Famous for playing voluptuous housewife Gloria Pritchett on the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family”, Colombian actress Sofia Vergara has captured the attention of the nation with her comedic chops and stunning good looks.
Behind what you see on TV every week, however, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about this Emmy nominated star. Here are 12 fun facts about Sofia Vergara.
1. Her beauty was noticed by a modeling scout
Vergara was first “discovered” when she was 17 years old while taking a walk on a beach in Colombia. A modeling scout noticed her beauty, and she had landed her first Pepsi commercial within the year.
2. She gave birth to her son at the age of 19
When she was 19, Vergara had a son with her childhood sweetheart Joe Gonzalez. She named the boy Manolo after Steven Bauer’s character from the movie “Scarface.”
3. She dropped out of University
A young single mother after her getting divorced at age 20, Vergara felt that she needed to find a career to support her family. She studied pre-dentistry at a Colombian university for three years before booking her first major TV job and dropping out.
4. She was a telenovela star
Before moving to the U.S., Vergara had a thriving television career in Latin America. She got her big break in the telenovela “Acapulco, Cuerpo y Alma” in the mid ’90s and then hosted the Univision travel show “Fuera de Serie.”
5. She wanted to get a breast reduction
Though she is known today for her striking figure, Vergara actually considered getting a breast reduction when she was younger. In the end, her mother talked her out of surgery by telling her, “God is going to punish you if you cut them.”
6. She was disappointed in Ed O’Neill
Growing up in Colombia, she used to watch the TV series “Married… with Children”, dubbed into Spanish featuring her future co-star Ed O’Neill. When she first met O’Neill, she was disappointed to learn that he actually didn’t speak any Spanish himself.
7. Her brother was murdered
Vergara’s older brother Rafael was murdered in Bogota as part of a botched kidnapping. Her family was understandably traumatized, and the event prompted them to leave Colombia and settle in the U.S.
8. She is a natural blond
A natural blond, Vergara dyed her hair brown when she came to Hollywood. She told “Esquire” that she wasn’t getting considered for jobs because of a stereotype that all Latina women should look like Salma Hayek. After going brunette, she immediately began booking work.
9. She beat cancer
Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the year 2000. She underwent therapy and had her thyroid removed, which led to a full recovery, but she still has to take medication for hypothyroidism.
10. She doesn’t eat red meat
Shortly after moving to the U.S., she stopped eating red meat. Rather than having any moral aversion, she simply claims that the meat in America “tastes funny.”
11. She almost got arrested while getting engaged
In 2012, she got engaged to businessman Nick Loeb. Her fiancé proposed to her in Mexico atop the Chichen Itza pyramid. Unfortunately, the area they went to for the proposal was actually restricted, and the two almost got arrested when they came back down.
12. She is extremely rich
For the past two years, she has been the top-earning TV actress in the world, according to Forbes. In 2013 alone, she earned more than $30 million between her “Modern Family” salary and several lucrative endorsement deals.