‘Ugly Betty’ creator Silvio Horta mourned by family and show’s stars

"Ugly Betty" executive producer Silvio Horta.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The family of Silvio Horta is mourning the loss of the “Ugly Betty” showrunner.

In a statement released Wednesday, Horta’s mother, Anna, and sister Hilda confirmed the writer’s death this week following his history of addiction and depression.

“Through his friendships, his love and his work in TV and films, Silvio touched the lives of millions,” they said in a statement Wednesday. “Silvio had an ongoing struggle with addiction and depression, but through it all he always found a way to turn his struggle into laughter. He was a kind and beautiful man. He may be gone but his light will shine on.”

The family did not disclose Horta’s cause of death, but a report out Tuesday said the 45-year-old was found dead in Miami in an apparent suicide.


Horta co-created ABC’s adaptation of Colombia’s beloved telenovela “Yo Soy Betty, La Fea.” The fish-out-of-water series set in the glamorous world of high-fashion publishing aired in a prime-time slot from 2006-10. “Ugly Betty” earned a Golden Globe for best comedy or musical in 2007 and another for its star America Ferrera, the titular character. The show was nominated for 19 Emmy Awards and won three.

Ferrera paid tribute to Horta on Instagram on Tuesday with a backstage photo from their triumph at the Globes and said she was stunned and heartbroken to hear of his 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,” she wrote.

“Ugly Betty” stars Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie and Chris Gorham also paid their respects on social media, fondly remembering Horta’s creativity, passion and enormous heart.

Before “Ugly Betty,” Horta’s credits included the 1998 horror flick “Urban Legend” and the short-lived series “The Chronicle” and “Jake 2.0.”

Horta’s family said that a service will be held in Miami and a memorial service in Los Angeles would be announced later.