This is so sad. The supposed inspiration for Martin Short's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt character Dr. Fredric Brandt died on April 5 at 65 years old. Some reports allege that the famed doctor took his own life after a long battle with "an illness" that may be depression.
Page Six reports that Dr. Brandt died on Easter Sunday in his Miami mansion, where he was found by his housekeeper. Brandt, who worked with the likes of Madonna, Kelly Ripa, and Stephanie Seymour among many others during the course of his career, was famously loved by his clients. Jacqui Trachtenberg, his publicist, released a statement on Sunday afternoon confirming that the noted dermatologist had passed away. She said, "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."
Trachtenberg didn't discuss the circumstances surrounding Dr. Brandt's death, but did mention that he was suffering from "an illness." The Daily Mail reports that Brandt committed suicide by hanging himself, but this has yet to be confirmed. The Miami-Dade police will reportedly be conducting an autopsy on Monday, April 6.
It's widely believed that Martin Short's character on Tina Fey's Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt — the taut-skinned, blonde-haired plastic surgeon Dr. Sidney Grant (pronouned Franff)— was a spoof of Brandt.
Rumors are flying around that Brandt was deeply hurt by the perceived parody. Lesley Abravanel, a reporter for the Miami Herald, tweeted that Brandt thought the character was based on him and was supposedly "devastated" by the portrayal. Abranavel also alleges that Brandt was "highly depressed" leading up to his death.
All speculation aside, this is undoubtedly a difficult time for Brandt's friends and loved ones.