‘Ugly Betty’ creator Silvio Horta reportedly dead at 45; America Ferrera is ‘heartbroken’

Silvio Horta, the creator of "Ugly Betty," has died. (Photo: Matt Sayles, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“Ugly Betty” creator Silvio Horta has died, according to reports.

The Cuban-American writer and producer who was best known for his ABC comedy-drama  was found dead on Tuesday, Deadline and Variety confirm.

“Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera wrote on Instagram that she was “stunned and heartbroken” over the news.

“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,” she said.

Horta was “an incredible voice and talent and a rare person, a gay Cuban writer who hit the mainstream as a kid and never could quite keep up with his own success,” Ben Silverman, the executive producer of “Ugly Betty,” told USA TODAY. Silverman acquired U.S. rights to the Spanish-language hit “Yo Soy Betty La Fea” and hired Horta to adapt it. “It’s sad that he wasn’t happy in his own skin.”

Chris Gorham, who acted in two of Horta’s shows, wrote on Instagram, “I will be forever grateful for his creativity, his enormous heart, and his friendship.”

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Silvio Horta gave me two of the greatest opportunities in my career with Jake 2.0 and Ugly Betty. I will be forever grateful for his creativity, his enormous heart, and his friendship. His family was his world and my heart goes out to them tonight. Let’s all take care of each other.

A post shared by Christopher Gorham (@chrisgorham) on

Blogger Perez Hilton also mourned Horta’s loss on Twitter. “I always felt such a kinship with Silvio Horta,” he wrote. “This is devastating!

When it premiered, Horta told USA TODAY that his show’s source material “was harsh, it was in-your-face, it was intriguing, and it was funny.” And so Horta’s “Ugly Betty” veered from satire to over-the-top soap to heartfelt drama.

The writer and producer’s other TV credits include “Jake 2.0,” a series he created about an NSA computer technician; and “The Chronicle,” a show he wrote on about a tabloid magazine. His first major writing credit was the screenplay for the Jared Leto 1998 thriller “Urban Legend.”

Contributing: Gary Levin

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