Silvio Horta, the creator of Ugly Betty, dies at 45

Silvio Horta, TV writer, creator and executive producer of the hit US sitcom Ugly Betty was found dead. It was in a Miami motel room on Tuesday. In what appears to be an apparent suicide, creator Horta 45 died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is confirmed by the Miami Dade County Medical Examiner. His mother, Anna, and sister Hilda Horta described him as a kind and a beautiful man. They issued a statement announcing his death, which they ascribed to Horta’s struggle with addiction and depression. Horta’s autopsy and toxicology reports are awaited.

Adapted from a Columbian show Yo soy Betty, la fea, Ugly Betty regaled the audience for 4 seasons between 2006 and 2010 starring America Ferrera. It was stunning and heartbroken on hearing the news about creator Horta’s untimely death. She also posted a picture of her with Horta and Salma Hayek on Instagram, describing how devastating the news has been to her. Horta was the head-writer and served as showrunner of the comedy-drama.

Creator Ugly Betty

Betty Suarez, the protagonist of the drama, was a smart, young Mexican American woman from Queens who lands a job in Manhattan with an upscale fashion magazine. Ferrera had won a Golden Globe and an Emmy award for her role in the show, which earned another Golden Globe for best comedy series. The original Columbian series created by Fernando Gaitánran from 1999 to 2001. Horta was upbeat that his show’s legacy would be bringing a unique, diverse face to television, as told during an interview with the Television Academy Foundation way back in 2013.

Horta’s brief life

Born in Miami, Silvio Horta was an American of Cuban origin and had a penchant for creative arts that drew him towards film and television. He studied film at New York University and in 1998 got his first big break in a horror-thriller Urban Legend, of which he was the writer.

Jake 2.0 and The Chronicle during early 2000 were the two Sci-fi shows that Horta was a part of before doing Ugly Betty that won him the Golden globe in 2007.  Being an immigrant like Betty, Horta said at that time that the American Dream was alive and well, and anybody who wanted to achieve it would find it within reach. 


Horta’s death has left many of his colleagues in shock. They are finding it hard to believe that the man who had brought light and joy in the lives of those who came in touch with him had departed.  Vanessa Williams, who played a modelling company boss, Wilhelmina Slater. She was herself a model in earlier life, said she was still in shock after hearing the tragic news.

Slater’s assistant St. James, played by Michael Urie in the program, recalled fondly how Horta gave him a big break. He also highlighted how the show helped him and others belonging to the LGBTQ community. He stressed how Horta and the show world remain a part of his life forever.

Christopher Gorham, an actor who appeared in several of Horta’s production, acknowledged Horta’s big heart, friendship, and creativity to which he would remain grateful forever.