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Skin doctor to stars is found dead

Pioneering dermatologist Dr Fredric Brandt, an early proponent of Botox who treated celebrities including singer Madonna, has been found dead.

Police found his body at his home in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, Florida, on Sunday, after being contacted by a friend .

Miami police spokeswoman Frederica Burden said Dr Brandt, 65, who was also an author, radio host and frequent television talk show guest, apparently hanged himself and foul play was not suspected. A post-mortem examination is being planned.

Dr Brandt had offices in Coral Gables and New York and according to his publicists, he launched his Dr Brandt Skin Care line in 2001 and wrote two successful skin care books.

For four years he hosted the Ask Dr Brandt show on SiriusXM radio, where his guests included celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kelly Ripa.

Dr Brandt's long-time publicist, Jacquie Tractenberg, said he had been suffering from depression and had recently been upset by a thinly-veiled portrayal of him by actor Martin Short on the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

"It definitely bothered him. It was a very mean portrayal," she said, but added: "He didn't kill himself because of that one particular show."

Dr Brandt was born in 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, graduating from Rutgers University and earning his medical degree from Drexel University Medical School, according to an official biography.

During residencies at New York University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, he looked into several specialities including oncology and cardiology, but eventually decided to focus on dermatology.

He opened his Miami dermatology practice in 1982 and developed an expertise in injectable substances, including Botox. Much of his work involved running clinical trials for many other dermatology treatments. Dr Brandt opened his New York practice in 1998 and divided time between the two cities.

Sarah Brown, beauty director at Vogue magazine, said in the official biography that Dr Brandt was one of America's leading cosmetic dermatologists who enjoyed transforming the way people looked and felt about themselves.

"He understood the powerful role his work could play in enhancing a person's self-confidence, and I think he took great pleasure in that gift," she said.

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