The Untold Truth Of Sofí­a Vergara

There's no denying that Sofía Vergara is a captivating person, which is one of the reasons why she's such a success in the entertainment industry and beyond. But what makes her so fascinating to fans around the world? Well, along with being a talented performer, Vergara is also stunningly beautiful and seriously smart. In fact, she's so clever, that she's able to make major moves by using what she has to offer in a way that some people simply don't see coming.

"I think that the concept of being sexy and smart is difficult for many to grasp. Most people are more comfortable with the notion of 'sexy bimbo,'" Vergara told Glam Belleza Latina (via People) back in 2013. Although that perception might be an unfortunate (and even potentially career-stalling) hindrance for some people, this star has instead learned to use it to her advantage. She explained, "I have to admit that I've capitalized on that to negotiate a couple of times, when the 'smart ones' think I have no idea what I can deliver, and I end up costing them more." That's right, she has built up an enviable career by using both her beauty and her brilliant business-savviness.

If that's not quite what you expected from Vergara, then you might be interested to find out that there are actually a lot of things that you might not know about the star. That includes the following somewhat surprising and totally intriguing untold truths.

Sofía Vergara was discovered in the sun

Fun in the sun sparked a career of fame and fortune for Sofía Vergara. Best known for her role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family, it turns out that her journey to stardom didn't start off with grueling casting calls or endless auditions, but instead began during a day out with her real family back in the 1980s. She told E! News (via the Daily Mail), "I was 17. I was at the beach with my parents and some scout asked to take a Polaroid of me."

Vergara was then contacted by those in the business and asked to star in a Pepsi commercial that saw her making her way across scorching sand using any means necessary — in a very the-floor-is-lava kind of way — in order to get a soda. Her first Pepsi commercial would snowball her career and lead to work as a model as well as a role "starring in a Mexican telenovela" before "go[ing] on to become a Univision television personality in the mid-1990s after relocating to the United States," according to Biography.

Beyond that, according to Business Insider, "Vergara has had an ongoing endorsement deal with Pepsi since 2011," which saw her revisiting the role of thirsty hottie on the beach, but this time a ridiculous crowd separates her from her thirst quencher. In a further parody of her Pepsi commercial success, she pushed the product on The Ellen DeGeneres Show trying to show her love of the beverage amidst many, er, Ellen-esque distractions.

Early in her career, Sofía Vergara changed her hair

There are quite a few stars who have hidden their naturally blonde hair for various reasons over the years. According to Insider, that includes famous faces like Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, and Olivia Wilde. Sofía Vergara is also among that group. Indeed, while the actor tends to have brown hair when she's onscreen, she told Parade in 2011, "I'm a natural blonde, like my siblings." The star, who seemingly never misses an opportunity to throwback to old snaps of herself on Instagram, proved her blondeness by sharing a childhood photo from the '80s that showed her golden locks.

So why the dye? In order to make it in Hollywood, Vergara had to tone down the gold in order to not confuse what those in the industry were expecting. She explained to Parade, "When I started auditioning for American acting roles, they didn't know where to put me. A blonde Latina? In L.A., they're used to Latin women looking more Mexican. But if you go to Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, everybody is blonde." She also told Self (via Us Weekly), "The moment I dyed my hair dark, it was, 'Oh, she's the hot Latin girl.' I loved it... Being brunette toned me down a bit."

But don't think Vergara sold her hair out for the Hollywood dream. She has been seen going back to her roots in photos from her time guest judging for America's Got Talent and looks just as good as she does as a brunette.

Family tragedies are part of Sofía Vergara's story

The Modern Family star's life hasn't always been full of glitz and glamour. In 1998, Sofía Vergara's older brother, Rafael, was killed in their home country of Colombia when he was 27 years old. This was just a few years after Vergara was offered the chance to go to Miami and host a travel show. According to an insider who spoke to the New York Post, "[s]he saw it as a chance to give her son a better life," due to the fact that she was worried about the "gang-related violence in her homeland." While opening up about her brother's death, she explained, "We come from a successful family, and he knew he was a target for kidnapping. He always had bodyguards. Then one day he went out alone and was shot dead [in a kidnapping attempt gone wrong]. I was devastated."

Following the tragic death of Rafael, Vergara's younger brother, Julio, found it difficult to cope and after spending some time at a Michigan college, Vergara told Parade in a 2011 interview, "He started with alcohol there, then pot, on to cocaine, to crack." She went on to say that he's now "like another person. To see somebody dying over 10 years, little by little, that's the worst punishment."

In 2011, Radar reported that Julio had a "crippling drug addiction that has led to his being arrested nearly 30 times in the last 10 years," which led to him being "deported by immigration authorities."

Sofía Vergara is the mother of a model

When Sofía Vergara was 18 years old, she married her high school sweetheart, Jose Luis Gonzalez. A year later, she gave birth to her son, Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, which was followed by divorce just two years after tying the knot.

If you've ever gotten a glimpse at Manolo, then you'll know that he inherited his mother's good looks. That's why it shouldn't be surprising to find out that he has pursued on-camera work as a model with his first gig being in a spread for Paper in 2016, which highlighted the films by famous Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. In his modeling debut, Manolo can be seen clad in a leather jacket framed by red flowers with fellow model Niia, inspired by the film Live Flesh. You can also see his chiseled profile reflected in a round mirror inspired by the film ​The Flower of My Secret.

Manolo's mom was quick to boast about her son when she shared an Instagram post with several clapping emoji's and a picture of her boy in a Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown inspired photo, where he is seen tipping a Bloody Mary while sitting behind a broken mirror. Manolo has also shared the screen with his mother in a Ritz commercial and has earned a few acting credits that included appearances in Hot Pursuit, Destined to Ride, Guilty Party, and Vandal. There's no doubt that he's a face to watch out for.

Sofia Vergara has dated other stars (and married one of them)

Sofía Vergara has been romantically linked with True Blood and Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello since 2014. The two, who are now married, started dating after Manganiello boldly asked Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Vergara's Modern Family co-star, for her digits. But before that, there was actually photographic evidence of Manganiello taking a look at his future spouse at a White House Correspondents Dinner. In an interview with E! News, he admitted, "I totally got busted."

Beyond that, Vergara has also been involved with other celebrities. She briefly dated British singer-songwriter Craig David in 2003. He told ET, "I just remember a very beautiful soul, who was just caring about her family. She's just a lovely girl." She also had a connection to actor Donal Logue (who you might know from Life, Vikings, and Gotham) in 2007, which according to ET, "turned out to be short-lived."

But Vergara's most unusual reported romantic encounter was arguably with Tom Cruise. After his relationships with Penelope Cruz and Yolanda Pecorarothen ended, he apparently "gave Scientology leaders a wish list of women he would like to date. They included Jennifer Garner and the up-and-coming actress Sofía Vergara," according to the New York Post. Vergara, a devoted Catholic, reportedly soon hit the bricks after Cruise attempted to introduce her to his religion. As ET noted, Vergara and Cruise "never commented on the status of their relationship" but were spotted "together at Jerry's Famous Deli in Studio City."

There was a legal battle over Sofía Vergara's embryos

For years, Sofía Vergara was in a legal battle with her ex-fiancé, businessman Nick Loeb, over the fate of embryos she had frozen while they were together. The relationship started in 2010, and Loeb proposed marriage in 2012 while they celebrated her 40th birthday in Mexico. However, she ended things in 2014 and, according to the Los Angeles Times, explained her decision by writing, "We have been having too many problems with figuring out how to spend time together and because of my work and now his, it's been getting worse and worse, not fun anymore... We are still very close but we believe is the best thing for us right now."

Since the break-up, Loeb attempted to sue for the rights to the embryos, "claiming that the actress wishes to have [the] embryos destroyed, whereas he wants the legal right to attempt to bring the embryos to life via surrogate," according to Entertainment Tonight.

In the years since the case was introduced to the courts, there have been plenty of complicated legal twists and turns, including a court fining Loeb "more than $17,000 for delays in turning over information to the actress in their ongoing legal battle," according to NBC Los Angeles, and Loeb writing an op-ed in The New York Times entitled, "Our Frozen Embryos Have a Right to Live." Fortunately for those involved, the matter came to an end in March 2021, when a judge ruled that Loeb can't use the embryos without Vergara's permission.

Sofía Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer

In 2000, Sofía Vergara was told that she was facing a serious health issue while attending a doctor's appointment with her son, Manolo, who was being checked out for type-1 diabetes, a condition that she told Health there was a "family history" of. According to HuffPost, the doctor sensed that "her thyroid was abnormal just by touching her throat. They did a biopsy and uncovered that her thyroid was, in fact, cancerous." After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the star was treated and had her thyroid removed. She now has to regularly "take a Synthroid pill every morning."

When Vergara talked to Health in 2021, she revealed why she kept her condition a secret, saying, "I didn't want publicity because of that. Having cancer is not fun. You don't want to deal with anything else while you're going through it." However, since then, Vergara has been very vocal about promoting personal health, having regular check-ups, and using her star power to help those in need.

As HuffPost noted, the actor has been a spokesperson for the Follow the Script campaign, "which aims to educate individuals with hypothyroidism about the importance of being consistent with the treatment their doctor prescribes." In 2017, she shared an Instagram post that showed her at a clinic getting ready for a mammogram with the caption, "You have to do it!!!" She also told Health, "Through the charity I sponsor, we're building a cancer center in my hometown of Barranquilla." Admirable, indeed!

Before she got into acting, Sofía Vergara wanted to be a dentist

Before becoming the megastar that she is today, acting in movies, television, and multiple commercials, Sofía Vergara was headed in a very different direction career-wise. In 2008, she told the New York Daily News, "I didn't want to be an actress. I wanted to be a dentist, but you never know what life will bring you." A far cry from acting on the big screen, she actually admitted to Harry Connick Jr. on his show Harry, that she really "wanted to be a doctor... but it takes so much time and years of study and it's difficult so the next best thing for me at that time was being a dentist."

Although Vergara only got about two years into her dental studies before leaving to focus on acting, there are some celebrities who actually worked in the medical field before turning their focus to the spotlight. According to Reader's Digest, stars like Naomi Judd, Robin Quivers, Tina Turner, and Jennifer Stone have all worked as nurses, and of course, there was the famous story of comedic actor Ken Jeong (a former physician) who, as Good Morning America noted, "jumped off stage during his standup comedy set to aid an audience member having a medical emergency."

As for Vergara, she doesn't seem to be too devastated about the fact that she's rich and famous instead of a dentist. She told the New York Daily News, "I can't complain, I'm happy with what I've achieved."

The bright lights of Broadway called to Sofía Vergara

Sofía Vergara may be known for her onscreen work, but in 2009, she made "her Broadway stage debut as Matron 'Mama' Morton, cellblock diva extraordinaire, in the hit revival of Chicago," according to Broadway. In a photoshoot to promote the play, Vergara could be seen clad in a sleek black pantsuit and posing in a chair while showing off a big smile with bright red lips that were perfect for the stage.

At the time she spoke to Broadway about what she enjoyed about her character, saying, "Well, I love Mama Morton because I think she's a very strong woman, she's very manipulative. I guess I shouldn't be saying that's what I like, but I like that!" She also wasn't afraid to show her nerves, admitting with a laugh, "I've never done this. I've never done theatre. I've never sang before. So everything is new."

First brought to Broadway in 1975, where it only ran for two years, Chicago made a comeback to the stage in 1996 and ended up "earn[ing] 6 1996 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical," according to Broadway. That was followed by the 2002 film which earned six Oscars. Vergara performed for a "five-week run ... as well as a brief stint in the show's national tour," according to Playbill. If you're curious about how she did, she definitely didn't disappoint as she could be heard belting out a number from the show to enthusiastic applause. Perhaps she should consider another Broadway gig in the future.

Sofía Vergara created a top talent agency

Early on in Sofía Vergara's career, the woman who was destined to be a star and her business partner, Luis Balaguer, put their heads together to figure out how they could bring in some much-needed extra income. In 1997, the two came up with the idea to create a calendar that featured twelve months of photos of a bikini-clad Vergara. Balaguer explained to Forbes that at the time they "were both broke, didn't have a penny," so "had to beg distributors to finance the printing of the calendar."

The result was an enormous success and at $12.95 a pop they were able to sell "close to one million copies" of the calendar, according to Forbes. "It became a huge difference for us at the time, and financed many of our crazy dreams to move to Los Angeles, look for the American dream and crossover in Hollywood," Balaguer told Variety in 2015.

One of those "crazy dreams" was to launch a talent agency called Latin World Entertainment (or LatinWE), which "has been the premier Hispanic talent agency since its inception in 1994 when the U.S. Hispanic entertainment and television industry was in its infancy." Obviously, the agency's top money-maker is its powerful and personable founder Vergara, but they also represent actor Rafael de La Fuente of Empire fame, and Variety noted they "also formed sponsorship deals between talent and brands that could boost visibility and pull in additional revenue." Pretty darn impressive!

Sofía Vergara has made a formidable fortune

Sofía Vergara has built herself up to be a major force in the entertainment industry both as an A-list actor as well as a savvy businesswoman. For her role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family, the star was able to pull in "nearly $500,000 per episode" for the last two seasons of the show's 11-year run, according to Variety. That money landed her on several of Forbes' Highest-Paid TV Actresses lists, including coming in as the top-earner in 2018 by bringing home $42.5 million.

But acting is only one way that Vergara is raking in big bucks. As well as being the founder of LatinWE and their major talent, she's also had endorsement deals with "thyroid medicine Synthroid, fast food restaurant McDonald's, gym chain Bally Total Fitness, makeup company Covergirl, [and] beer brand Cerveza Aguila," that help her earn "seven figures per year," per Forbes.

Vergara's talent both on the screen and in the boardroom has made her a whopping $180 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and that's something that she's proud of. "I'm not ashamed to say I love making money," she told Glam Belleza Latina (via People). "I like business, and the truth is I save way more than I spend. I invest. I plan for the future. I have a special eye for opportunities and work harder than anyone might expect. It is fun to shock people with my business ideas. Most people just see me as Gloria." Turns out, she's got a Gloria-ous empire.

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