“Live with Kelly and Michael” host Kelly Ripa gave an emotional tribute to dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt during a memorial service Thursday at Lincoln Center in New York. Many big names – including Joy Behar and Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells – were in attendance to honor Brandt, 65, who was found dead from an apparent suicide in his Miami home on April 5.
Ripa – both a friend and patient of Brandt's – was the last to speak at the memorial service, where the stage was decorated with more than 3,000 white orchids.
“This is the saddest thing that I never thought I would have to do. When I look out into this room I see so many beautiful faces and I realized that Fred is all around us,” Ripa said, according to Women’s Wear Daily. “He is with all of us now.”
Ripa later told a story about how she had called on Brandt at the last minute after experiencing a breakout at a commercial shoot. Though the doctor claimed to be on a tight schedule, the pair ended up poking fun at some male models from the shoot over lunch.
“That is what I will remember the most about him: his laughter, his unabashed joy, his sense of humor, his kindness, his selflessness. He gave us everything he had, and there will never be another Fred Brandt,” said Ripa.
Friends and family – including many present at Thursday’s memorial service – are still trying to figure out what may have been the cause behind Brandt’s suicide. Immediately after his death, reports emerged that a Martin Short character in Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – meant to parody Brandt’s appearance after a few too many of his own Botox treatments – had been “devastating" to the doctor. But representatives for Brandt denied that the show had anything to do with the tragedy.