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Fredric Brandt dead: 'Baron of botox' had been left devastated by Unbreakable impersonation

Dr Fredric Brandt's publicist said he suffered from depression and had died after a 'short illness'

Adam Sherwin
Monday 06 April 2015 19:23 BST

A celebrity dermatologist who worked for stars including Madonna has been found dead - after being left “devastated” by his unflattering portrayal in a new Netflix comedy series created by Tina Fey.

Dr Fredric Brandt, 65, the “Baron of Botox” was discovered at his Miami home by his housekeeper on Sunday.

His publicist said Dr Brandt, who experimented over the decades with self-administered injections of Botox and an array of fillers, suffered from depression and had died after a “short illness”.

Dr Brandt was believed to have been an unwilling inspiration for the eccentric plastic surgeon character on Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the latest comedy by Tina Fey, the 30 Rock creator and Oscars host.

Martin Short plays the bizarre Botox-loving Dr Sidney Grant, pronounced “Franff.” The character’s improbably smooth skin and platinum blond hair share a resemblance with Dr Brandt.

The character has a high-pitched laugh and is unable to speak certain words due to his plastic surgery. He is also seen drinking from a surgical bag and reinflates his own face after being punched.

Brandt, who ran successful practices in Manhattan and Miami catering for a social elite seeking to live a wrinkle-free existence, freely admitted to testing out new treatments upon himself.

Lesley Abravanel, a Miami Herald blogger, tweeted that Dr Brandt was “devastated” by the Short portrayal, which only appeared in one episode.

She added: “Dr Brandt’s publicist says he was suffering from an ‘illness’. Sources close say that illness was depression.” Abravanel tweeted that the cause of death was a suspected suicide.

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Brandt’s publicist, Jacquie Trachtenberg, told the New York Post: “The show definitely deeply hurt him, he was being made fun of because of the way he looks.

“It is mean, and it was bullying. But the show was not the reason for his depression, and it was not the reason he would take his own life.”

Trachtenberg would not confirm the cause of death but said in a statement: “He was suffering from an illness. Everyone who knows him is devastated... I worked with him for over 20 years and he was an amazing man, not only was he a brilliant doctor, but he was the kindest human being.”

The Miami medical examiner performed an autopsy on Monday.

A New York Times profile last year described Dr Brandt, one of the early proponents of Botox and a prominent art collector, as “unnervingly ageless-looking”. He presented a “mask of serene immobility, a face with a creaseless brow, a square firm jawline, lips feminine in their puffy fullness.”

The doctor told the paper: “I’ve been kind of a pioneer in pushing the limits to see how things work and what the look would be. Would I change anything I’ve done? I might not have used as much Botox, because you don’t want to look quite as frozen.”

Fey declined to comment on Dr Brandt’s death. Her new series follows Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), rescued from an underground bunker after years as a cult leader’s hostage. She is hired as a nanny by a socialite who visits Franff for “toenail resizing”.

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