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Here’s A Quick Look Into Sofia Vergara’s Rise From Latin American Star To Hollywood It Girl

If we think of a Latina that has really crossed over to the Anglo market while keeping her sass intact, then we gotta consider Sofia Vergara, the Colombian bombshell who celebrates her 47th birthday this July 10. Vergara is mostly known to global audiences for her role of Gloria in the now classic sitcom Modern Family, which started airing ten years ago in 2009 (really, has it been that long?!). However, her career is much older than that, and spans modeling for the Latin American market and acting in Spanish-speaking telenovelas and TV shows. Here’s what you need to know about the highest paid Latina actress of all time (it is really profitable to be the star of a sensation like Modern Family).

Her full name is Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara.

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Uf, that is a mouthful. Sofia Vergara was born in Barranquilla, Colombia on July 10, 1972, and was destined for greatness a long time ago.

She grew up as the rancher’s daughter.

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Her mom Margarita was a housewife, while her father, Julio Emilio, was a cattle rancher who primarily did business with the meat industry.

Her childhood nickname will make you smile.

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“Toti”, that is how her five siblings and many primos called her. We wonder if her husband, Australian actor Joe Manganiello (pictured here) also calls her that! That would be simply adorable

She originally wanted to become a dentist.

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Say “Ahhhhhh”! Yes, that is right, our queen studied three years of dentistry in her native Colombia and was very close to getting her degree when she decided to pack her things and move to Miami (the epicenter of Latino media in the 1990s) to pursue a career in modeling and acting. It was a wise choice although we are sure she would have been successful in anything she set her mind to do. 

Her family fell victim to the violence in 1990s Colombia.

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One of the reasons why Sofia Vergara decided to migrate to the United States was the high levels of violence and social unrest in Colombia. Her older brother Rafael was murdered during a kidnapping attempt in 1998. 

Her onscreen debut was a Pepsi commercial.

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Being a good Catholic girl, Sofia Vergara was a bit apprehensive about acting and modeling. By the time she was 17, she lit up TV sets across the whole continent by appearing in a Pepsi commercial.

She attended a prestigious acting school.

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Yes, the Creative Workshops School of Acting, which is the alma mater of iconic Latino personalities such as Gloria Estefan. De la realeza de la farandula! She co-hosted Univision’s Spanish travel show Fuera De Serie from 1995-1998, which made her a celebrity in the region. In the show, she would travel to exotic locations with her co-host Fernando Fiore.

Her big breakthrough: Modern Family, of course!

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As Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Vergara has received every accolade imaginable and has become the highest paid Latina in entertainment. She has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Not bad for someone who was typecast as the hot Latino trophy wife but ended up stealing the show!

She is a natural blonde.

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Yes, as this picture from the 1990s attests, she is a natural rubia. However, she asks to get her hair dyed in black or brown to appear more Latina! 

She has her own line of jeans, which she launched with Walmart.

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Talk about breaking into the mainstream! Sofia Jeans was launched in association with Walmart and it offers body-positive products to women who want to look as fab as queen Sofia!

She is a cancer survivor.

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In 2000, when she was already appearing in some Univision shows, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had her thyroid removed, underwent a tough treatment and fully recovered. Talk about a turn of events for one of the most successful women in the world, regardless of ethnicity.

As of 2016, her annual income was almost $43 million a year. 

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Sofia Vergara is a power player in Hollywood and no one, absolutely no one can stop her. Forbes calculates her current annual income to be nearly $50 million USD. Not bad, not bad at all! 

Not bad for a girl who was discovered on a beach.

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Yes, just a few years after this photo was taken, when she was 17, a photographer discovered her at a Colombian beach. We can only imagine how doubtful and potentially worried her family was, particularly given the political and social climate in Colombia at the time. She has said that is she hadn’t gone to the beach that day, she would have become a dentist.

She was an established name in the Spanish-speaking world well before Modern Family.

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We are sure you have seen this magazine, Vanidades, at your abuelita’s house! Sofia Vergara got her big break on the  1995 Mexican telenovela Acapulco, Cuerpo y Alma

She has even done Broadway.

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Yes, in 2009 she gave her first Broadway performance as Mama Morton in Chicago. A star was born and hasn’t stopped since.

She first married when she was 18.

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Sofia Vergara married her high-school sweetheart, Joe Gonzalez, and they had a kid in 1991, Manolo. They ended things in 1993, but Manolo is Sofias life! She was engaged to Nicholas Loeb in 2012 but the relationship ended in 2014 (she later had a legal dispute with Loeb concerning the fate of three embryos they produced for future development when they were together). 

She wanted to have a breast reduction surgery when she was a young woman.

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Sofia Vergara felt embarrassed by her breasts when she was a child, but she is now proud of her womanly figure, as she should be. Body positivity above all! She now says: “Beauty is really all about confidence…” Yes ma’am. 

She has a personalidad liviana.

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Part of her success has to do with her good nature and free personality. She has said: “I can turn around and scream and get angry, but I turn around and I forget about it.”

She became a US citizen in 2014.

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Sofia Vergara announced that she had scored perfect in the citizenship test when she visited the Jimmy Kimmel show! Take that, anti-immigration bullies!

She married Joe Mangianello in 2015.

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Look at these two love birds! They got engaged on Christmas Day 2014 after dating for only six months. But when things are meant to be, well, there is nothing you can do against it. The happy and gorgeous couple married in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 21, 2015. Judging by their Instas, they lead a free and loving existence, and they seriously give us all the FOMO with the amazing holidays, brunches, laughter and everyday domestic moments they share. Here is for tons of happiness for our Sofia, and for her to continue to inspire strong, independent Latinas for many years to come. Te queremos, La Toti, te queremos!

READ: 21 Old Sofia Vergara Photos Which Prove Latinas Don’t Age

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