SOFIA VERGARA All Hail The Colombian Queen

It’s seventh time lucky for Modern Family star Sofia Vergara as she tops the annual list of TV’s highest paid actresses compiled by Forbes Magazine yet again. We say lucky, but luck doesn’t really come into it; it’s been hard work, strength and overcoming of struggles for the Colombian star who has fought cancer, suffered family loss and worked hard to support her son as a single mother whilst carving out her impressive career. 

Born on July 10, 1972 to a Roman Catholic family in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her mother, Margarita Vergara de Vergara, was a housewife and her father, Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, a cattle farmer. Sofia Margarita Vergara Vergara attended a bilingual Spanish and English school in her home town before going on to study dentistry at college. However she was scouted in her final year and abandoned her studies before the last two semesters for a career in modelling. Alongside her modelling Sofia hosted an array on Columbian TV shows until 1998 when her brother was murdered during a botched kidnapping attempt. To escape the unrest in Colombia Sofia’s family moved to Miami, Florida where she hosted Spanish-language game show, ‘A que no te atreves’ (I Dare You) and began landing small roles in American films and TV shows. 

In 1990 at the young age of 18, Sofia married her high school sweetheart, Joe Gonzalez. The pair had a son, Manolo, when Sofia turned 20 but the couple sadly separated the following year, leaving Sofia to raise her son alone. 

In 2000 Sofia was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had to undergo surgery to have her thyroid glands removed. She made a full recovery through radioiodine therapy, but still needs to take medicines to prevent hypothyroidism. 

The actress continued to pursue an acting career and landed one of the four principals in the romantic comedy Chasing Papi in 2003 but the acting jobs that followed were small roles that primarily capitalized on her looks. Supporting roles in crime drama Four Brothers and comedy Meet The Browns followed before Vergara took to Broadway in the revival of Chicago in 2009. That was the year things began to change as she joined the cast of Modern Family, as the much younger wife of a man with children near her own age. 

The American television mockumentary family sitcom premiered on US channel, ABC in September 2009. It follows the lives of Jay Pritchett, his second wife Gloria (played by Vergara), her son, Jay’s two adult children and their families who all live in suburban California. The series is presented in a mockumentary style with the characters frequently talking to the camera. The escapades of the non-traditional family struck a chord with viewers, and the series was an immediate popular and critical hit. The show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of its first five years and Vergara was nominated for an Emmy Award four times for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy (2010–13).  It has so far won a total of 22 Emmy awards from 75 nominations. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2011. 

Vergara was the breakout star of the show, and more film offers followed, such as Machete Kills (2013) and Hot Pursuit (2015). Vergara also proved that she was a savvy businesswoman as she capitalized on her pervading celebrity status to grow Latin World Entertainment, a talent-management firm that she cofounded in 1994, into one of the most-powerful Hispanic media marketing companies in the world.

It wasn’t just Sofia’s professional life that hit the headlines, in 2010 she started dating producer and politician, Nick Loeb. The pair got engaged in July 2012, but the romance was short lived and they parted ways in May 2014. One year later a legal battle over the future of two frozen embryos that were produced by in vitro fertilization while they were together was splashed across the media. Nick fought to use the frozen embryos despite an agreement stipulating that nothing could be done with them without the consent of both parties. Vergara’s lawyer confirmed that she wanted them to remain ‘frozen indefinitely’ and in 2016 Loeb dropped the case. 

At the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in DC in July 2014 Sofia met ‘True Blood’ star Joe Manganiello, the duo had a whirlwind romance and got engaged just six months later. They married in Palm Beach, Florida on November 21st, 2015, the same year Sofia was awarded with the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Steering through a lot of hardships to achieve success, Sofia proved that hard work and perseverance pays off in the end, pulling in a whopping $42.5 million over the past year — nearly double the next highest-paid actress on Forbes’ list. Vergara’s riches come not only from her salary on the long-running ABC comedy, but also from a slew of endorsements such as SharkNinja Coffee and Rooms to Go furniture and if the last year is anything to go by, we can’t see this starlet slowing down any time soon.