Colombian model and actress Sofia Vergara got her start in her country as the sassy host of the popular travel show "Fuera de serie" (1995) on Univision. She entered the Hollywood scene with an appearance as a housemaid in “Big Trouble” (2002), Barry Sonnenfeld's film adaptation of humorist Dave Barry's novel. The talented comedic actress has since played significant roles in such films as "Chasing Papi" (2003), "Soul Plane" (2004), "Lords of Dogtown" (2005), "Four Brothers" (2005), "National Lampoon's Pledge This" (2006) and "Meet the Browns" (2008).
Meanwhile, TV viewers could catch her starring in "Hot Properties" (2005), as Lola Hernandez, and "The Knights of Prosperity" (2007), as Esperanza Villalobos, the love interest to Donal Logue's lead character. She also had a recurring role as Sofia Montoya in the ABC drama starring Peter Krause, "Dirty Sexy Money."
Vergara is also known for her charity work. She created “Peace and Hope for Children of Colombia” and has been awarded the “Hispanic Woman of the Year” award and “Women of Hope” award. She is also a successful businesswoman and owns the production company Latin World Entertainment and her own fashion line, “Vergara by Sofia,” a socially conscious brand that has generated 1,500 jobs in her native Colombia since 2004. Vergara was named one of “The 25 Most Powerful Hispanic Women” in 2007 by “The Hollywood Reporter” and “Billboard.”
As a model, the 5' 7" exotic beauty has starred in numerous commercials and graced over 100 covers of international magazines. She was one of “FHM's” "100 Sexiest Women" (2001; 2002; 2005), “Maxim Magazine's” "100 Sexiest Women" (2002; 2005), and “Stuff” magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002; 2003).
“Physical appearance has been very helpful to me, but I’m not image-obsessed. I could look better, but I don’t have the willpower to exercise.” Sofia Vergara
Vergara was married from 1990 to 1993 and has one teenage son. She was rumored to have had a relationship with several A-list Hollywood stars, including Enrique Iglesias, Jamie Foxx, Mark Wahlberg, P. Diddy and Tom Cruise. She also once dated the co-owner of the famed Miami-nightclub “Liquid,” Chris Paciello and pop singer Luis Miguel.
Childhood and Family:
In Barranquilla, Colombia, Sofia Margarita Vergara, nicknamed ''La Toti,'' was born on July 10, 1972, to a homemaker mother and a businessman father. She has five brothers and sisters.
As a child, she was quiet and took school very seriously. Raised in a well-off family, Sofia attended a private bilingual (Spanish/English) elementary school.
Sofia enjoyed reading books and listening to her favorite group Menudo. She was also a playful child who loved Barbies and enjoyed spending a lot of time on her father's farm, where she swam in the river and rode horses.
In 1990, at the age of 18, Sofia married her childhood sweetheart and has one son with him, Manolo (after Manolo from “Scarface,” born in 1992). After Manolo was born, Sofia was set on becoming a dentist and studied dentistry at a college in Colombia for three years. She divorced her husband in 1993.
"I actually regret not being able to finish dental school. I had two years left, but life brought me opportunities so I changed my plans. I still know what to do if you have a toothache or if you need a cleaning. My friends tell me I'm a frustrated doctor." Sofia Vergara
Sofia now lives in Miami and Los Angeles with her mother, sister, and son. Her son is currently in Westwood, Los Angeles, at University Senior High School.
Sofia's favorite movie is “The Godfather” and her favorite actors are Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. She likes to listen to Shakira and Cher songs and enjoys watching “Sex and the City.” She is a voracious reader and devours all kinds of books, often one a day. She also enjoys attending Formula-1 car races and travels wherever the international sport is held.
An international philanthropist, Sofia was awarded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú with the “Hispanic Woman of the Year Award” in 1999.
In 2001, Sofia, whose older brother Rafael was kidnapped and murdered in Colombia because of the family's wealth, created “Peace and Hope for Children of Colombia,” a non-profit organization that has helped thousands of children in her war-torn country and has donated a new cancer pavilion for children in her native Barranquilla, as well as funded the construction of “Parque Hogar Infantil Lipaya” which sponsors 100% of the education and health programs for 600 children in her native Barranquilla.
In 2002, she was awarded the “Women of Hope” Award by the City of Hope for being a role model for future generations. In 2007, Sofia was named one of “The 25 Most Powerful Hispanic Women in the Entertainment Industry” by “The Hollywood Reporter” and “Billboard.”
Woman of Hope
“I didn’t want to be an actress. I wanted to be a dentist, but you never know what life will bring you.” Sofia Vergara
Originally planning to become a dentist, Sofia Vergara spent three years studying dentistry before eventually changing her career path to modeling. The exotic beauty was discovered while walking on a beach and soon appeared in a numerous print and television advertisements. Her first appearance was in a Pepsi commercial when she was 17
After getting married, having a son, and finally divorcing, Vergara ventured to acting and got her first acting role as Irasema in the Spanish soap opera "Acapulco, cuerpo y alma" (1995). She also co-hosted a series of Spanish-language programs, including "Fuera de serie" (1995; aka. “Out of this World”), which was a successful program on Univision that remained on the air for four years, and "A que no te atreves" (1999), a Spanish variety show.
Entering the new millennium, Sofia came to America and hosted "Club La Bomba" (2000), a syndicated music and television interview show. Two years later, she made her Hollywood debut with "Big Trouble" (2002), Barry Sonnenfeld's film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Dave Barry. In the comedy film, she was cast as Nina, The Herks' (played by Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, and Zooey Deschanel) Mexican housemaid who falls in love with a homeless wanderer (played by Jason Lee).
After guest starring in an October 2002 episode of ABC’s sitcom starring Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell, "My Wife and Kids," Vergara appeared alongside Roselyn Sanchez and Nadine Velazquez in the saucy comedy movie “Chasing Papi” (2003), in which she portrayed Cici, the Miami cocktail waitress and wannabe dancer. She followed it up with "The 24th Day" (2004; starring “Felicity” star Scott Speedman and “X-Men’s” James Marsden), Tony Piccirillo's film version of his own play in which she played the female lead, and "Soul Plane" (2004), Jessy Terrero's comedy motion picture in which she shared the screen with Snoop Dogg, Tom Arnold, and Kevin Hart.
Meanwhile, she was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the UPN sitcom starring the rapper, "Eve," and the ABC sitcom loosely based on the life of the comedian, "Rodney." She also guest starred in an episode of the Spanish TV series "Escándalo del mediodía, El," which was filmed in Miami.
2005 saw Vergara in Catherine Hardwicke's surf and skateboarding movie "Lords of Dogtown," with Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, Heath Ledger, and Rebecca De Mornay, and in "Four Brothers," John Singleton's action crime film starring Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Mark Wahlberg, and Garrett Hedlund. The same year, Vergara also took on a role in the short-lived ABC ensemble comedy "Hot Properties," as Lola Hernandez.
Next, Vergara appeared in two direct-to-video released comedy movies: Jason Ensler's "Grilled," starring Kevin James and Ray Romano, and William Heins' "National Lampoon's Pledge This," starring Paris Hilton.
Vergara spent 2007 primarily on the small screen. She starred in the Spanish drama/comedy "Amas de casa desesperadas," which she also executive-produced, and the ABC short-lived comedy "The Knights of Prosperity," in which she played Esperanza Villalobos, the love interest to Donal Logue's lead character. She also had a recurring role as Sofia Montoya in the ABC drama starring Peter Krause, "Dirty Sexy Money." Additionally, she was spotted as a guest in an episode of HBO’s Emmy-winning "Entourage."
Most recently, in 2008, moviegoers could catch her in Tyler Perry's comedy-drama film based on his 2004 play, "Meet the Browns," which also starred Perry and Angela Bassett.
Meanwhile, the sexy Latina continues to model and has graced over 100 covers of international magazines. She was one of “FHM's” "100 Sexiest Women" (2001; 2002; 2005), “Maxim Magazine's” "100 Sexiest Women" (2002; 2005) and “Stuff” magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002; 2003). Sofia also continues to work on commercials.
Vergara is also known for her charity work. She created “Peace and Hope for Children of Colombia” and has been awarded the “Hispanic Woman of the Year” award and “Women of Hope” award.
Vergara, whose official website is boasting an average of over 12 million hits a month (only six months after launching the site), is also a successful businesswoman. She has her own production company called Latin World Entertainment and her own fashion line, “Vergara by Sofia,” a socially conscious brand that has generated 1,500 jobs in her native Colombia since 2004.
“You have to be on top of it all the time, trying to get good scripts. Just be there, be there, be there. There’s noting else you can do but try to create. It’s the only way.” Sofía Vergara