Funeral plans were finalized on Monday for cosmetic dermatologist and skin-care pioneer Fredric Brandt, who died Sunday in an apparent suicide.
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A public affairs officer for the Miami Police Department confirmed Monday afternoon that the department is investigating the death as a possible suicide. Unconfirmed reports are that Brandt, 65, hanged himself; the Miami Police declined to elaborate on the method of death, as did Brandt’s publicist, Jacquie Tractenberg.
Brandt’s funeral will be held this week in Miami, she said, with a memorial service in New York City planned for the week of April 13. Times and date had not been set at press time.
Brandt was found at his Coconut Grove, Fla., residence, reportedly by his housekeeper, on Sunday. It is expected that the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy this week, according to press reports.
The Miami Herald reported that Brandt was devastated by comparisons to a wacky doctor played by Martin Short in Tina Fey’s Netflix comedy, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Short’s character, Dr. Franff, services a narcissistic socialite, played by Jane Krakowski, and the character was said to be inspired by Brandt, according to the Herald. Netflix publicist Karen Barragan declined to comment Monday.
You May Also Like
Born on June 26, 1949, in Newark, N.J., Brandt graduated from Rutgers University and obtained his medical degree from Drexel University Medical School. He went on to complete residencies at New York University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While he explored various medical specialties — including oncology, nephrology, hematology and cardiology — he was always drawn back to his love of aesthetics. It was during his residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center — where he focused on the research and treatment of leukemia — that Brandt began to understand the benefits of antioxidants to the human body’s health and vitality. Working with green tea, vitamin A, vitamin C and a series of Eastern botanicals, Brandt studied ways to combine nature with cutting-edge science to fight the destruction of the body’s cells. He went on to complete his dermatology residency at the University of Miami.
In 1982, Brandt opened a private dermatology practice in Miami, and opened a New York office in 1998. He had a reputation as one of the foremost cosmetic dermatologists, with an expertise in injectables. W Magazine dubbed him “The Baron of Botox,” as he was said to have had more experience using Botox in his practice than any other physician in the world. He partnered with the makers of many leading injectables — including Dysport, Restylane, Perlane, Isolagen, Reloxin, Evolence, Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast — to run clinical trials with the Food and Drug Administration. In 2001, Brandt launched his self-named skin-care line, which is sold in prestige doors, including Sephora and Ulta.
His clients included Madonna, Kelly Ripa and Stephanie Seymour. A spokesman for Madonna declined comment.
“Dr. Brandt was a true gentleman, an innovator, and a friend,” said Ripa, cohost of ABC’s “Live With Kelly and Michael.” “His professionalism was only matched by his charisma. He was charming. He was entertaining. He was a brilliant pioneer in the field of cosmetic dermatology and his loss will be felt for years to come.”
He also wrote 2007’s “10 Minutes/10 Years: Your Definitive Guide to a Beautiful and Youthful Appearance,” and 2002’s “Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin,” coauthored with Patricia Reynoso.
“All of us at Sephora are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Fredric Brandt,” said Calvin McDonald, president and chief executive officer of Sephora Americas. “He was a pioneer in dermatology, and due to his dedication and skill in the field, a leader in the beauty industry. He passionately believed that everyone should feel beautiful, and his ability to adapt the breakthroughs developed in his practice into effective over-the-counter treatments made him one of our clients’ favorites.”
“Everyone on the Sephora merchant team will greatly miss Dr. Brandt, and the spirit, humor and passion for ageless beauty he brought to every encounter,” added Artemis Patrick, senior vice president of merchandising for Sephora. “Dr. Brandt worked tirelessly to share his scientific knowledge and expertise through his highly effective and innovative products, which have been among our most sought-after for many years.”
Future plans for Brandt’s company could not be learned at press time.
“This was a brilliant man at the uncontested top of one of the most difficult and competitive professions, who took what was a crude science and turned it into something so refined, so subtle and so beautiful that it transformed literally thousands of lives,” said Jean Godfrey-June, editor-at-large for Lucky. “He was an exceptionally generous philanthropist and was, to anyone who knew him, one of the kindest people with one of the biggest hearts in the world.”
Added Sarah Brown, Vogue’s beauty director, “In addition to being a pioneer in the field of cosmetic dermatology — certainly one of the country’s most talented doctors — Dr. Brandt was the kindest, most generous man. He cared about his patients very deeply — not only how they looked, but how they felt. He understood the powerful role his work could play in enhancing a person’s self-confidence, and I think he took great pleasure from that gift.”
“I met him several times over the years,” said Ed Burstell, managing director of Liberty in London. “He was a lovely man who was dedicated to his particular vision of beauty — with an amazingly loyal clientele. He’ll be missed in the industry.”
“I was Fred’s patient, his skin-care customer, and one of his many admiring friends,” said Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure. “A lot has been written about Fred Brandt as the ‘Baron of Botox,’ and although that’s fun and catchy, it doesn’t fairly capture his singular intelligence, his enormous care and his absolute excellence at his work. He had an immeasurable amount of compassion. Fred Brandt believed in beauty and wanted everyone he touched to experience it for herself.”
Brandt is survived by his brother Paul. Tractenberg noted that donations in Brandt’s memory could be made to the Humane Society.