Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, chances are, you know exactly who Sofia Vergara is. First of all, she’s skyrocketed to superstardom ever since snagging the role of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on hit series Modern Family. Everyone has their favorites, but Vergara’s consistent awards show recognition proves that Gloria’s over the top personality has won fans’ hearts around the world. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s absolutely drop dead gorgeous, and in a world of pin thin Hollywood blondes, the curvy Latina stands out from the crowd – in a good way.
The cherry on top of the cake? She’s recently engaged to Hollywood hunk Joe Manganiello, or as you may know him, Big Dick Richie from the Magic Mike franchise. The couple receives an insane amount of paparazzi attention anytime they go anywhere, and it’s simple – it’s because they just look so, so good on camera. How could you not want to snag a shot?
With her charming accent, larger than life personality, and unapologetic glamour (she’s rarely seen without her make-up on and her hair done up), it’s no surprise that Sofia Vergara has made it to the A-List. She’s curvy, she’s funny, and she’s charming – what more could you want in a starlet?
However, while most people know a few things about her, there are some lesser known facts you may not be familiar with when it comes to this Colombian cutie. Here are 10 things you may not have known about Sofia Vergara.
10 She was a telenovela star
For American audiences, Vergara got her big break when she scored the role of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family. And, let’s be honest – that’s the role that won her international fame as a sexy actress with some serious comedic chops. However, she was a household name in Mexico far before her Modern Family days as a cast member of the Mexican telenovela Acapulco, Cuerpo y Alma, all the way back in 1995. That’s right – even though she may seem to have risen in Hollywood fairly recently, she’s been in the industry for over two decades. We all love Gloria, but honestly, we’re kind of curious about Irasema, the character she played on the telenovela.
9 She was first married at 18
Thanks to her engagement to fellow actor Joe Manganiello, Sofia’s been flashing her impressive ring on every talk show and gracing the cover of wedding magazines as everyone waits to see what kind of curve-hugging dress she’ll pick for the big day. However, her upcoming nuptials won’t be the first time she’s walking down the aisle. When she was only 18 years old, Vergara married her high school sweetheart, Joe Gonzalez. The marriage didn’t last, although it did produce one of the most important things in Vergara’s life – her son, Manolo, who she had when she was 20. From one Joe to another – however, given how adorable Vergara and Manganiello are together, we’re hoping this one lasts.
8 She attended a private bilingual school
Vergara grew up in Barranquilla, Colombia, and while the transition to life in America when she first moved stateside may have been jarring at first, she was lucky enough to have a fairly good grasp of English. Why, exactly? Well, it was because she was sent to a bilingual school, Marymount School Barranquilla, that allowed her to master English as well as her native Spanish. In fact, her religious upbringing initially made her hesitant to jump into the entertainment industry, and it was her teachers who encouraged her to go for her dream after she was scouted on the beach. So, there you go – you have some humble teachers at Marymount School Barranquilla to thank for the sexy Sofia.
7 She studied pre-dentistry for three years
After her marriage to her high school sweetheart fizzled, Vergara assessed the situation she had with her young son and decided to get an education to provide a better life for him. However, don’t assume the actress studied drama in the hopes of becoming a starlet. No, she actually studied pre-dentistry. Vergara attended a university in Colombia for three years, hitting the books for three years before dropping out. Well, she does have a gorgeous smile! If Hollywood gets a hold of her former dental training, we’re betting she gets cast as a sexy dentist who finds love.
6 She’s a natural blonde
If you’ve done any digging into Sofia Vergara’s earlier acting career, you’ll probably know this, but for everyone who’s only been paying attention to the Colombian bombshell since she broke into Hollywood, this might be a startling revelation. Turns out, this Latina is actually a natural blonde! Early in her career, she was told to dye her hair so that she would look more stereotypically Latina. She’s been rocking the darker locks ever since, and honestly, if we looked that good with long, flowing brunette hair, we’d probably keep it that way too!
5 She’s a fan of Scarface
Given her history on telenovelas, sunny, beachy Pepsi commercials, and sitcoms, a gritty flick like Scarface might seem like the last type of film Vergara would enjoy. However, she apparently liked the Al Pacino cult classic so much that it inspired her son’s name. That’s right – her son, Manolo, was named after Steven Bauer’s Scarface character, the handsome right hand man to Al Pacino’s drug lord Tony Montana. Who knows what prompted her to consider finding a baby name in a violent flick like Scarface, but hey – the real life Manolo seems like an intelligent, sweet kid who grew up just fine.
4 She’s a thyroid cancer survivor
Vergara always has a big smile on her face, whether she’s talking to a late night host during an interview or strutting her stuff on the red carpet. However, she has had her fair share of dark times over the years, including 2000. In 2000, when she was still wetting her toes in the industry and hadn’t yet truly broken into the Hollywood A List, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Vergara, ever the fighter, underwent surgery to have her thyroid gland removed and ended up recovering just fine, although she has to take medication now to manage her thyroid.
3 She watched Ed O’Neill growing up
Nowadays, Sofia Vergara probably knows Ed O’Neill as well as she knows her own family – after all, she’s with him constantly when they’re filming scenes together for Modern Family, considering he plays her on-screen husband. However, you may be surprised to know that the Modern Family set wasn’t the first time she saw Ed O’Neill – she actually grew up in Colombia watching him on Married…With Children. Who would have thought that she’d go from watching Katey Sagal, his on-screen wife, to becoming his next on-screen wife! The best part of the funny coincidence is that, thanks to the Spanish dubbing that they did for Colombian audiences, she initially thought that O’Neill actually spoke Spanish when they first met.
2 She was discovered on a Colombian beach at 17
You know all those stories about supermodels getting discovered when they’re walking around the mall, or enjoying an ice cream with friends at a local fair? Well, Sofia Vergara has her own discovery story, and no, it didn’t take place at a school theatre production. A teenaged Vergara was enjoying some sunshine on a beach in Colombia when an agent approached her. She ended up getting the starring role in a Pepsi commercial when she was 17, in which she pretty much strutted her stuff on the beach. It was a perfect fit – we bet that agent sees her success now and pats himself on the back for his discovery.
1 She doesn’t eat red meat
While most people know a fair bit about Sofia Vergara’s life, thanks to the constant interviews that accompany fame, they may not know much about her parents. Back in Colombia, when Vergara was growing up, her father was a cattle farmer. So, it might seem strange that Vergara doesn’t eat red meat. However, it’s not because of a fondness for our bovine friends that she passes up steak. It’s simply because, according to Vergara, the meat in America tastes strange in comparison to Colombian meat. Considering she was likely raised on farm fresh red meat, it’s no wonder that the supermarket fare doesn’t seem quite so tasty in comparison.