Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta was found dead Tuesday in Miami from an apparent suicide, according to multiple published reports. He was 45.
Horta was born in Miami to Cuban parents and majored in film at NYU. He created the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Ugly Betty, which ran on ABC from 2006 to 2010.
According to Variety, which first reported news of Horta’s passing, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A rep for Horta declined to comment on the nature of his death.
Ugly Betty was adapted from the massively popular Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. The U.S. remake starred America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Mark Indelicato, Vanessa Williams, and Judith Light. Salma Hayek had a recurring role and was an executive producer alongside Horta.
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I’m stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta’s death. His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light. I’m thinking of his family and loved ones who must be in so much pain right now- and of the whole Ugly Betty family who feel this loss so deeply.
The show centered on Betty Suarez, a frumpy Mexican American woman who lands a job at an upscale fashion magazine in Manhattan.
Ferrera paid tribute to Horta on Instagram.
“I’m stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta’s death,” the actress wrote. “His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light.”
“Still in shock after hearing the tragic news,” Vanessa Williams shared on Instagram. “His creativity and passion will be missed by so many of us that worked with him. May he Rest In Peace.”
Horta also created the UPN sci-fi series Jake 2.0, and he was a writer on Sci-Fi’s The Chronicle.