MIAMI, FL – Award-winning producer Silvio Horta, who was acclaimed for creating the hit series “Ugly Betty,” has died. He was 45.
Investigators believe Horta died by suicide at a Miami hotel on Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said Wednesday.
The Cuban-American producer and screenwriter is credited for breaking ground for Latinos and gays in Hollywood with a show about a Mexican-American woman who arrives for her first day working at a New York fashion magazine in a poncho. The sitcom, which was also produced by actress Salma Hayek, made actress America Ferrera a star.
In 2007, “Ugly Betty” won a Golden Globe for best TV series in the musical or comedy category and landed Ferrera her first and only Golden Globe for best performance in the same category.
Ferrera and others in the entertainment industry, including actress Judith Light, and singer and actress Vanessa Williams, mourned his death on social media.
"His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light," Ferrera wrote on Instagram.
Before “Ugly Betty,” Horta wrote the screenplay for the 1998 horror film “Urban Legend,” starring Jared Leto and Tara Reid, as well as the short-lived 2002 series “Jake 2.0,” starring Christopher Gorham.
“Ugly Betty" ran on the ABC network from 2006 to 2010. The idea came from “I am Ugly Betty,” a 1999 Colombian soap opera that was also adapted in Mexico and Germany.