‘Roadrunner’: What was Anthony Bourdain’s cause of death?
The new documentary Roadrunner recalls a culinary legend whose life spurred jealousy in all who witnessed it. Yet, Anthony Bourdain had suffered in ways his audience would not know until it was too late. On June 8th, 2018, the world-traveling writer took his own life in the small French town of Kaysersberg.
Director Morgan Neville delves not only into the greatest moments of Bourdain’s life but also the somber events which preceded his tragic death. The sixty-one year old chef, writer, traveler, and TV host’s cause of death still weakens the hearts of fans and Neville’s new documentary doesn’t hold back. Take a look at how Roadrunner portrays Anthony Bourdain’s final days and what may have led to such a shocking cause of death.
Anthony Bourdain thrust into the limelight
Roadrunner’s trailer features haunting voice-overs from Bourdain describing various moments in his life. Neville’s documentary justly begins in 1999 as Bourdain was about to launch his career with his novel Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Cleverly written anecdotes comprise Bourdain’s memoir which also gave readers a look into the dark side of New York City’s high-end culinary scene.
After the book was released, Anthony Bourdain received widespread acclaim and became an instant star. In the film, Bourdain says, “One minute I was standing next to a deep fryer. The next I was watching the sun set over the Sahara.”
Unfortunately, this experience was also isolating for the chef. He recalled, “It happened overnight. One minute I was a cook at a restaurant, and not a particularly great one. . . and the next, I was an author.” The archival footage also portrays Bourdain’s growing anxiety over his sudden fame. He explains, “It’s scary. Anything that happens beyond that [kitchen] door, I’m suspicious of.”
Producers who worked with Bourdain early in his TV hosting career recall how timid he surprisingly was. Awkward in front of the camera, it was hard for them to believe the snarky writings belonged to the shy Anthony Bourdain. Parts Unknown producer Christopher Collins reveals, “Tony was actually a very shy human being.”
One of Bourdain’s close friends, David Chang, describes the jarring shift in the film. He says, “Tony got really famous. It was just an incessant, non-stop barrage.” Meanwhile, others close to the late chef detail how he became increasingly agoraphobic and fearful of being in the public eye.
His growing anxiety and faltering relationships
In 2005, Bourdain divorced his wife of twenty years. The two were high school sweethearts before their marriage in 1985. However, after his 2005 divorce, Anthony Bourdain was introduced to restaurant manager Ottavia Busia and the couple soon married and introduced their daughter Ariane to the world in 2007.
Sadly, the pair’s relationship was unable to survive his constant travels and the couple separated in 2017. Bourdain and Busia split on good terms and never formally finalized their divorce.
Soon after his separation, Bourdain met the Italian actress & director Asia Argento and started what some described as a turbulent relationship. Friends of Bourdain recall that the ex-addict seemed to have found his new addiction in Argento. “There was a very sort of manic nature to what was going on in that last year,” Collins says. “The highs were very, very high, and the lows were very ugly.”
Although Bourdain was infatuated with Argento, she still maintains that the pair had an open relationship. Just days before Bourdain’s suicide, Argento was photographed with French photographer Hugo Clément. The story hit countless publications and friends of the chef understood this infidelity had hurt him deeply.
“My take is that the thing that Tony was having the hardest time with was humiliation,” Neville has claimed. “He has taken himself so far out on the limb to be made to feel like a chump so publicly. That was the thing — not heartbreak. Humiliation.”
Anthony Bourdain’s cause of death
In June 2018, Anthony Bourdain was traveling to Strasbourg, France to film an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. The show’s crew was staying at Le Chambard hotel in the quiet town of Kaysersberg.
Colleague and close friend of Bourdain, Éric Ripert, recalled that he became worried about the host on June 8th after not appearing at both dinner and the following breakfast. Ripert went to check on Bourdain only to find that he had died of suicide by hanging in his hotel room. The autopsy informed that there were no drugs or alcohol in Bourdain’s toxicology report.
The beloved chef was cremated in France on June 13th, 2018, and his ashes were returned to the United States. It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly would cause such a tragic end to a man who showed the viewers reflections of themselves in others around the globe.
Roadrunner is now being shown in theaters across the United States. Were you shocked by the death of Anthony Bourdain? Let us know in the comments below.