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These ‘Ugly Betty’ Facts Will Make You Love The Iconic TV Show Even More Than You Already Do

It has been over ten years since the first episode of “Ugly Betty” first aired and we are totally here for the celebration. The show turned America Ferrera into one of Hollywood’s megastars and helped girls of the early 2000s era get better acquainted with beauty norms and standards.

Here’s a look at 25 weird facts from the set!

1. The show made America Ferrera the first Latina to win a lead actress Emmy.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Of course, the Latina earned the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award in 2007 by her own merits. But there’s no doubting the beloved Betty character helped her get there. 

2. There was an actual MODE magazine.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The magazine featured plus-size fashion models. It was launched in 1997 and ended in 2001.

3. A copy of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants sat on Betty’s bedside table

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America Ferrera’s big break came when she played Carmen in the popular film adaptation of the same book.

4. The show was almost called “Betty The Ugly”

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Not quite as catch as the name the TV network ABC came up with. But the title was a remake of “Betty La Fea” so…

5. Betty was almost  a secret agent

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

When the story was first pitched to TV execs, Horta pictured Betty as an FBI agent. ABC told him to stick with the original concept since it worked.

6. Ana Ortiz originally auditioned to play Betty.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

At one point she said that she was sure every actress in LA and NY did. 

7. Mark was almost a one-off

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The original storyline imagined  Wilhemina’s assistants to stick around only for an episode. Michael Urie the actor who played Mark thought he’d be only taking on a guest role but the show led him to believe this because of budgetary constraints. ‘They only ever give us a certain amount of money in a budget, so the way to sneak people in that aren’t supposed to be regulars is to make them a guest star. So we said, “He’ll be a guest star!”’

8. Nailing Betty’s signature style took a minute.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America tried on almost 200 pairs of glasses.

9. Eric Mabius still wears his clothes from the show.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

They put everything up for sale after the show was canceled and I bought all my suits at one-tenth the cost.

10. Salma Hayek executive produced the show.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

She took on the role of Sofia Reyes in season one and also played the nurse who appears on the telenovela watched by the Suarez family.

11. Lindsay Lohan’s stint was supposed to be longer.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The actress was meant to appear in the series for six episodes but left after the episodes. She played Betty’s high school frenemy Kimmie Keegan but was so difficult to work with that her character was written off much earlier.

12. Patricia Field designed for “Sex and the City,” too.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Field designed all of the costumes for season 1 and returned as a costume designer in season three.

13. America Ferrera kept Betty’s poncho and glasses.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Once the show was over the actress took Betty’s signature looks for herself but stomped on the braces. 

14. The word “ugly” faded from the title credits in the final episode

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

“The reality is, look beyond the title, the name,” Horta said. “The word fades because it never really should have been there if we’re talking about who she is.”

15. The cast joined the writers’ strike in 2007.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

‘The issues coming up with actors’ contracts are very similar to what the writers are dealing with […]and we have to stay united and stand strong within the creative community for what we believe is fair.’

16. America Ferrera landed her part because of Salma Hayek

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

“I hadn’t heard anything about the show and she ran up to me and said, ‘You are my Ugly Betty!”‘ and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that means, but I will do whatever!'” Ferrera revealed.

17. Adele appeared on the show before she was a thing.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The songstress appeared in the show’s third season and sang ‘Right As Rain’ for a photo shoot at MODE. 

18. The cast are keen for a reunion

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

At the ATX TV Festival in Texas Ferrera asked the audience to use the hasthag #HuluBringBackUglyBetty to get Hulu to commission a ‘two-hour movie.’

19. The show was based on a Colombian soap opera.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The show was called “Betty la Fea” that lasted for 1 season. 

20. Finding Betty’s iconic red glasses wasn’t easy.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America Ferrera tried on several pairs before the costume designer gave her own to America.

21. Marc and Amanda were in a spin-off web-series called Mode After Hours.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The series featured the trouble they got into when staff members left MODE for the night.

22. Anna Wintour inspired the character Fey Summers.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

That and The Devil Wears Prada means Wintour has left quite an impression on the fashion world.

23. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife inspired Betty’s fashion.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The beheaded queen wore a necklace with the letter “B” that inspired Betty’s jewelry.

24. The sassy receptionist was named after crew member and writer, Brian Tanen.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Amanda Tanen shared a name with writer Brian Tanen. Hmmm wonder how sassy he was?


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