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SYFY WIRE obituary

Silvio Horta, Urban Legend writer and Ugly Betty creator, dead at 45

By Brian Silliman
Silvio Horta

Silvio Horta, the writer best known for creating the American version of the series Ugly Betty, has died at the age of 45. 

Deadline reports that Horta's agent has confirmed the news, but that a cause of death has not been disclosed at this time. Though it was his work on Ugly Betty that brought him into the spotlight (he shared a 2007 Emmy nomination for the series), genre audiences will know him better for his work writing the film Urban Legend, as well as serving as writer and Executive Producer on The Chronicle, which ran on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2001-02. He also created the drama Jake 2.0, which aired on UPN in 2003-04. 

Urban Legend — starring Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, and Michael Rosenbaum — came out in 1998 and featured a series of bizarre deaths linked to popular urban legends. While some at the time deemed it slightly derivative of the Scream movies, it remains a cult favorite for many fans. 

Horta's work was also enjoyed on The Chronicle, where he wrote four episodes of the short lived series, which only ran for 22 shows. It dealt with a reporter going to work for a tabloid, only to find out that every crazy tabloid story ever written (aliens, vampires, etc) was true. Jake 2.0 also had a streak of genre in it, as that series featured a computer technician gaining superpowers after an NSA shootout. 

Horta shared a 2007 WGA Award for his work on Ugly Betty (which was adapted from the Columbian telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea), as well as a PGA nomination in 2008 for "Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy."  The pilot episode of that series earned him both the ALMA and the NAACP Image Award. 

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