CNN's Anthony Bourdain dead at 61

July 27, 2017: Anthony Bourdain on the ferry to Vashon Island while filming Parts Unknown in Seattle, Washington on July 27, 2017. (photo by David Scott Holloway)

(CNN) – Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who took CNN viewers around the world, has died. He was 61.

CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning.

“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.”

Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series. His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

In 1999 he wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” that became a best-selling book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”

The book set him on a path to international stardom.First  he hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, then moved to “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. “No Reservations” was a breakout hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.

In 2013 both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines. Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime time schedule.

Season eleven of “Parts Unknown” premiered on CNN last month. While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.