ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke kicked off her executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour with a statement of remembrance for “Ugly Betty” creator Silvio Horta on Wednesday.
Describing Horta “unbelievably talented,” Burke called Horta a beloved member of the ABC family. “Our thoughts are with his friends and family today,” she said.
Horta, who created the America Ferrera-led dramedy “Ugly Betty” for ABC in 2006, was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Miami motel room on Tuesday.
Horta’s family confirmed news of his death in a statement, saying, “Through his friendships, his love and his work in TV and films, Silvio touched the lives of millions. 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.”
“Ugly Betty” ran for four seasons on ABC before going off the air in 2010. Led by America Ferrera, the series was an adaptation of the hit Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty, la fea” and centered on an aspiring journalist who becomes a fish out of water at at a glossy fashion magazine. Horta served as executive producer and showrunner on all four seasons.
In her own statement, Ferrera said she was “stunned and heartbroken” by news of Horta’s death. “His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”
In addition to Ferrera, the show’s cast also included Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Becki Newton, Mark Indelicato, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie and Judith Light.