The man credited to have created ABC comedy Ugly Betty, Silvio Horta, was found dead on Tuesday 7th January 2020 in his native Miami. He was 45. His agent confirmed the news but did not provide a cause of death, Deadline news had reported.
Silvio Horta created the U.S. version of Ugly Betty, which starred America Ferrera and aired more than 80 episodes over four seasons from 2006-10. Ferrera won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Betty Suarez, a smart, sweet-natured and wholesome Mexican-American from Queens who lands a job at a trendy fashion magazine in Manhattan. Betty embraced her unique appearance — including bangs, heavy-rimmed glasses and train-track braces — and independent attitude in the cutthroat world of New York fashion.
Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Mark Indelicato and Vanessa Williams also were series regulars for the show’s entire run. It was based on the 1999-2001 Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea.
Horta also shared a 2007 WGA Award for Ugly Betty and a PGA nom the following year for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy. He won ALMA and NAACP Image awards for writing the pilot episode of Ugly Betty and earned ALMA and NAACP noms for writing in the show’s second season as well.
Born on August 14, 1974, in Miami, Cuban-American Horta got his start in the business more than two decades ago, penning the script before creating the feature Urban Legend. He went on to create, write for and executive produce the 2002-03 Sci-Fi Channel series The Chronicle before creating the drama series Jake 2.0, which ran aired during the 2003-04 season on UPN.
Ferrera posted a picture of the two of them together on Instagram, describing the news as “devastating”.
“His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy and light,” wrote Ferrera, who starred as Betty Suarez – an untrendy and naive Mexican-American journalist who takes a job at a high-end New York fashion magazine.
“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.”