Silvio Horta, the creator and executive producer of ABC’s much-loved “Ugly Betty” series, has died at age 45.
He was found in a Miami motel room, and his death was confirmed by a representative on Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported. His agent reportedly confirmed the news but did not provide a cause of death.
Horta created the U.S. version of the hit Colombian series, which starred America Ferrera in its four seasons, which aired from 2006 to 2010. Fererra claimed a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her portrayal of Betty Suarez, a young Mexican American from Queens, New York, who struggles with identity and traditional standards of beauty after landing a job at a cutthroat Manhattan fashion magazine.
The show also won a Golden Globe Award for best comedy series.
Horta was born in Miami in 1974 to Cuban immigrants. He majored in film at New York University and found his break two decades ago for penning the screenplay of the 1998 feature “Urban Legend,” which starred Jared Leto. He went on to produce, create and write Syfy series “The Chronicle” in 2002 and create the UPN drama series “Jake 2.0.”
Fererra posted on Instagram that she was heartbroken to hear the news of Horta’s death:
Others who knew and worked with Horta, including “Ugly Betty” cast members Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Mark Indelicato and Christopher Gorham, described him as a warm, energetic and kind person, who brought great passion and creativity to his work.