Sofía Vergara is a Colombian model and actress best known for her starring role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the mockumentary television comedy series Modern Family.
She is also known for her recurring roles as Lola Hernandez on Hot Properties (2005) and as Esperanza Villalobos on Knights of Prosperity, in 2007.
"La Toti" was the nickname given to Vergara by her five brothers and sisters and many cousins, including television news anchor and reporter Carlos Vergara, who currently works for WTVJ in Miami, Florida.
She grew up between her hometown of Barranquilla and her father's farm in Colombia, where for recreation and exercise, she liked to swim in a river and ride horses.
She came from a well-off family in Colombia and was sent to private bilingual (Spanish/English) schools there, including elementary school.
She got married at the age of 18, and she gave birth to her son Manolo in 1991 at the age of 19.
The marriage did not last very long, and then she studied dentistry at a college in Colombia for three years.
Vergara was discovered by a photographer while walking a Colombian beach. Soon, she was presented with attractive offers in modeling and TV work, and followed that course.
Having been raised rather conservatively and devoutly religious, this was a bit overwhelming at first. In an article in Maxim Magazine in January of 2001, Vergara was described as "apprehensive about doing her first TV commercial—until her Catholic schoolteachers gave her permission to take the job".
She made her first public appearance at the age of 17 in a Pepsi commercial that was widely telecast all over Latin America.
In order to support her son, mother, and younger siblings who needed her financial support in the absence of her father, who had departed the family, she dropped out of college in order to earn good wages.
Vergara moved to Bogotá at the age of 20, where she worked as a model on the runway and on TV. From 1995 to 1999, she was co-host with Fernando Fiore on Fuera de Serie ("Out of the Ordinary" or "Over-the-Top"), a series which sent her to exotic places all over the world (this is similar to the U.S. Wild On! travel series).
It was telecast on the international Univision Spanish-language network, and it made her a star in the Latin American market and gave her some USA TV exposure.
She also co-hosted the Univision show A que no te atreves ("I Dare You"). She also appeared as a guest star on the HBO series Entourage.
Besides runway and catalogue modeling work, Vergara also did independent projects. She was photographed for posters swimsuit calendars in 1998, 2000, and 2002. These were top sellers in Latin America, and also penetrated the North American market.
She did South American television ads, and also posed in swimsuits for posters for beer advertising, especially for Miller Lite beer.
Vergara was long under an exclusive TV contract with Univision, and after it expired, she accepted a role with ABC in the United States. With ABC, she appeared on the sitcoms Hot Properties and The Knights of Prosperity.
Vergara now lives in Miami and Los Angeles, and brought her mother, sister, and her son to live with her. Her older brother was murdered in Colombia, a crime that is still unsolved.
In 2007 Vergara played the role of Alicia Oviedo, the Mary Alice Young of the Colombian version of Desperate Housewives, called Amas de Casa Desesperadas.