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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Anthony Bourdain Dies At The Age Of 61. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 08, 2018 - 20:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We learn today we lost a friend and colleague Anthony Bourdain. I know many of you who watched him feel you too have lost a friend, a travel companion who always up for an adventure.

Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in northeastern France. He was 61- years old with a young daughter, incredible career, a successful and critically acclaim show in this network. He loved and was loved returned in return.

Many of you, like many of us, are feeling a whole range of emotions -- shock, sadness and confusion that a man who is seemingly having the ride of his life in the middle of his life has now suddenly reached the end of his life.

Anthony is the second public figure to die this way this week. Kate Spade was the first. Some expert point to a phenomenon they call suicide contagion where talking happens in moments such as this.

For that reason tonight, as we remember Anthony Bourdain and his extraordinary life, we will also be talking about steps to take that could save someone else's life. Maybe someone watching right now.

Throughout the hour, we will be showing the number at the bottom right corner of your screen. 1-800-273-8255. That's 1-800-273-TALK which is the national suicide prevention lifeline. And people there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I will also be joined shortly by an expert in the field about warning signs and how to help those in need.

But first and throughout this hour, we want to remember our friend and our colleague, one of this country's greatest story tellers, Anthony Bourdain.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: We ask simple questions. What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers.

More importantly even --

COOPER (voice-over): It is hard to imagine he is gone. Hard to imagine he is not just off on some far away journey. Hard to imagine that he will not soon return with new stories to tell and new foods to share.

BOURDAIN: You know, food is an entryway. I'm a guy who spent 30 years cooking food professionally. That is where I come from. That's how I am always going to look at the world. But food isn't everything. And something comes up, I am happy to get up from the meal and wander off elsewhere.

COOPER: Anthony Bourdain saw the world and experienced life in a way most people never will. In places near and far, he talked and tasted with open mouth and eyes and open heart and mind. Over the years when Anthony returned, we would meet up and discuss the places he had just been. Usually in a restaurant table or kitchen where he encouraged me expand my limited culinary curiosity.

BOURDAIN: Word on the street is you hate food.

COOPER: I am not a foodie. Yes, that's true.

BOURDAIN: What does Anderson really going to be freak out? What's really going to offend him?

COOPER: I think the smell is already --.

BOURDAIN: -- can terrify him. That was thymus gland.


BOURDAIN: Thymus gland.

COOPER: Thymus gland. Where would that be?

BOURDAIN: I think somewhere around your neck.

COOPER: Glad, I didn't know that. What was that?

BOURDAIN: Aorta. From the heart. Got it.

BOURDAIN: A valve to the heart.

COOPER: I didn't know it was edible. I didn't know you can eat it.

BOURDAIN: You can eat anything.

COOPER: Why is it called blood sausage?

BOURDAIN: because it is made from blood. You know, if it is really good, it is kind of squirty.

COOPER: Anthony loved drinking and eating, tasting the delights of the world, immersing himself in other cultures and countries, bringing the rest of us along on his journey. His show were full of references to movies he loved, music he worshipped, books he read and re-read.

BOURDAIN: It is the setting, an important factor of the heart of darkness which a book that I am obsessed with. Only exceeded by my obsession with "Apocalypse Now." COOPER: That was one of my favorite movie.

BOURDAIN: Pretty much trapped that story arc as it means (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: As a kid I wanted to be Colonel Curtis. I know he wasn't --.

COOPER: A mountain yard army.

BOURDAIN: I am with you on the mountain yard army. That sounded cool.

Finally, trying to get in this country five years now.

COOPER: By the time of his death, Anthony had visited more than 80 countries and many of them multiple times. Even if food was not your passion, Anthony could enthrall you with what he saw and learned in the places he went.

And watching your shows, I realize I am missing out on an entire side of placed that I am visiting because I am not experimenting with the food.

BOURDAIN: But people are telling you a story when they give you food. And if you don't accept the food, you are in many cultures whether rural Arkansas or Vietnam, you are rejecting the people. And they, I mean we see it many, many times. Because I am accepting in a food even if it is either out of my comfort zone or outright appalling, because I am nodding saying yes, I am try it, thank you, people open up and the relationship proceeds from that point and becomes something very, very different.

People are surprised to see Americans, you know, eat their food. They are pleasantly surprised. They are telling you something about themselves. Chances are they are very proud of their food traditions even if what they have to offer is very little.

[20:05:48] COOPER: Have there been times when you said absolutely like, I just can't eat. I know it is going to make me sick.

BOURDAIN: No, mission one on the show is if you have to take one for the team, you take one for the team. I try to be a good guest. There have been times where freshness is clearly an issue, and I know I am very likely going to pay a price. But in almost every case, you know, a magic moments is happening. And I am going to see a lot more if I just suck it up and eat the nasty bit. The vast majority of those experiences are in fact very pleasurable journeys of discoveries. But every once in a while it is unpleasant. What is the worst thing that going to happen, you know? It is a course of antibiotics. What do you get in return? I think a lot.

COOPER: He was born Anthony Michael Bourdain on June 25th, 1956. He grew up in New Jersey. Spent time with relatives in France in the summers. That's where he developed his appreciation of fine foods. He started working in kitchens at a young age. First, washing dishes then moving up to line cook. He became addicted to heroin and cocaine during these time of his life but beat the habit and eventually rose to become executive chef at les Halles restaurant in New York City. He took me there in 2015 to cook a traditional French dish.

BOURDAIN: This is tripe.

COOPER: What is tripe? That's one of those words that I know it means something else that I do not going to want to eat.

BOURDAIN: It means good.

COOPER: You know, there is funny, why do you need to eat the stomach lining?

BOURDAIN: Because you have to work hard for the good stuff.

COOPER: In 1999, when Anthony was 44, he sent a humorous and slightly shocking essay realities to "The New Yorker" magazine about the realities of working in a restaurant kitchen. To his surprise, they published it and that led to his bestselling memoire, "Kitchen Confidential, adventures in the culinary underbelly." Soon after that, he landed his first TV show a cook's show which aired on the Food Network. It was the beginning of his rise to fame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a cook, taste and smells on my memories. Now I'm in search of new ones. So I am leaving New York City and hope to have a few epiphanies around the world. And I'm willing to go some lengths to do that.

BOURDAIN: I am looking for extremes of emotion in experience. I will try anything. I risk everything. I have nothing to lose.

COOPER: He went on to host "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. And then in 2012 joined CNN.

"PARTS UNKNOWN" has won plenty of awards over the years, is far more than a show about just cooking and eating. Anthony was a great story teller. His voice was unique and fearless. He was as interested in politics, in music, in culture, as what is cooking on the stove.

BOURDAIN: That was the beginning of our erosion of our society as we know it.

I make lots and lots of, lots of, lots of money and that money will somehow trickle down.

No way. I share my toilet with no man.

Move along.

I am a man of simple needs.

The ideas of riding up the steps and disavowing royals, I could easily imagine myself --. You are not take much convincing.

Now, where is my damn toga?

I describe "PARTS UNKNOWN," as a series of essays or standalone essays that generally try to focus on the subject of food and where it comes from, but not always.

COOPER: The show was so popular, even President Barack Obama wanted in on it. He sat down with Anthony for an episode in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2016.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, is it appropriate to just pop once of these whole suckers in your mouth? Do you think that this should be a little more --?

BOURDAIN: Well, slurping is totally acceptable.

It takes skills, by the way, to handle these sticky cold noodles. But whatever you are opinioned of the man, the President has those skills.

I got to say, this is killer. I'm glad I can help.

COOPER: Anthony was always himself on camera. Always honest about what he saw and how he felt. In one episode about the opioid crisis, he talked about his struggle with addiction in the past.

[20:10:00] BOURDAIN: You know, something was missing in me. Whether it was a self-image, situation whether it was a character flaw, you know, some dark genie inside me that I very much hesitate to call a disease that led me to dope.

COOPER: He was married twice. And in 2007 welcomed a daughter, Arianne into the world. After she was born, he told "People" magazine that she gave him a reason to live. This is her voice in a special episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" in 2014.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been two years on the road with "PARTS UNKNOWN," how do you feel about the show? Has the experience changed? Is it still fun?

BOURDAIN: That's a hard question. You know, one of the great things about travel is just when you think I have had enough of this, something really interesting happens. And interesting things happen to me all the time. All the time. I feel I have the best job in the world and it is still fun. More importantly even I think, it is still interesting. And it is still challenging in a good way. Who wouldn't do this if they could?

COOPER: It is impossible from the outside to ever fully know what goes on in someone else's heart or in their head. It is impossible to fathom how quickly one's life can change. Anthony once wrote as you move through this life and this world you change things slightly. You leave marks behind however small. And in return, life and travel leaves marks on you. Most of the time those marks on your body or your heart are beautiful. Often though, they hurt.

Tonight, the hurt for all of us who knew Anthony, and all of us who came to know him through his travels, that hurt is strong, and the shock is real, the sadness is just beginning to sink in.

Anthony Bourdain was 61-years old.


COOPER: When we come back, his longtime friend and on screen collaborator Philip Cook and cook book author Michael Ruhlman joins us.

As we go to break, here is a moment I shared with Anthony in my kitchen. He was telling me about his recent trip to South Korea.


COOPER: So, this upcoming episode, you go to South Korea. And to celebrate that you are going to cook South Korean dish?

BOURDAIN: Yes. It is the king -- I mean, this is, you know, you talk about something called dorm food or bro food or, you know, the sort of thing, like and I am not saying you ever would be, but if you were sort of not at your best at 2:00 in the morning. Like if you had eight more of these or hitting the bong with a blitzer.

COOPER: Blitzer.

BOURDAIN: SITUATION ROOM, I'm telling you, it gets dark in there.




[20:16:3] BOURDAIN: Do you feel enlightened and inspired by this meal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you asking? You are trying to get on something.

BOURDAIN: I am trying to prove that I am down with the people, man. I am still cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guilt keeps coming back. You feel guilty.

BOURDAIN: You are right. I feel guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then don't use the showers. What are you doing here if you feel so guilty about it?

BOURDAIN: I know. I feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is more to the point. Now you are starting to be honest with yourself.



That is Anthony Bourdain and his friend, fellow cook and cookbook author, Michael Ruhlman in "PART UNKNOWN" episode in Las Vegas. Because every (INAUDIBLE) needs a (INAUDIBLE), every bandit needs a snowman. The question always being which one is which.

Michael Ruhlman joins us now.

Michael, thanks so much for being with us. You guys were friends I know for a long time. Just talk a little bit about Anthony.

MICHAEL RUHLMAN, FRIEND OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN: Everybody would always ask me, what's he really like? And the fact is, he was exactly like what you saw on TV. And I think that is what people loved about him. Anderson, you know this very well. He was as straightforward, a straight shooter and he called things the way he saw it. And I can't believe he is not here anymore. We need people like him.

He was so beloved. He was much more sensitive than people realize because of his bravado, because of the way he ate, and the way he, you know, his foul language, beautifully used, artfully used. His foul language. They know how sensitive he was. He was an enormously sensitive person which is why he helped so many chefs. He was so helpful. That combined with extraordinary intelligence. Gave him that bravado and the combination of that intelligence and sensitivity made him one of the great storytellers of our time.

COOPER: You know, he was on the road, I can't remember the last time I asked him, I don't know a month or two or three ago, and I asked him how many days he was on the road and it was something like 200 and something. Did he still love it? I mean, you know, I used to travel not that much, and you know, it takes a toll. It is hard. It's lonely.

RUHLMAN: It is hard. It is lonely. They travel lean and mean for that show. Yes, he was always tired. But I think he loved it. He loved people and he loved culture and he loved food and he loved what he was doing. I mean, here is a guy who was a drug addict and a line cook for half his life and transformed himself into an award-winning journalist, a bestselling author, and an extraordinary successful TV personality which he hated to call himself but that was he was. And he transformed a medium of food journalism, food travel chefs so he did so much. And he never forgot how lucky he was to be where he was. He was always humble.

COOPER: I am going to ask a question which I don't think there is an answer to but I am sure it is going to be a question that you are going to get as a friend of his, a lot. Does any of this -- I mean, do you understand what happened or why?

RUHLMAN: I do not. The last I knew, he was in love. He was happy. He said love abounds. That was the last words he said to me. That was a while ago. When I saw him, he looked tired. But I have no idea. I think his best friend, Eric, was with him and found him. Eric would be the only person who know and I don't know if he knows. I don't know.

[20:20:08] COOPER: My brother died by suicide 30 years ago, and I still ask that question. And sometimes there isn't any answer.

You traveled to Cleveland, Hudson Valley, I remember Las Vegas for no reservations, also "PARTS UNKNOWN." I just want to play a clip from your Las Vegas episode with him that aired in 2005. Let's watch this.


RUHLMAN: Tell me about the fry, be honest.

BOURDAIN: One fry and it was over.

RUHLMAN: That really is suck.

BOURDAIN: But this does taste like my childhood.

My worst nightmare.

RUHLMAN: I'm really angry now. Because they aren't really good.

BOURDAIN: Petty, unlovely feelings bubbling to the surface.


BOURDAIN: Jealousy. Rage.

RUHLMAN: I'm in a lonely angry bitter place.

BOURDAIN: I'm so unhappy about this fries. God helped me, I just lost it.

RUHLMAN: Oh my god, he gets so pissed at the fries.

Look what you did, Ruhlman, you savage disgusting beast.


COOPER: I love that he would get pissed at the fries.

RUHLMAN: It was great. I remember that meal well. It was (INAUDIBLE) in Las Vegas. He wanted to hate it but he didn't. And that is also what I love about him. You know, he would call bullshit when he saw it and he would praise something where he saw it. He didn't let anybody tell him what to think. He though for himself. And he was funny. He was so funny all the time. I was always laughing when I was around.

COOPER: Yes. I always get the sense that he had somewhere more interesting to go than being with me with the time we were together. Like I always, you know, he was like he was always coming from getting beat up in jujitsu or heading to jujitsu or I don't know. I just -- I turned 51 recently. And I literally, I was kind of sad about it. And I literally last week was thinking, you know what? Look at Anthony Bourdain? He is 61. He is still like the coolest guy in the planet. If I can be like that at 61, I will be so lucky.

RUHLMAN: Yes. Yes. The coolest guy on the planet. So many people wanted to be him. And I don't know, it's devastating. He was a hero. He was a giant. And beloved by so many people.

So many people don't even know him are devastated. It is hard to understand this loss and especially in these uncertain times when everything seems, on the verge of falling apart, we needed a voice like his and that is why this loss is especially devastating.

COOPER: Is there a moment that you shared with him that you would want to share with us?

RUHLMAN: Tony was savvy. We were at the Culinary Institute of America where he had graduated from doing an event and this was early in his career. And he was still smoking and he gave that up. He said, you know what this is about, Ruhlman, draw a cigarette, fame maintenance.

He was savvy entertainer. He knew he needed ratings. So he had this remarkable balance of savvy, sensitivity, extraordinary intelligence, lightning fast wit and humor. It is combination that is so natural (ph).

COOPER: And for someone who is such, I mean, a global celebrity he made fun of himself and took the piss out of himself as much as anybody else which is a rare quality I think in a lot of people who -- which he that kind of level of fame.

Michael, I really appreciate you being with us. I know its difficult is a small word.

RUHLMAN: It is a hard day. It's a hard day.

COOPER: Yes. Well, I appreciate you sharing memories with us. Thank you.

RUHLMAN: Thanks for having us on.

COOPER: After death like Anthony's, it is easy, of course, to ask a question, why, sometimes, there isn't any clear answer. There is hope if you are someone you know is struggling. Next, we will talk next to a doctor who has devoted her career to suicide prevention. She shares her advice on where to turn if you are or someone you know needs help.


[20:27:25] BOURDAIN: You see a landscape absolutely untouched by time. If you were hypothetically speaking you put some glace ice in your scotch at a remote scientific research base, it is bright blue. And the person putting it in your drink might tell you this ice is tens of thousands of years older than even the concept of scotch.


COOPER: Talking about Antarctica.

Tonight, we remember chef, author, traveler Anthony Bourdain, a friend of this program and part of our CNN family. Anthony died by suicide. Earlier this week so did designer Kate Spade.

Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. It is on the rise according to a new CDC report, suicide rates have increased more than 25 percent from 1999 to 2016. In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide. More than half of those people have not been diagnosed with the mental health condition.

Joining me now is Doctor Christine Moutier. chief medical officer of American foundation for suicide prevention.

Thank you for being with us. I want to read two quotes. Tony's mom told "The New York Times" he is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dream would do something like this.

I can't tell you how many times we hear that in the wake of somebody dying by suicide. His friend Eric (INAUDIBLE) who had been with him before he died, told his mom that Tony had been a dark mood the past few days.

For people out there who are suffering or know people who are suffering, what are signs they should look for? What can they do?

DR. CHRISTINE MOUTIER. CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION: Thanks, Anderson. There are so much that we can do if we understand that mental health is real, is dynamic and just as much a part of our life as our physical health is. And so, if you are noticing that there are changes going on in your sleep, your mood, your outlook and realizing that the people around you -- we are living in a culture where we have not become very mental health literate in terms of knowing that we can express the things that are really going on. I think fortunately, we have a younger generation that is about authenticity and really talking about kind of the real deal but -- so you have to understand that they may give more subtle indications of changes like feeling hopeless, like they may be a burden to others and those changes can brew for a long period of time. They can also come and go or they come on more precipitously. So we have to know how to act when we noticed those things.

COOPER: If you have loved ones who seem to be exhibiting those signs, do you talk to them? Because it is a conversation -- I mean, a lot of people are scared to bring up that words. Scared that they are going to trigger something. But silence is probably not the way to go either.


MOUTIER: Right. Silence just keeps perpetuates this sense that it is shameful that we can't talk about. As it turns out people are talking about their mental health and what's going on, on the inside and it's a very freeing place to be when you can have genuine deeper authentic conversations with the people you care about. Whether it is you are the one who is suffering or you're worried about somebody else. It deepens the relationship --

COOPER: Not just a one time conversation, an ongoing thing, so it's sort of destigmatizes the conversation?

MOUTIER: That's the idea, is that you don't even have to wait until a crisis is right in front of you. But rather you're having this deeper check in type of conversations on some regular basis day-to-day. And if you sense that they are becoming hopeless or in terrible anguish disparate trapped, like a burden then asking them if they are having thoughts of suicide is a good thing to do. That will not put people at risk. In fact, if you're going in your way to say, I am not judging you, I will never judge you, I love you no matter what. Then that opens up that incredible space where they can actually reveal what's going on in that moment, which could be life-saving if they go on to get help.

COOPER: And if somebody is having those thoughts, I mean, we have the number on the screen, what is the recommendation for you?

MOUTIER: Absolutely, you can call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline, you can text the crisis text line. You can talk to your primary care doctor, your pastor. I mean, the key thing is to talk about it and ideally with people who are trustworthy and won't judge, you know, won't come up with quick fixes but will listen and simply care, many people in the population are having suicidal thoughts right now, that we live with that reality as part of the human condition and there is no shame in that. It's what happens next, it's what we do to get through it. And we actually are very resilient at the core but sometimes things disable that.

COOPER: I've also read studies that if you can -- if somebody makes an attempt or is about to, if you can avert it in that moment, very well may not try it again.

MOUTIER: That's right. Yes. In fact, people who even survived a serious suicide attempt, more than 90% of them go on to live out their natural lives. And certainly if they're having suicidal thought but the lethal means are not available to them. There is a high likelihood that they won't go on to find another method and they will get through that moment and tap back into their usual resilience and their usual ways of coping.

COOPER: Dr. Moutier, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

MOUTIER: Thank you.

COOPER: Again, if you or anyone you know needs help, please call the number that you see on the corner of your screen at the National Suicide Prevention Awareness, 1-800-273-8255. That's 1-800-273-talk. They're there 24/7.

Still to come, Anthony Bourdain, the author, and what an author he was, he had voice all his own, the editor of his best selling books joins me to share his memories.

Also, the widow of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington joins us. He also died by suicide, his wife warns the sign of depression are often hard to see, her advice coming up, next.


[20:37:03] ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN" HOST: It's a dicey contentious place to be. As I found out when I tried to visit Nagorno Karabakh took an official flight on a helicopter -- an Armenian military helicopter into this ethnic enclave in what is technically, I guess, Azerbaijan to visit the majority Armenian population there. Immediately found myself PNG'd.

COOPER: Right. I read about that.

BOURDAIN: So I'm professionally persona non grata in Azerbaijan.


COOPER: Far flung places, Anthony Boudain did them so well. He had that in common with my friend and his, Christiane Amanpour. Just before air I talked with Christiane.


COOPER: Christiane, obviously your path-- career path Tony's were different. Yet, in a way you ended up doing the same thing, which is shedding light on places that we think we know?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, you're absolutely right. I thought about that a lot and I talked about it a lot with Tony. I knew him even before he came to CNN. And we met through fell low foodie here in England, and we talked about his route and my route and we were both correspondents. You know, he never called himself a journalist, proudly didn't call himself a journalist.

But he was a correspondent. He went out and all the stories and brought them back and he went to all the places that I did, whether it is Iran, whether it was Vietnam, whether it was Myanmar -- he went to wherever any of us went as a foreign correspondent. But he told the flip side of the story, through food, through pop culture, and through the history, through the geography of the place and through his own unbelievable breadth of knowledge with his writing, he was able to tell us the ordinary side of the story in this extraordinary places and bring these breaking news stories, as he told me once, when there's a breaking news story.

If you have seen Parts Unknown, you will know about the people there, you'll know about the culture there. The way he could conjure up literally emotion, color, and even using profanity which no one else on CNN would be allowed to do. But it was used in a way, that somehow it was OK, it was Tony Bourdain, and he was being normal. And he was showing us the normal side of the rest of the world.

COOPER: Christiane, thank you very much, I appreciate it.

AMANPOUR: Yes, deep, deep sorely missed and irreplaceable.


COOPER: Irreplaceable indeed.

A long time friend of Anthony Bourdain joins me now, Daniel Halpern and he is also the publisher of his best-selling books, including "Kitchen Confidential" and "Medium Raw." Daniel, thanks for being with us. You first bought -- you got the paper back right the "Kitchen Confidential --"


COOPER: I remember reading that book, I mean this was, what? 1999, 2000.


COOPER: I didn't care anything about food, but it was just a fascinating read. I mean, that he was bringing you inside sort of the hidden realm of the kitchen?

HALPERN: Well, it is that distinctive voice that he had and that he had all through his writing career and it was basically his voice that you got on air, and off air. He was --

[20:40:04] COOPER: The same off air that he was on air?

HALPERN: That was -- what was so remarkable at this man. He was the same on TV as he was across the table.

COOPER: I want to read something from -- a passage from "Kitchen Confidential." He wrote, "Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once."

Such a distinctive voice?

HALPERN: Well, it's a voice that once you hear it, you can't get it out of your head. And it's a voice that if you read a sentence of Tony's out of context, you know it is Tony's voice. What that is -- I mean, there are certain writers, and certain poets who have that. He had in his faith but it was his speaking voice.

COOPER: He did sort of have the soul of a poet at times?

HALPERN: He claims that he didn't understand poetry and he was always worried about my connection to poetry, but he was a poet in so many ways. He was a poet in the way he perceived the world that he inherited.

COOPER: You knew him for 20 years, I mean, as a friend. What was he like?

HALPERN: What he was like, he was when you watched him on television. He was very thoughtful, he was very moral, always. He was very shy. To me, he was a very shy man. Not that he couldn't stand in front of 5,000 people and blow them away. But basically, he was not the guy talking at the table. COOPER: He always had this energy about him. I mean, I would have a meal with him and he would do this thing with his hand and fingers, which is sort of touch each other. I felt like he was always coming from jiu-jitsu or going to jiu-jitsu or -- I always felt he had this kind of just fascinating life, like he was always coming from somewhere interesting, going to some place interesting?

HALPERN: Well, he did the Brazilian jiu-jitsu everyday and people said today, saved a lot of different email and he said what he was so thin, was there a problem? And I said, we was always thin, but it was rock hard muscle. I mean, he was slammed to the ground by black belts everyday.

COOPER: He loved it.

HALPERN: He loved it. He loved it.

COOPER: He didn't really care who he was sitting next to. I mean, he genuinely was interested in other peoples' stories?

HALPERN: That is the amazing thing. On one of the e-mails today was from a woman who sat next to him at a dinner party and she had watched him during the evening. And it didn't matter who he was talking to. He approached you, the same way that he would have approached Obama that it was the same -- you are the person in front of him and he gave everything he had to that conversation.

COOPER: He was -- I mean, one of the -- I mean, I don't use the term cool very often. But he was sort of one of the coolest guys I have ever met?

HALPERN: Definitely one of the coolest and one of the shyest.

COOPER: Yes. Daniel Halpern, thank you very much.

HALPERN: Thank you.

COOPER: Terrible loss. I have more on Anthony Bourdain in just a bit, including a reaction from his girlfriend Asia Argento. But first I'll speak with widow of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, he also died by suicide. She talks about depression, signs to watch out for how difficult it can be to detect in a loved one and how to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one.


[20:47:38] COOPER: Incredibly successful musician Chester Bennington, the frontman for Linkin Park died by suicide in July like Tony Bourdain he seemed to have everything to live for.

Joining us now to discuss, how difficult depression is to detect sometimes in advance, how hard it is to obviously deal with the sudden death of a loved one, is Talinda Bennington, Chester Bennington's widow.

Talinda, thank you so much for being with us. TALINDA BENNINGTON, WIDOW OF CHESTER BENNINGTON: Thank you for having me.

COOPER: The stigma that still surrounds suicide is something that is so harmful to people who are suffering from any kind of mental health issue. How does one fight against that.

BENNINGTON: We're looking at the way we use verbiage around suicide and mental health that is just a starting point.

COOPER: One thing I was guilty of a long time ago, and people use the term somebody committed suicide. That's not -- you know, for survivors that's not really a term that is appropriate because it's almost a judgmental term that they've sort of done something that it's really death by suicide?

BENNINGTON: I am of the belief that using the commit is something that you intend to carry out. It's what you intent to do and I do believe somebody who is mentally unstable has the ability to commit to anything much less taking their life.

COOPER: That's one of the things -- I mean, after somebody dies by suicide, the question is always asked why. And I certainly ask that after my brother's suicide 30 years ago. I still don't know that I have an answer, and I am not sure you can get into the heads of somebody in the final minutes or days of their life. What do you want people to know though about signs to look for or what to do, how to help somebody in your life?

BENNINGTON: Suicide ideation is the forerunner to actual suicidal tendencies and thoughts.

COOPER: Ideation you mean thinking about it and possibly even planning it?

BENNINGTON: Yes. Yes. And I believe that if we can kind of open a lid on that and talk about that, that is one of the first steppingstones to changing the culture about how we speak about mental health. You know, it is like bricks, you know, you are building a wall and if it gets to that point on the wall that is tall, and your next step is to do self-harm, serious self-harming in these cases.

[20:50:01] I can tell you, I have not spoken to a single suicide survivor that says they wish they would have succeeded and that really fixed with me. As far as signs for knowing change, I have partnered with an existing organization, I've co-founded 320 changes direction, 320 after my husband -- that was his birthday. And we believe there are five signs that you can watch for. Change in personality, somebody feeling hopeless, feelings of agitation. You can find these signs at

COOPER: Are those things that in retrospect you saw in your husband? Because until one has gone through this often you don't know -- one doesn't notice these sorts of signs.

BENNINGTON: Oh, yes, I mean I definitely saw them throughout our marriage. At different parts they would come and go. I just wish I had these -- I had these tools. I wish the conversation was created in homes more regularly before my husband took his life, because I think that it would created some sort of awareness to know that we're not alone in what we're going through. Me as a wife and experiencing from the sidelines and what he was going through, and he himself because I know for a fact he hated to have any label placed upon him of being depressed or an addict, or whatever it was. He just -- he hated that.



COOPER: It's a hard conversation, though for people who are having suicidal ideation or their loved ones to have or to raise. Because people don't want to bring it up. But at the same time not talking about it, that's not helpful either.

BENNINGTON: Right. Well, we're only as sick as our secrets. And so if we can open the door, you know, where our secrets are kept and we can find somebody or find a group, some sort of support to talk about that with, for me personally right after my husband died it was on Twitter of all places. I was reaching out to people -- I should say people reaching out to me. I was speaking back with them about what they were going through and how they were feeling. And it's -- the overwhelming response was a lot of people feel the same way. They're all going through this and everybody feels alone. And it's just unbelievable. So I think our society is ready. We're ready for change. And you know, I'm sick of it being something embarrassing. It's something people don't want to talk about.

COOPER: Well, Talinda I appreciate you speaking out and being with us tonight. Thank you very much.

BENNINGTON: Thank you. And I'm sorry about the loss of your brother. I just found out about that.

COOPER: Well, thank you very much. It never goes but it's -- I appreciate talking about it. Thank you.

BENNINGTON: Thank you.

COOPER: Time now to check in with Chris Cuomo to see what he and his team are working on with Cuomo Prime Time starts in a few minutes. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "COUMO PRIME TIME: All right, Anderson, and as you know, we all appreciate you and others putting out their pain right now so that everybody else can learn about what is happening with so many in this country right now.

We're going to talk of course about Tony Bourdain, what took his life. We're talking to one of his friends that he worked with at the food network and maintain add friendship right up until his way-too-early denies. And then we're taking a turn in the show and we're going to take on and test what the real reason is for the President of the United States to want to add Russia back to the G7. Why would he do that? So we'll take on Bourdain. And also the news of the day here on Friday night. Anderson.

COOPER: Chris, thanks very much. We showed you President Obama and one of Anthony's episode, his reaction to news when we come back.



[20:57:45] COOPER: We ask very simple questions. What makes you happy? What to you eat? What do you like to cook. And everywhere in the world we go and ask this very simple questions we tend to get some really astonishing answers.


COOPER: As a chef Tony Bourdain became a worldwide celebrity but preferred to call himself a cook. A cook whose work a day beginning he never forgot as we've been discussing tonight he cut a wide swath, he made his mark that was certainly on display in the way the world reacted today.

The astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted just saw the sad news that Anthony Bourdain has died. I watched his show when I was in space. It made me feel more connected to the planet, people and cultures and made my time very more palatable. He inspired me to see the world up close.

From his friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert, who found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room, "Anthony was my best friend. A exceptional human being. So inspiring and generous. One of the great story tellers who connected with so many. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones."

This response from a man named Jeremy Lincoln in Erie, Pennsylvania, sums a great deal. Jeremy wrote it to a CNN interactive page.

"I get 60 minutes a night to escape the stresses of my work, kids are sleeping, my time begins, "Parts Unknown" took me to my alter-reality where I could travel, experience life, live unattached. I lived vicariously through his show. He was a friend I never met. His measured, calm tone, with a touch of rat race angst related to me."

President Obama who as we showed you earlier eight noodles and drank beer with Tony in Hanoi, tweeted, "Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer. This is how I'll remember Tony. He taught us about food -- but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We'll miss him.

And finally his girlfriend on Asia Argento on Twitter. Anthony gave all of himself and everything that he did. His brilliant fearless spirit touched and inspired so many and his generosity knew no bonds. He was my love, my rock my protector. I'm beyond devastated. My thoughts are with is family I would ask you to respect their privacy and mine.

On a personal note my brother Carter died by suicide 30 years ago. Not a day goes by that I do not think about him and not a day goes by where I do not still ask the question why. Sometimes there isn't any clear answer or an answer that make sense to someone who is not in deep pain, pain that's hard to comprehend unless you've been there.