Starring: Ana Maria Orozco, Jorge Enrique Abello
Yo soy Betty, la fea ("I am Betty, the Ugly") was a popular telenovela (soap opera) filmed in Colombia, written by Fernando Gaitan and produced by the Colombian network RCN.
The show's main character, Beatriz Pinzón Solano, is an unattractive but intelligent woman working for a fashion design company called Ecomoda. She constantly faces the scorn of her prettier workmates, but eventually she is promoted to a senior job, becomes involved with her boss, and gets a makeover.
The show was popular and was aired to a wide international audience. Its success spawned a short and unsuccessful sequel called Ecomoda, filmed in Colombia and produced by RCN and Univisión. Some scenes from the first episode were filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina and some scenes for the opening sequence were filmed in Miami, Florida. It also spawned an animated series called Betty Toons.
In 2004 actress Salma Hayek, through her production company and a joint venture with Touchstone Television, acquired the licensing rights to Betty La Fea,with plans to turn it into an English-language comedy-drama series for the United States. The American version has been picked up by ABC under the title Ugly Betty, which just got the green light as a entry for the 2006-2007 TV season, where it will air Friday nights starting in the Fall of 2006. At first there was also talk that this program could debut in the Summer of 2006 as a daily (five days a week) series according to this article in Broadcasting&Cable, but given the buzz and possitive feedback, ABC will make this version a weekly series instead. Originally, the show was to have a dramatic slant, but it is expected to be reworked as a comedy, which is how ABC is billing the program and the fact that it will air in the Friday night 8PM(E/P) slot. America Ferrera has been picked to play the title character, who is a unattractive but efficient secretary working at a fashion magazine. The series will also air in Canada on CHUM Limited's Citytv and A-Channel stations.
Mexican company Televisa is producing its own version named La fea más bella("The most beautiful ugly woman"). This version is currently airing on Univision in the United States, where it made its debut on April 24, 2006.
This Colombian show has been so successful, that besides being dubbed and broadcasted in countries such as Brasil,Malaysia, the Philippines, Hungary, Israel, the Czech Republic, and China, it has also been adapted in some other countries. In 2003, Sony Entertainment Television India bought the script and copyright of the show and adapted it to local contexts to create the immensely popular and ongoing Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi ("There Is No One Like Jassi").
In early 2004, the German TV network SAT 1 did the same and released it as a new version called Verliebt in Berlin ("Smitten in Berlin"), starring German soap opera star Alexandra Neldel and Swiss actor Mathis Künzler.
There is a Russian version which also draws huge crowds. The Russian version is called Ne Rоdis' Krasivoy (Not to be born beautiful).
In 2006 the Dutch TV network Talpa started airing Lotte (which is the Dutch name for Betty), starring Nyncke Beekhuyzen as the main character and Lars Oostveen (as Vico Maesland, the Dutch "Armando Mendoza Sáenz").
Mega Channel in Greece is preparing its own version of "Betty la fea" for the autumn of 2006, and Telecinco, in Spain, has another adaptation called Yo soy Bea.
Cast and crew
Ana María Orozco as Beatriz Aurora "Betty" Pinzón Solano
Jorge Enrique Abello as Armando Mendoza Sáenz
Natalia Ramirez as Marcela Valencia
Lorna Paz as Patricia Fernández "La Peliteñida"
Luis Mesa as Daniel Valencia
Julián Arango as Hugo Lombardi
Ricardo Vélez as Mario Calderón
Mario Duarte as Nicolas Mora and as Himself
Kepa Amuchastegui as Roberto Mendoza
Talú Quintero as Margarita Sáenz De Mendoza
Celmira Luzardo as Catalina Ángel
Jorge Herrera as Hermes Pinzón Galarza
Adriana Franco as Julia Solano Galindo de Pinzón
Pilar Uribe as Maria Beatriz Valencia
Júlio César Herrera as Freddy Stewart Contreras
Dora Cadavid as Inés "Inesita" Peña de Gómez
Stefanía Gomez as Aura María Fuentes
Paula Peña as Sofía de Rodríguez
Luces Velásquez as Bertha Muñoz de González
Marcela Posada as Sandra Patiño "La Jirafa"
María Eugenía Arboleda as Mariana Valdéz
Andrea Serna as herself
Cecilia Bolocco as herself
Laura Flores as herself
Gloria Calzada as herself
Franco De Vita as himself
Ricardo Montaner as himself
Original Script by Fernando Gaitán
Script Writer - Liliana Hernández
Assistant to Script Writer - Elsa Cortés
General Producer - María Del Pilar
Production Management - Amparo Gutiérrez
Production Assistants - John Sierra and Guillermo Andrés Vega
Director - Mario Ribero
Director Second Unit - Mario A. Galindo
Cinematography - Alirio Farfán
Set Design - Liliana Cortés, Enrique Linero, Juan Fernando Peréz
Wardrobe Design - Rosita Cabal
Makeup Design - Rossio López
Makeup Artist - Clara Inés Cubillos
Music and Musicalization - César Escola, Canaroy Pelay and Diego Fernando Páez
Coordinator - Pablo Emilio Henríquez
Editing - María Vásquez
Singer of Main Theme: "Se Dice de mí" - Yolanda Rayo