Throughout his career and leading up to his death, Anthony Bourdain was extremely dedicated to his work.
“His travel schedule was grueling and he often seemed quite beat-up from it, as anyone would be,” a source who worked closely with Bourdain in the past year tells PEOPLE of the 61-year-old American chef and TV host, who died of an apparent suicide in France. “He’d put everything into the shoots and then go back to his room to isolate.”
The host of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France by close friend and French chef Eric Ripert, according to CNN. Both were filming an upcoming episode of Bourdain’s award-winning show.
“It never struck me as peculiar, but it was as if he gave everything to his work and then had nothing, zero, left for himself afterwards,” adds the source. “He was always very, very tried. He pushed himself extremely hard. Most producers and crew don’t work on every single episode, it’s just too much especially if you have a family. But that wasn’t an option for Tony. We never had any sense of depression or mental illness. He was not especially cheerful or engaging, off camera, but it was never rude or ill-intentioned. The guy was absolutely exhausted.”
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The former chef spent about 250 days per year on the road traveling to different cities seeking out indigenous cuisine and the locals who make it. In his last interview with PEOPLE, Bourdain expressed how he had no intentions of retiring.
“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.”
A Strasbourg police spokesperson confirmed Bourdain’s death to PEOPLE, but could not provide additional comment.
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Bourdain noted that it was important that he never shot in two cities back-to-back for his 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.