Silvio Horta, the creator, showrunner and head writer of the ABC television series Ugly Betty, was found dead on Tuesday in a hotel room in Miami, Fla. The cause of death has not yet been announced by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department—however, there is evidence of a potential self-inflicted gunshot wound. Horta was 45 years old.
According to a statement issued by Horta’s family, he had an “ongoing struggle with addiction and depression,” which may have played a role in his death.
Ugly Betty star America Ferrera took to Instagram to mourn Horta’s death, saying, “His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light.”
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.
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Ugly Betty was itself a spinoff of a popular Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea. It centers around a young Mexican-American woman from Queens who takes a job as an assistant at a fashion magazine in Manhattan. It ran from 2006 to 2010, and earned Golden Globes for best comedy and best actress in a comedy. More importantly, it opened a dialogue about Latinidad, diasporan identity, and unachievable beauty standards—while still making us laugh. That won’t be soon forgotten.