Sofía Vergara Bio: From Model to Modern Family Star

She was born July 10th, 1972 in Barranquilla, Colombia. While still a student, the 17-year-old was discovered by a photographer while relaxing on the beach. Pretty soon she found work as a model, and landed a starring role in a Latin TV ad for diet Pepsi. Vergara eventually left school before graduation to pursue her showbiz dreams with the help of her stunning good looks and 5’7” frame, which helped her become a runway model in Bogota and crossover sensation in the United States as a cast member of the sitcom "Modern Family." Join WatchMojo.com as we learn more about the life and career of Sofía Vergara.
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Sofía Vergara Bio: From Model to Modern Family Star

This curvaceous Colombian is jaw-droppingly beautiful and devilishly funny! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be learning more about the life and career of Sofía Vergara.

Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara was born July 10th, 1972 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Vergara and her five siblings were raised in a wealthy, conservative and religious family, so after attending a bilingual Catholic high school, she enrolled in pre-dentistry.

During her school years, the 17-year-old was discovered by a photographer while on a Colombian beach. Pretty soon she was working as a model, and earned a starring role in a Latin American TV ad for diet Pepsi.

By the time she was 18, Vergara married her high school boyfriend. Two years later, the pair had a son, but divorced soon after.

Vergara eventually decided to leave school just shy of graduation to pursue her showbiz dreams. It wasn’t long before her career began to take off: her stunning good looks and 5’7” frame helped her become a runway model in Bogotá.

In addition, from 1995-1998, she co-hosted the Spanish travel series “Fuera de serie,” which took her to foreign spots around the world, introduced her to the U.S. market, and made her a Latin American star.

Sadly, Vergara’s family became victims of the social unrest in Colombia when her brother was killed in 1998 during an attempted kidnapping. This prompted the star to relocate to Miami with her son, mother and sister. Vergara leveraged her talent and beauty to win a job as co-host of Univisión’s Spanish language game show “A que no te atreves,” while also modeling for posters and swimsuit calendars.

Unfortunately tragedy struck again in 2000 when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After surgery and treatment, she went into remission and made a full recovery.

Vergara bounced back from her illness by relocating to Los Angeles and making her feature film debut in the 2002 Tim Allen comedy “Big Trouble,” as a Mexican housemaid. The next year, she portrayed a hotheaded waitress in the ensemble Latino comedy film “Chasing Papi,” and landed the prominent part without ever taking an acting class.

The model-turned-actress then landed a string of bit parts in films like “The 24th Day,” “Soul Plane,” “Lords of Dogtown,” “Four Brothers,” and “Grilled.” ABC also gave her guest roles in several of their sitcoms, and she made a cameo in the season four premiere of “Entourage.” Vergara then joined the cast of the Colombian version of “Desperate Housewives,” where she played the counterpart to the American version’s Mary Alice Young, Alicia Oviedo.

In 2009, Vergara was nominated for an American Latino Media Arts Award for Best Actress in Film for her role in the Tyler Perry flick “Madea Goes to Jail.” She also took on her biggest challenge yet by playing Matron “Mama” Morton in the Broadway version of Chicago.”

But her true breakthrough came when she was chosen to play spicy mom Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the mockumentary-style sitcom “Modern Family.” For the role, Vergara was asked to dye her naturally-blonde hair dark, so she resembled a stereotypical Latina. The part earned Vergara a slew of honors, and made her a household name across the globe.

By 2011, she had truly made it in Hollywood. She landed roles in the blockbusters “The Smurfs,” the Shrek spin-off “Puss and Boots,” and “Happy Feet Two,” and also starred alongside the ensemble cast of the seasonal rom-com “New Year’s Eve.”

Vergara then returned to her roots by working with Pepsi, before she became the face of CoverGirl. She even found time between shoots and “Modern Family” to play a woman trying to exploit the half-witted comedic trio in 2012’s “The Three Stooges.”

One of the wittiest actresses on the scene today, Sofía Vergara isn’t just a pretty face or a global sex symbol. With her trademark charm, accent and beauty, it’s no wonder she’s become a crossover success.

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