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America Ferrera 'heartbroken' after death of 'Ugly Betty' creator Silvio Horta

The actress shared her grief after learning of the apparent death by suicide of the man she says brought “such joy & light” to those around him.
1st Annual Hispanic Women In Entertainment Breakfast - Arrivals
America Ferrera and writer-producer Silvio Horta attended the 1st annual Hispanic Women in Entertainment breakfast honoring the actress on October 9, 2007 in Hollywood, California.Vince Bucci / Getty Images

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

The death of screenwriter and television producer Silvio Horta has left Hollywood mourning and has come as a devastating shock to those who worked with him and knew him well.

On Tuesday, Variety reported that the 45-year-old creator of the groundbreaking dramedy “Ugly Betty” died by apparent suicide. The series' leading lady, America Ferrera, was among the stars who shared their grief over the tragic loss.

“I’m stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta’s death,” the actress wrote alongside a photo of her and Horta at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards, taken just moments after “Ugly Betty” won best television series for its freshman season. “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.”

America Ferrera as Betty Suarez on Silvio Horta's dramedy "Ugly Betty," which ran from 2006 until 2010. Michael Desmond / Getty Images

Horta adapted the tale of the unfashionably fabulous Betty Suarez from the Colombian telenovela “Yo Soy Betty, La Fea,” creating the role that earned Ferrera a best actress Golden Globe of her own during its four-season run.

Silvio Horta poses with the "Ugly Betty" cast and members of the media in this 2016 reunion photo.Rick Kern / Getty Images

As news of Horta’s death made it to her co-stars, they too took to social media to memorialize the man who meant so much to all of them.

“Still in shock after hearing the tragic news of our #uglybetty creator #silviohorta,” wrote Vanessa Williams, who played Mode diva Wilhelmina Slater in the series. “His creativity and passion will be missed by so many of us that worked with him. May he Rest In Peace.”

Michael Urie, “Ugly Betty’s” Marc St. James, tweeted that he’ll “be forever indebted to this sweet, brilliant man.”

And Christopher Gorham, who worked on both on “Ugly Betty” and in the title role of Horta’s other creation, “Jake 2.0,” expressed his gratitude for the career opportunities Horta made possible in his life and noted that he was just as grateful for "his creativity, his enormous heart, and his friendship.”

“His family was his world and my heart goes out to them tonight,” Gorham continued. “Let’s all take care of each other.”

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.