Who Is Anthony Bourdain's First Wife? New Details On Nancy Putkoski

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Who is Anthony Bourdain's first wife

With the extremely sad and sudden passing of celebrity chef and travel enthusiast Anthony Bourdain, people have taken to social media to express their grief. But we haven’t yet heard from any of Bourdain’s ex-wives, most likely because they are mourning in their own way.

Though he was dating Italian actress Asia Argento at the time of his death, he also had two ex-wives. His second ex-wife, Ottavia Busia, was the mother of his only child, but he had been married before that.


RELATED: 5 Sad Details About Anthony Bourdain's Suicide, Including The 2016 Parts Unknown Episode That Should've Warned Us He Needed Help


Who is Anthony Bourdain’s first wife, exactly? Here are 5 fast facts to know about Nancy Putkoski.

1. They were high school sweethearts.

The two met in school, where Putkoski was the “bad girl” and was part of the “druggy crowd.” After dating for several years, they married in 1985. And after 20 years together, they split in 2005, citing distance as the driving force. Two years later, he remarried.

2. He graduated early to follow her to college.

In 2012, he told Daily Life he purposely graduated from high school one year early to follow Putkoski to Vassar College. Luckily, Vassar had just started admitting men at that time, so he was able to stay with her.

3. He referred to her as the love of his life.

In the same interview with Daily Life, Bourdain said, “She was my partner in crime, my wife, and before that my girlfriend.” It’s clear the two had a special bond.


RELATED: Who Is Anthony Bourdain’s Girlfriend? New Details On Asia Argento


4. She had no interest in being on television.

Though Bourdain didn’t mind being in the spotlight, Putkoski had a huge problem with it. In his book, A Cook’s Tour, he claimed the Putkoski had a “limitless potential for causing mayhem” when they would film. And who could blame her when filming and traveling took up so much of his time?

He was worried about her, saying, “I was keeping a sharp, worried eye on Nancy, who hated the idea of making a television show, hated being near a camera, and had already taken a serious dislike to the producer for keeping me busy most of the day shooting ‘B-roll,’ meaning scenery, shots of me walking around and pretending I was thinking deep thoughts, while she stewed, neglected, in a hotel room.”

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5. He became suicidal after their divorce.

Because of his busy schedule and having to travel so much, the marriage came to an end in 2005. This was the same reason his second marriage ended as well. “I spent almost two years traveling and filming A Cook’s Tour and, as a result, my marriage fell apart,” he said.

And after the divorce, he dealt with the pain by self-medicating. “To cope, I went to the Caribbean where I behaved in a completely irresponsible and suicidal way. I didn’t value my own life and acted accordingly. I had put myself in a very dark place and behaved recklessly in the not-too-subconscious hope that something terrible would happen. I was doing everything possible — smoking pot, drink-driving — to invite that.”


RELATED: Who Is Anthony Bourdain's Second Ex-Wife? New Details About Ottavia Busia


Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.