Dr. Fredric Brandt -- the "Baron of Botox" who founded a high-end, eponymous skincare line and boasted a roster of celebrity clients -- committed suicide at his home over the weekend. He was 65.
Susan Biegacz, a publicist for Dr. Brandt, said he had been dealing with depression for some time and had recently been “devastated” by what is widely believed to be a parody of him on the Tina Fey comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” presented by Netflix.
On the show, Martin Short portrays Dr. Sidney Grant, a wispy-haired plastic surgeon whose pneumatic features suggest experiments with Botox and facial fillers run amok.
Brandt helped pioneer the strategic injection of Botox and fillers that gives many celebrities (not to mention "trophy wives" and those aspiring to such status) a now-familiar "look": Skin that is "smooth and yet not freakishly taut" and "whose cheeks possess the firm curvature of a wheel of Edam."
Brandt's own appearance was distinctive: His fine platinum blond hair framed a pale face that displayed evidence of his own unabashed self-experimentation with the products he used on clients such as Madonna and Kelly Ripa.
A source close to Brandt played down speculation about the role Tina Fey sitcom played in his death:
"He was depressed. Did the show upset him? Yes. It was a mean characterization. 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. It was an illness, he suffered from depression. He always seemed like the life of the party, he would sing and rap his way through the day."
According to the editor of Allure magazine, Linda Wells, "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 'Younger Than Springtime' was [Brandt's] favorite tune."