Dr. Fredric Brandt‘s death appears to have been a suicide, police say.
“From what we have determined, it was a suicide,” a spokeswoman for the Miami police told PEOPLE. The medical examiner has yet to issue an official ruling on the cause or manner of death.
Rumors that Brandt was battling a terminal illness are incorrect. “It is absolutely not a terminal illness,” a rep for the celebrity skin doctor tells PEOPLE. “His publicist can confirm that he suffered from depression.”
However, the rep would not confirm Brandt’s death was a suicide. “The biggest thing they want people to know is that he was a legend in his field,” the rep said. “Not only was he a genius ahead of his time in cosmetic dermatology but he was the most genuine, warm and loving person.”
“He impacted the field of dermatology more than anyone else. Countless pharmaceutical companies came to him for guidance, but the most important thing was who he was as a person. He wanted to make people feel beautiful inside and out.”
And former patient Kelly Ripa told PEOPLE, “Dr. Brandt was a true gentleman, an innovator and a friend. His professionalism is 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.”
A Miami Herald columnist reported that Brandt had been “devastated” over comparisons to a character on Tina Fey’s new Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
The character, played by Martin Short, is named Dr. Grant (pronounced Franff) and is reportedly modeled after the famed dermatologist.
A source told PEOPLE that Dr. Brandt was “definitely hurt” by the characterization, and the dermatologist had told the source “it wasn’t nice what they did.”
However Brandt “was in great spirits” two months ago, excitedly sharing the success of his new product Needles No More, according to the source.
“He told me that he read every single comment about his products online and was thrilled every time someone raved about the results.”
But Brandt would often stay up late at night reading negative reviews on his skincare line, which is sold at Sephora.
“He was meticulous in his techniques, which is why so many celebs, socialites and beauty editors were patients,” the source said.
“His mission was to make people feel more beautiful and he accomplished it every day. He will be missed.”