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Pioneering celebrity dermatologist commits suicide

2015-04-07 10:03

Los Angeles — Pioneering dermatologist Dr Fredric Brandt, an early proponent of Botox who was also an author, radio host and frequent television talk show guest, has died. He was 65.

Miami police spokesperson Frederica Burden said on Monday officers found Brandt's body at his home in the Coconut Grove section of Miami at about 9:15 on Sunday after a friend contacted them. Burden said Brandt apparently hanged himself and that foul play is not suspected. An autopsy is planned, however.

Brandt had offices in Coral Gables and New York and famous patients including singer Madonna. According to his publicists, he launched his Dr Brandt Skin Care line in 2001 and wrote two successful skin care books.

For four years he hosted the Ask Dr. Brandt show on SiriusXM radio, where his guests included celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kelly Ripa.

Brandt's longtime publicist, Jacquie Tractenberg, said he had been suffering from depression. Recently, she said, he had been upset by a thinly veiled portrayal of him by actor Martin Short on the Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

"It definitely bothered him. It was a very mean portrayal," she said, but she added: "He didn't kill himself because of that one particular show."

Fredric Brandt was born in 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, graduating from Rutgers University and earning his medical degree from Drexel University Medical School, according to an official biography. During residencies at New York University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he looked into several specialties including oncology and cardiology but eventually decided to focus on dermatology.

He opened his Miami dermatology practice in 1982 and developed an expertise in injectable substances, including Botox. Much of his work involved running clinical trials for many other dermatology treatments. Brandt opened his New York practice in 1998 and divided time between the two cities.

Sarah Brown, beauty director at Vogue magazine, said in the official biography that Brandt was one of the nation's leading cosmetic dermatologists who enjoyed transforming the way people looked and felt about themselves.

"He understood the powerful role his work could play in enhancing a person's self-confidence, and I think he took great pleasure in that gift," she said.

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