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Dr. Frank Ryan dies at 50; Beverly Hills plastic surgeon

Dr. Frank Ryan, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon to the stars who once estimated he had removed thousands of gang tattoos for free through his nonprofit foundation, has

in Malibu. He was 50.

The Jeep Wrangler he was driving veered off Pacific Coast Highway on Monday afternoon and tumbled down a rocky embankment toward the ocean, landing on its roof. Ryan was declared dead at the scene, according to the

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Highway Patrol.

His death was accidental and caused by blunt-force head injuries, said Janelle Payne, a forensic pathology technician for the Ventura County Medical Examiner.

In January, Ryan found himself the subject of controversy when

Heidi Montag

, 23, a star of the reality TV show "The Hills," revealed that he had done 10

plastic surgery

procedures on her in a single marathon operation. They included

breast implants

, a nose-job revision and

liposuction

.

When asked whether such extensive work was a good idea, Ryan told

People magazine

around the time of the operation last November: "My first concern is for the safety of the patient, so I would never push the envelope. Heidi's a young, healthy girl; she was cleared medically. It was well within the realm of safety."

He later called Montag's decision a "calculated business move" by someone trying to make it in

Hollywood

.

In July, he told

CNN

that he considered both himself and Montag "brave" for openly talking about plastic surgery, which he said was "rampant" in Hollywood.

On her

Twitter

account, Montag said she was "devastated" by Ryan's death and called him "an angel" who "changed my life and the lives of everyone he met."

His celebrity clients included

Gene Simmons

of the rock group

KISS

and his wife,

Shannon Tweed

;

Motley Crue

lead singer Vince Neil; and actor

Lorenzo Lamas

.

Frank Harry Ryan was born May 21, 1960, in

Ohio

and received his bachelor's degree in 1982 from the

University of Michigan

.

After earning his medical degree from

Ohio State University

in 1986, Ryan completed eight years of surgical training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the University of

Missouri

and

UCLA

Medical Center,

He had been in private practice since 1994.

In 1993, he established the

and began removing gang-related tattoos.

Eventually, he brought groups of inner-city children to the Malibu ranch for mentoring and to interact with the horses, buffalo, pygmy goats and other animals that live on 17 acres next to his home.

He is survived by his mother, Mary Kate Ryan, a spokeswoman for his estate told the Associated Press.

valerie.nelson@latimes.com

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