain hanged himself, the network said in a statement. He was found dead in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his programme, CNN said.He began his television journey in 2002 with "A Cook's Tour" on the Food Network.

In 2005 he joined the Travel Channel with "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations". He picked up two Emmy Awards for the series.

Bourdain joined CNN in 2013 with a new travel and food series "Parts Unknown", which is currently in its 11th season. The same year, Peabody Award judges honoured Bourdain and the series for "expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure."

"He's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious. People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document," the judges said.

He also served as a narrator and executive producer for PBS series "The Mind of a Chef" and frequently appeared as a guest judge on "Top Chef".

Bourdain was also a favourite of former US President, Barack Obama. In 2016, when Obama visited Vietnam, he met Bourdain for a special meal and also appeared on one of the episodes of "Parts Unknown".

Bourdain was married twice, firstly to his high-school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski in 1985. They divorced after 20 years.

Two years later he married mixed martial artiste Ottavia Busia and they had a daughter, Ariane, born in 2007. He blamed the split partly on his constant travel for work.

Last year he was romantically linked with Italian actress Asia Argento.

Soon after the news of his death broke, tributes started pouring in on social media.

CNN political commentator Keith Boykin, said: "So sorry to learn of Anthony Bourdain's death. He was an inspiration to me as a broadcaster, an athlete, and a citizen of the world. Just two days ago, I was telling a friend how Bourdain's example inspired me to return to MMA training."

Actor Busy Philipps said she was "truly devastated" and called for people in need of help to "reach out".

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said he was "stunned" by the news and shared the number of suicide prevention helplines.

"Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away," he tweeted.

"This is utterly heartbreaking. Thank you for opening our eyes to parts of the world both cherished and unknown. What a legacy. Sending peace and love to his family," singer-songwriter Mandy Moore posted.

"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston wrote," According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are nearly 45,000 suicides every year in the US. Shocking. I was saddened to hear of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. RIP. It illustrates that success is not immune to depression. We all need to be more aware of our friends who are suffering."

(with PTI inputs)

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