NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Chef, TV Personality Anthony Bourdain attends the ""Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon" screening at The Museum of Modern Art on May 29, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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The Untold Truth Of Anthony Bourdain's First Wife, Nancy Putkoski
By Lauren Cahn
When he tragically died of suicide in 2018, culinary icon Anthony Bourdain was in an estranged marriage with Ottavia Busia-Bourdain and had been involved with the Italian actress Asia Argento. However, they were not his only significant romantic relationships: from at least the mid-1980’s to 2005, Bourdain was married to a mysterious woman named Nancy Putkoski.
Very little is publicly known about Putkoski, but Bourdain has stated in interviews that he met her in his New Jersey high school. He remembered her as an older girl who was part of a “druggy crowd,” but he was so smitten by her that he finished high school early in order to follow her to Vassar College in New York.
However, Bourdain and Putkoski eventually became incompatible with each other — especially after Bourdain rose to fame and started getting TV deals in 2000. The ambitious and curious Bourdain embraced the opportunity, but Putkoski preferred to live outside the public sphere and saw TV as a threat to their marriage.
Still scorning the limelight, Putkoski has not provided any commentary for “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” the recent documentary about her late ex-husband’s life. She has told Patrick Radden Keefe, a New Yorker journalist, that her ideal level of fame is that of a Supreme Court Justice — “Almost nobody knows what you look like, but you always get the reservation you want.”