Unverified sources speaking to Variety have reported his cause of death to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, which occurred in a Miami motel room.
Ugly Betty, which starred America Ferrera, ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010.
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Ferrera paid tribute to Horta on her Instagram, writing: “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.”
Ugly Betty, which one two Golden Globes over its run, centred on a smart Mexican-American woman from Queens who secures a job at an high-end fashion magazine in Manhattan, where she finds herself out of place.
Horta, who was born in Miami to Cuban parents, had a Fox project with Mary J Blige in development before he died. Titled Move, it was inspired by the life and career of choreographer and creative director Laurieann Gibson, who created routines for Beyonce and Michael Jackson, among others.
The writer’s other credits include the film Urban Legend starring Jared Leto, sci-fi series The Chronicle featuring Octavia Spencer and the TV movie The Curse of the Fuentes Women.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 or visit their website