On Tuesday, Silvio Horta, who served as creator, head writer and executive producer for the popular TV comedy-drama series Ugly Betty, was found dead at the age of 45, in a Miami hotel room.

The news of his death was confirmed by his agent, who has not officially revealed the cause, but authorities are treating as an apparent suicide.

Cuban descendant, Horta, was born and raised in Miami and studied film in New York before moving to Los Angeles, where he initially aspired to be a screenwriter. In 2000 he began to stand out when he was chosen to write the film Urban Legend, a film that combined suspense and horror.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother and son, Silvio Horta,” his mom, Hilda, and sister, Anna, wrote in a statement. “Silvio had an ongoing struggle with addiction and depression, but through it all, he always found a way to turn his struggle into laughter … He may be gone but his light will shine on.”

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Horta’s death was shocking for his co-stars and fans as well.

America Ferrera, who played the show’s titular character paid tribute to Horta 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.”

Christopher Gorham, who played the main love interest for the series, also shared a heartfelt Instagram post. “Silvio Horta gave me two of the greatest opportunities in my career with Jake 2.0 and Ugly Betty. I will be forever grateful for his creativity, his enormous heart, and his friendship. His family was his world and my heart goes out to them tonight. Let’s all take care of each other.”