Variety reports his body was discovered in Miami.
Horta was best known for creating the ABC sitcom Ugly Betty, which ran from 2006 to 2010 and starred America Ferrera as the titular character, a Mexican-American girl from Queens who lands a job at a Manhattan fashion magazine.
The series earned Horta an Emmy nomination in 2007 for outstanding comedy series, and Ferrera won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role that same year at the Emmys and the Golden Globes. In 2007, Ugly Betty won the best television series — comedy or musical at the Golden Globes.
Ugly Betty was adapted from the Colombian telenovela, Yo Soy Betty, La Fea.
The Miami native had previously discussed how certain elements of his own life, including experiences with immigration and sexuality, made their way into the show.
“I think elements of Justin’s character being gay and sort of struggling with his sexuality was definitely — I drew from my own life,” he said in an interview with the Television Academy shared in 2016. “Though I was never quite as flamboyant or as into fashion or, you know, musical theater” as the character played by Mark Indelicato on the show.
Horta’s other credits include the TV series Jake 2.0 and The Chronicle.
After the news of his death, several of his fans were quick to express their sadness on social media, including Pose actor Johnny Sibilly.
“Silvio was such a kind guy. This is so f— sad. Rest In Peace brother,” Sibilly wrote on Twitter.
Perez Hilton called the loss of Horta “devastating.”
“Noooooo!!!!!!!! NOOOO! His poor family! Poor him! Ugh! I always felt such kinship with Silvio Horta,” Hilton wrote on Twitter.