Dr. Fredric Brandt "was a huge pioneer" when it came to Botox and other anti-aging techniques, a fellow dermatologist says. In fact, he was once called the "Baron of Botox," and he boasted such celebrity clients as Madonna and Kelly Ripa. But on Sunday the 65-year-old died of an apparent suicide at his Florida home; a publicist tells the New York Times that he'd not only been struggling with depression, but was "devastated" by an apparent parody of him on Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. Martin Short played a character on the Netflix series who looks similar to Brandt, with features that make it seem the fictional doctor has been using Botox to excess on himself. Brandt was known for experimenting on himself before trying a new treatment on patients. Brandt was found hanged in his garage, the Miami Herald reports.
Multiple sources who talked to People agree the show hurt him, but one says not to blame Short's character (Dr. Grant, pronounced Franff) for Brandt's death. "Did the show upset him? Yes. He was a human being, no one would like that. It was making fun of him for the way he looked and it was mean and it was bullying," the source says. But "it wasn't the only thing troubling him, it was just one factor. But that was not why he committed suicide. But it didn't help." The source blames the "illness" of depression. Meanwhile, Allure's editor remembers Brandt's contributions: "When he came into dermatology it was people treating sunspots and removing moles. Suddenly there were all these new substances and techniques that altered our relationship to age and aging, and he was at the absolute forefront of that."