Fredric Brandt, MD, a world-renowned dermatologist, died at his home in Coconut Grove, Florida, on April 5. The 65-year-old hanged himself, according to the Miami, Florida, police.
His publicist, Jacquie Tractenberg, told the Washington Post he had been suffering from depression and was upset by a recent episode of Tina Fey’s Netflix comedy series, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” in which Martin Short appeared to parody him. Short’s character had thinning blonde hair with a receding hairline, exaggerated cheekbones, and a face so frozen his speech was distorted.
“It definitely bothered him. It was a very mean portrayal,” she told the Post, but added, “He didn’t kill himself because of that one particular show.”
Dr Brandt was a pioneer in the use of onabotulinum toxin A (Botox Cosmetic, Allergan) and collagen fillers. He had dermatology practices in Manhattan, New York, and Coral Gables, Florida. “He was a giant in this field…he was recognized as a world leader in cosmetic medicine,” Roy G. Geronemus, MD, director, Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, told Medscape Medical News. “He really took the science and made it an art.”
“He was a brilliant and caring physician. He really helped transform the techniques for the approach towards the aging face and body,” he said.
Dubbed the “Baron of Botox” and the “King of Collagen,” Dr Brandt had reportedly used more Botox Cosmetic and collagen fillers than any other dermatologist in the world. His celebrity clients included the singer Madonna, television talk-show host Kelly Ripa, and comedian Joy Behar.
Dr Fredric Brandt.
Dr Geronemus said he has known Dr Brandt since 1978, when they were both at the University of Miami in Florida. Dr Brandt was a medical resident and Dr Geronemus was a medical student there. The two dermatologists had worked together for 20 years. Dr Brandt treated patients at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York in Manhattan at the time of his death.
Loved by Patients and Colleagues.
“The staff that we shared absolutely loved him. He was very creative in making everyone feel like a part of his family. His staff were his family, his patients were his family. The response that we’re getting from his patients with his death is truly overwhelming. His patients are just devastated,” Dr Geronemus said.
Dr Brandt would often relax his patients by singing to them as he was treating them, Dr Geronemus said. “He was very, very knowledgeable about medicine; he was not just someone looking to put a few needles into someone’s face in exchange for a few dollars. He was very creative and really had a true vision for what a younger face should look like.”
“He was a good friend. Many of his patients became his personal friends,” Dr Geronemus added, noting that even colleagues who were considered competitors liked him.
Clinical Practices in Manhattan and Coral Gables
Dr Brandt was born on June 26, 1949, in Newark, New Jersey, to Irving and Esther Brandt and grew up there. He is survived by his brother, Paul.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1971 and earned a medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1975.
Dr Brandt completed an internship at New York University in New York City from 1975 to 1976, a residency in internal medicine at New York University from 1976 to 1978, and a residency in dermatology at the University of Miami in Florida from 1978 to 1981, according to his curriculum vitae. The information in his curriculum vitae conflicts with media reports that say he completed medical residencies at New York University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, with residencies in nephrology and oncology.
Dr Brandt went into private practice in Coral Gables in 1982 and in New York City in 1996. He was the founder and chairman of the board for Cosmetic Dermatology Inc in Miami from 1990 until his death. It was there that he created the Dr Brandt skincare line, which has been sold in more than 40 countries. “He was very creative and thoughtful about what he was doing with [his product line],” Dr Geronemus noted.
He was a clinical voluntary associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Miami in Florida from 1999 until May 2001.
Esteemed Researcher, Author
He founded and was the principal investigator for the Dermatology Research Institute LLC in Coral Gables from 2006 until his death. “He had a clinical research program in Miami, [and] we did some drug studies in New York as well,” Dr Geronemus explained. “He was involved with the clinical development of many of the products that he used, so he understood them quite well. He understood their limitations, he understood their strengths, he understood which products should be used where, and would always look for any method possible for improving the outcome of his patients.”
“A lot of it was based on his own research, with the knowledge that he gained helping these companies develop their products or doing the phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials for the [US Food and Drug Administration],” he added.
Along with the multiple studies in which he was the principal investigator, Dr Brandt was also a sought-after presenter at scores of dermatology conferences around the world.
He was a board-certified member of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Dermatology. He was a member of the International Society for Dermatologic Surgery, International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Dermatology Foundation Leaders Society, and Florida Medical Association, among others.
Dr Brandt wrote two books about skin aging and maintaining a youthful appearance: 10 Minutes/10 Years: Your Definitive Guide to a Beautiful and Youthful Appearance and Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin.
“He had some novel ideas, concepts, and techniques in terms of the use of botulinum toxin and filler substances,” Dr Geronemus said. “[M]any physicians in the country and around the world have adopted them into their daily practice.”
Dr Brandt claimed he tested every product he used on himself before using them on his patients.