US screenwriter Silvio Horta, best known for creating Ugly Betty, has died aged 45.
Variety reports he was found dead in a Miami motel room on Tuesday from of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A representative confirmed his death, but declined to comment on the nature of it.
Ugly Betty, adapted from the Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fes created by Fernando Gaitán, ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010 making a star of its lead America Ferrera, and winning two Golden Globes.
But in a 2008 interview, Horta said that success was not all that it was cracked up to be.
“My first year doing this, people would constantly ask me, ‘Aren’t you happy? You must be thrilled. You’ve got a hit show. You must be having the time of your life.’ Well, no, I’m not. It’s all consuming,” he said. “I was so exhausted by the time I got home on Friday night, I was just paralysed. I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t want to socialise and I had so much work to do. That was it. That was my life.”
His other credits included Urban Legend, The Chronicle, Jake 2.0 and The Curse of the Fuentes Women.
Horta had struggled to follow up his success with Ugly Betty. He had multiple shows in development.
America Ferrera said on Instagram, “I’m stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta’s 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.”
“Still in shock after hearing the tragic news of our #uglybetty creator #silviohorta,” co-star Vanessa Williams wrote. “His creativity and passion will be missed by so many of us that worked with him. May he Rest In Peace.”