Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta, 45, found dead in apparent suicide


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Tributes have been paid following news of the death of Silvio Horta, 45, the creator of the hit US TV show Ugly Betty.

Horta’s body was found yesterday in a hotel room in Miami. There are unsubstantiated reports that he died by suicide.

Horta was showrunner and head writer of Ugly Betty, which ran for four seasons from 2006-2010. The show was adapted from the Colombian show Yo soy Betty, la fea.

A Cuban American, Horta was born in Miami. He came out to his family as gay at 19.

Before Ugly Betty, he wrote the 1998 teen slasher Urban Legend, and two short-lived series, Jake2.0 and The Chronicle.

His most recent credit was writing the 2015 TV movie, The Curse of the Fuentes Women. According to Variety, in 2018 Horta had a project with Mary J. Blige in development with Fox, based on the life of choreographer Laurieann Gibson.

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Ugly Betty star America Ferrara wrote on Instagram: “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.”

Ugly Betty co-star Vanessa Williams wrote: “Still in shock after hearing the tragic news of our Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta.

“His creativity and passion will be missed by so many of us that worked with him. May he Rest In Peace.”

Michael Urie, who played Marc St James on the show, tweeted: “I will be forever indebted to this sweet, brilliant man.”

On an Instagram posting, Urie went further, saying: “#SilvioHorta gave me a huge break on #UglyBetty. He broke barriers and saved lives. Losing him is hard. This photo is from the GLAAD awards when we won. I hear from LGBTQ people all the time that the show helped them. Me too. He and that show will always be with me.”

Oscar-winning screenwriter and producer Dustin Lance Black tweeted: “Waking up in the UK to the heartbreaking news that my wonderful, sparkling, talented old pal of nearly 20 years is gone. You never failed to put a sh*t eating grin on my face, Silvio Horta. Rest in joy and peace. You were one of a kind.”

If you are thinking about suicide or are feeling alone and need someone to talk to, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.