Anthony Bourdain Said He Wanted to 'Die in the Saddle' in PEOPLE Interview Months Before Death
PEOPLE spent three days traveling with Bourdain as he filmed an episode of Parts Unknown, his hit CNN series, during which he shared that he had no desire to retire.
“I gave up on that. I’ve tried. I just think I’m just too nervous, neurotic, driven,” he said. “I would have had a different answer a few years ago. I might have deluded myself into thinking that I’d be happy in a hammock or gardening. But no, I’m quite sure I can’t.”
He added, in a now-eerie comment, “I’m going to pretty much die in the saddle.”
CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death PEOPLE. According to the outlet, Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France on Friday morning by close friend and French chef, Eric Ripert. Both were filming an upcoming episode of Bourdain’s award-winning show.
A Strasbourg police spokesperson confirmed Bourdain’s death to PEOPLE, but could not provide additional comment.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement provided to PEOPLE. “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.”
The chef turned travel TV host told PEOPLE in February he spent roughly 250 days a year on the road, and said that the Parts Unknown team “has become like my dysfunctional family. At the end of the shoot, a lot of times we hang out for hours drinking someplace like the breakfast nook slash bar in the hotel.”
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Bourdain noted that it was important that he never shot in two cities back-to-back for the CNN series, instead reserving five days a month to spend with Ariane, his 11-year-old daughter, who lives with his ex-wife Ottavia Busia, a mixed-martial-arts fighter, in New York.
“I’ll go back, see my daughter, unpack, repack, mimic a normal life, which is extraordinarily pleasurable to me,” said the star.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.