Sofía Margarita Vergara, born on July 10, 1972 in Barranquilla, Colombia, is a Colombian model and actress who has made her way into American television and film. La Toti, as she is fondly called by her five brothers and sisters, grew up in her father's farm in Colombia. Her mother, Margarita Vergara Dávila de Vergara, is a homemaker, and her father, Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, produced cattle for the meat industry. Coming from a moderately well-off family, she was sent to a bilingual (Spanish and English) elementary school. She studied dentistry for three years before she was approached by a photographer on a Colombian beach. This led to numerous print and television ad appearances. Vergara was married at the age of 18 to her childhood sweetheart and she gave birth to her son Manolo Gonzalez-Ripoll Vergara on September 16, 1992, at the age of 20. She moved to Miami, Florida to pursue modeling and brought her mother and son with her after her brother was murdered in 1998 when kidnapped. In 2002, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer but overcame it.
Her first public appearance was in a Pepsi commercial shown all over Latin America when she was 17 years old. She soon dropped out of college and earn a living through modeling to support her son. When she turned 20, she transitioned from being a runway and commercial model into a TV personality. From 1995 to 1999, she co-hosted the Spanish-language programs Fuera de serie ("Out of the Ordinary") and A que no te atreves ("Over the Top").
Sofia graced the pages of several men's magazines in North America. She also worked at WTVJ in Miami, Florida. Soon after, she went on landing regular roles in US television shows such as Knights of Prosperity and Hot Properties. She has also guest-starred in other TV sitcoms and dramas. In 2007, Sofia appeared in a recurring role for the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money as the girlfriend of one of the Darlings.
Sofia is 5 ft 7 inches tall, and she has naturally blonde hair. She currently plays Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family, for which she was nominated for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series along with a Golden Globe Award, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.