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Celebrity Reactions To Anthony Bourdain's Death Show The Chef & TV Host Touched So Many Lives

by Alana Romain

On Friday morning, the world learned of the heartbreaking news that chef, Food Network host, and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain had died, according to CNN. The 61-year-old was in France at the time of his death, where he'd been working on an upcoming episode of his show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. According to CNN, Bourdain died by suicide, though Romper's request for comment from Bourdain's representatives was not immediately returned. On social media though, many have already expressed shock and sadness, and celebrity reactions to Anthony Bourdain's death show that the talented star will be incredibly missed.

Though high-profile deaths often lead to an outpouring of public heartbreak, it seems that Bourdain was much more than someone people simply enjoyed watching on TV. In a statement, CNN praised "his love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and [his] remarkable stories of the world," while on Twitter, his fans remembered the host for his ability to use his love of food as a way of introducing different cultures and local voices to the rest of the world. And for those who knew him, it meant the passing of a good friend, who tried to live with kindness, compassion, and an open mind.

In a tweet early Friday, Chrissy Teigen — who has authored two best-selling cookbooks — called Bourdain "one of her idols," and thanked him for "making food so exciting [and] always standing up for everything right." Food Network stars Tyler Florence and Michael Symon both expressed their shock over Boudain's passing, while President Donald Trump called his death "very sad," and told reporters, "I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences. That was very shocking," he said, according to The Washington Examiner.

In a heartbreaking series of tweets, musician John Lurie expressed his immense sadness and disbelief over the news, and shared that the two were "just becoming friends," and that they'd even had plans to meet up again soon. Lurie wrote that when he first met Bourdain, he "walked into [his] home without a hint of ego," and that he "loved him in seconds."

Celebrity chef Gordan Ramsey wrote that he was "stunned and saddened" by Bourdain's death, and credited him for "[bringing] the world into our homes and [inspiring] so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food," while Jamie Oliver wrote that Bourdain "really broke the mould, [and] pushed the culinary conversation."

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse posted a photo of himself with Bourdain, and wrote that he was "a friend to us all."

While Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski remembered Bourdain as "a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man."

And in a touching tweet, President Barack Obama shared a photo of him and Bourdain drinking beer together on a visit to Vietnam, and praised him for teaching the world how to use food "to bring us together ... [and] make us a little less afraid of the unknown."

For many though, Bourdain's death was also a painful reminder of the need for better mental health support, and more understanding for those struggling with depression. In a tweet, actor Brian Cranston wrote that the deaths of Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade earlier this week proved "that success is not immune to depression," and said "we all need to be more aware of our friends who are suffering." Former reality star Bethanny Frankel said that Bourdain's death was her "wake up call," while others, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and news hosts John Berman and Chris Cillizza, offered reminders that mental illness doesn't discriminate — even those who appear to have beautiful, inspiring, enviable lives can be suffering in silence.

And to anyone who might currently be suffering, comedian Patton Oswalt and actresses Busy Philipps and Mandy Moore urged them to take Bourdain's death as a sign to reach out for help:

Though Bourdain's struggles didn't appear to be evident to many prior to his death, he has been open in the past about his struggles with addiction and mental illness. In a January 2017 interview with The Guardian, Bourdain described himself in the past as "an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem," and added, "I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with." Yet his friend, celebrity chef and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, wrote on Twitter that in the past year, he thought Bourdain had "never been happier."

In addition to his enduring career success, he was also the father of an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, according to Delish, and was in a relationship with Italian actress Asia Argento, whom he called "inspiring" in a September 2017 interview with People magazine. While Argento hasn't commented on his death, on May 30, she posted a photo of Bourdain on Instagram, and shared that she'd directed an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown.

Sadly though, as Bourdain's death appears to prove, severe depression and suicidal ideation aren't always obvious to others in the ways we might expect them to be. People at risk of dying by suicide can still seem reasonably healthy and high-functioning, and may not exhibit any warning signs, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Bourdain's passing is beyond heartbreaking, and it's clearly been a crushing blow to many people, even those who never actually met him. Yet, if nothing else, Bourdain's death can hopefully be a powerful eye-opener about the nature of mental illness, and the desperate need to better understand and support those still struggling.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.