Silvio Horta, Ugly Betty Creator, Dead in Apparent Suicide

by at .  Updated at .

Silvio Horta, the creator of ABC’s popular comedy Ugly Betty, was found dead in a Miami motel room on Tuesday in an apparent suicide.

He was 45 years old.

Silvio Horta

Insiders have told Variety that Horta died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound... while a representative for Horta has confirmed his passing, but declined to comment on the circumstances behind it.

The American version of Ugly Betty, which turned America Ferrera into a household name, ran for four seasons on ABC; from 2006 to 2010.

It was adapted from the hit Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty, la fea" and Horta served as showrunner and head writer on the beloved series.

The show centered on Betty Suarez, a young, intelligent Mexican American woman from Queens who gets a job at an upscale fashion magazine in Manhattan.

During its run, Ugly Betty won two Golden Globes, one for best comedy series and one for Ferrera as lead actress. 

Silvio Horta Picture

Horta earned his big break in 2000 with his screenplay for Urban Legend.

He later went on to work on Jake 2.0 and The Chronicle. Most recently, he wrote and produced the 2015 television movie The Curse of the Fuentes Women.

In other biographical news, Horta was born in Miami to Cuban parents and majored in film at NYU.

Silvio Horta in 2008

The Ugly Betty cast and crew reunited for the ATX Television Festival back in July of 2016.

At the time, Horta and many of the show's stars -- including Ferrera, Eric Mabius, and Michael Urie -- talked about how the series came to be.

According to Horta, he envisioned Betty (Ferrera) as an FBI agent working undercover at Mode magazine instead of the writer that she ultimately ended up being.

"I'm met with just crickets," he recalled of his original pitch for the series. "They said, 'Look, we think what was done originally worked and stay with that. Don’t shy away."

Silvio Horta Photo

Back in 2016, Horta also said that he wasn't opposed to rebooting Ugly Betty, but that everyone from the original would need to be involved.

"If we were to do something, it would be a dream, but everybody on the stage would have to be involved, including Becki Newton," Horta said, noting that Newton was not present for the reunion because of a previous commitment, adding:

"There's a lot more stories to tell."

We send our condolences to the loved ones of Silvio Horta.

May he rest in peace.

UPDATE: Ferrera has released the following statement:

“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.”

Show Comments
Tags: ,