Anthony Bourdain was found dead today while filming his ‘Parts Unknown’ series in Paris. He was 61. It’s shocking in the sense that all suicides are shocking, and mental health doesn’t usually announce itself to the world before it takes a life. Bourdain had his demons and was a mental health activist, but this is still a very sad day. About an hour before Bourdain’s death was announced, I was watching the trailer for the new Robin Williams documentary. Williams was two years older than Bourdain when he took his own life, but both men brought a lot of joy and understanding to people while struggling with their own happiness.
I started watching No Reservations around 2011. I had graduated college the year before and was in that bittersweet stage where I thought i had the world by the balls but then life slapped the shit out of me and taught me I didn’t know a thing. It was hard not to gravitate towards Bourdain. He was well spoken, confident and fearless. Above all, he was empathetic. He was empathetic towards people’s cultures, whether it was how they lived or what they ate. He taught his viewers, including me, to experience the world as fully as possible. You never felt like you were watching Anthony Bourdain the actor, or Anthony Bourdain the TV host. He was being himself, and it just so happened a TV camera was there. He was real, genuine, flawed and fucked up. But he cared about people, and he cared about helping those who either couldn’t help themselves or were given little chance to do so.
I watch No Reservations or Parts Unknown before any trip I take, because I feel that Bourdain gives the most authentic representation of whichever culture I’m about to explore. I’m going to South Africa in August, and I can’t wait to sit down with an ice cold beer and watch the master at work. RIP.
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— WWE (@WWE) February 17, 2017
William James Myers, better known to wrestling fans as George ‘The Animal’ Steele, has passed away at the age of 79. Wrestling fans of the 70s and 80s know Steele as a household name, and any younger fans looking to familiarize themselves with Steele have a plethora of work to choose from. Steele performed in the days when wrestlers rarely changed their allegiances, but due to his dedication and unique look, ‘The Animal’ was able to transform from a hated heel to a beloved baby face, even helping Ricky Steamboat defeat Macho Man Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3. Whether you remember him a good or a bad guy, it’s impossible to deny his impact on the sports entertainment industry. RIP to the ‘The Animal’.
— WWE (@WWE) April 21, 2016
Sad news (is there ever really another kind nowadays?) from the wrestling – Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, has passed away at the age of 45. Chyna might as well have defined the word ‘revolutionary’ when it comes to mainstream women’s wrestling in the United States. She first appeared on screen as HHH’s bodyguard/valet, and went on to become one of the most popular superstars of the Attitude Era. 45 is a horribly young age to pass away at, and it’s another huge blow to the pro wrestling industry. Speculation will mount as to what caused her death, but I think it’s better to remember her during the good times. RIP.
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 11, 2015
A professional wrestler living to the age of 69 isn’t unheard of, but it’s pretty damn rare. Then again, everything about Virgil Runnels, known to the world as Dusty Rhodes, was rare. He was famously known as the son of a plumber, but his legacy in the world of professional wrestling will always be as one of the all time greats. Dusty Rhodes entered professional wrestling in the late 60’s and early 70’s and has remained an important figure both in and out of the ring ever since. He resonated with the crowd as a popular baby face because we could identify with him. He wasn’t ‘stylin’ and profilin’ like Ric Flair. He was an average guy with a below average body who worked hard to get what he earned. Fans could relate to ‘The Dream’, and in a sense, we could see ourselves as him. Of course, it wasn’t that easy, and no one could ever be Dusty Rhodes. He had a natural charisma that to this day is pretty much unrivaled. Teaching a wrestling student about how to deliver a great promo? Watch his legendary ‘Hard Times’ promo. Or this promo from the 1988 Great American Bash. Or this one in response to Jim Cornette. Feel like selling 10,000 seats to a wrestling show? Put a microphone in front of Dusty Rhodes and watch the magic happen. He was one of a kind, and his coaching and mentoring down at NXT will be greatly missed. RIP to The American Dream, and condolences to Dustin, Cody and the rest of the Runnels family.
This one hurts. Richard Attenborough was a legitimate badass of the silver screen, winning two Oscars for Best Picture/Best Director of Ghandi, as well as appearing in movies from 1942 to the 2000s. Plus he was a Lord, which is probably the coolest thing a human can be besides a king, queen, prince or princess. Obviously my generation knows him as John Hammond, the mastermind behind Jurassic Park. In 1993, before CGI and crazy special effects, Jurassic Park was IT. I had never seen something so incredible on a movie screen before. And at the heart of Jurassic Park was it’s white haired, awesomely accented creator, John Hammond. I didn’t need a reason to go re-watch all the Jurassic Parks, but now I have one. And can somebody please go check on Jeff Goldblum? Lord knows we need family now more than ever.
I feel like a lot of these will start spinning around the internet soon. Better get the tissues ready; I hear they are having a sale at CVS.