Sofia Vergara turns 50: A look at how the star rose to fame in Hollywood

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Sofia Vergara is 50!

The Colombian actress and model’s rise to fame in Hollywood is different from other celebrities. From being approached on a beach in Colombia for a Pepsi commercial to being the highest paid actress in the world in 2020, Vergara experienced challenges along the way.

At 28, the “Modern Family” star was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and her older brother was killed during a kidnapping in the ’90s. Here’s a look at all Vergara has accomplished since her rise to fame in Hollywood.

Sofia Vergara celebrates her 50th birthday on Sunday.
(Photo by Tony Barson / FilmMagic)

Being discovered

At just 17 years old, Vergara’s career began as she starred in a famous Pepsi commercial in Colombia. The actress was reportedly approached by a photographer while on the beach and asked to star in the advertisement.

SOFIA VERGARA HEATS UP INSTAGRAM WITH THROWBACK BIKINI PHOTO FROM THE ’90S

On Instagram in 2021, Vergara reflected on how this opportunity was the jump start to her successful career. “#tbt How it all began. Santa Marta, Columbia the 80’s,” she captioned the Pepsi video.

After this commercial, which Vergara said was filmed in 1989, she spent the next several years in various modeling careers and taking on soap opera roles before moving to the United States in the ’90s.

Introduction to television

After Vergara made her way to the states, she became a Univison television personality and hosted the travel show, “Fuera de Serie” and “A Que No Te Atreves.”

SOFIA VERGARA SHARES CHEEKY THROWBACK PHOTO IN TWO-PIECE LINGERIE

During Vergara’s introduction to television, her older brother, Rafael Jose Vergara, was killed in Colombia.

Sofia Vergara on the red carpet in 1999.

Sofia Vergara on the red carpet in 1999.
(Photo by Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection)

“We come from a successful family, and he knew he was a target for kidnapping,” she once said in an interview. “He always had bodyguards. Then one day he went out alone and was shot dead. I was devastated.”

By the end of the ’90s, Vergara received the Hispanic Woman of the Year Award from Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchoe.

She made her film debut in 2002 in “Big Trouble” where she starred alongside Tim Allen and Rene Russo. In June 2009, Vergara made her Broadway debut as Mama Morton in “Chicago.”

Surviving thyroid cancer

On World Cancer Day this year, Vergara opened up about being diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 28.

“At 28, ‘Cancer’ was not a word I expected to hear. It was just a routine checkup,” she captioned an Instagram picture where a scar on her throat is apparent.

Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 28. She now considers herself a cancer survivor.

Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 28. She now considers herself a cancer survivor.
(ABC via Getty Images)

“But the doctors found a lump in my throat, and that word became part of my story. I spent countless hours in radiation treatments, and, eventually, in surgery. Today, I get to call myself a cancer survivor.”

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She urged her 26 million Instagram followers to get an annual check-up and said “early prevention is so important.”

‘Modern Family’

It wasn’t until 2009 that Vergara’s acting career met new heights. She took on the role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in “Modern Family.” Vergara played the assertive, sexy wife to her older husband, Jay, played by Ed O’Neil.

Vergara portrayed the role of an assertive housewife, Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, in the Emmy award-winning show.

Vergara portrayed the role of an assertive housewife, Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, in the Emmy award-winning show.
(Jill Greenberg via Getty Images)

The sitcom – which aired from 2009 to 2020 – went on to win five Emmy awards for the outstanding comedy series category. Vergara received four consecutive Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for the supporting actress category.

Highest paid actress in 2020

While Vergara was filming “Modern Family,” she reached a financial milestone. According to Forbes, Vergara was the highest-paid female actress in the world in 2020, with an annual income of $ 43 million.

The Colombian native became the highest paid actress in the world in 2020.

The Colombian native became the highest paid actress in the world in 2020.
(Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

During that time, she was starring as a host on “America’s Got Talent,” which brought her an eight-figure annual income, Forbes reported.

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She also curated her own denim jeans line, several perfumes and a furniture line that was sold at Rooms to Go.

Joe Manganiello and Vergara’s whirlwind romance

Vergara first met Joe Manganiello at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2014 while she was with her ex-fiancé Nick Loeb.

“Yeah, I totally got busted,” Manganiello told E! News in 2014. “That was actually funny when we first started dating, months after that. We had talked I guess, or kind of bumped into each other, but we didn’t start dating until she was single. I mean, she had a boyfriend at that time, so I probably could have gotten into a fight for doing that. I’m not trying to start a fight at the White House. “

Vergara married Joe Manganiello after just six months of dating in November 2015.

Vergara married Joe Manganiello after just six months of dating in November 2015.
(Photo by Robert Smith / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

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After Vergara and Loeb split, she began dating the “True Blood” alum. After just six months of dating, Manganiello got down on one knee and proposed to Vergara on Christmas Eve.

The couple made their union official in November 2015. They had a lavish wedding at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

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