Deadline reported that Silvio Horta, best known as the created of the ABC comedy Ugly Betty was found dead today in his native Miami. He was 45. His agent confirmed the news but did not provide a cause of death.
Horta is credited as having created the U.S. version of Ugly Betty, which starred America Ferrera and aired more than 80 episodes over four seasons from 2006 to 2010. Ferrera, who played the lovable Betty Suarez, won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as the wholesome Mexican-American from Queens who unexpectedly finds a job at a fashion magazine in Manhattan. While coming to terms with her unique appearance, which consisted of bangs, heavy-rimmed glasses and train-track braces — Betty comes to take on an independent attitude in the cutthroat world of New York fashion.
Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Mark Indelicato and Vanessa Williams also were series regulars for the entirety of the show’s run. It was based on the 1999-2001 Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea.
Horta also picked up a 2007 WGA Award for Ugly Betty as well as a PGA nomination the year after for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy. Horta also won ALMA and NAACP Image awards for writing the pilot episode of Ugly Betty and earned ALMA and NAACP nominations for the writing within the show’s second season.
Horta would go on to sell many projects to broadcast networks, working with such notable names as Aaron Kaplan, Brett Ratner, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Gordon as well as Ugly Betty EP Salma Hayek.
Horta was born on August 14, 1974 in Miami, Cuban-American and he started his time in show business over two decades ago, writing the script before creating the Urban Legend feature. He also created, wrote for and executive produced the 2002-03 Sci-Fi Channel series The Chronicle before creating the drama series Jake 2.0, which ran on UPN during the 2003-04 season.
In October 2018, Fox gave a script commitment to Move, which was a one-hour music-fueled dance dramedy conceived by Horta, Mary J. Blige and Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group. Written by Horta, it is said to have been inspired by the life of famed choreographer/director Laurieann Gibson.
In 2015, NBC ordered The Curse of the Fuentes Women, created by Horta, as well as wrote and executive produced. The logline reads: When a magical and mysterious young man inexplicably emerges from the ocean, he breathes new passion into the lives of the Fuentes women – the beautiful but lonely Lola, her ailing mother Esperanza and her troubled daughter Soledad.