A picture of bronze beauty whose radiant personality and unwavering devotion to family endeared her to Univision viewers when she debuted as host the popular 1995 travel series Fuera de Serie, model/actress Sofía Vergara’s crossover appeal was cemented when a memorable performance on the FOX Network’s 1995 American Comedy Awards launched her almost instantaneously into Hollywood stardom. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, to an extended, musically inclined family that included five brothers and sisters in addition to many cousins, quiet and studious Vergara attended the private bilingual school Marymount while dreaming of a future career in dentistry. At the age of 18, Vergara married the man who had been her childhood sweetheart since age eleven, and soon thereafter the young couple gave birth to a baby boy. Thanks to years of hard work and intense studies it appeared as if young Vergara was at last close to realizing her childhood dream of becoming a dentist, though an innocent walk on the beach proved that fate had other things in store for the career-minded beauty. Glimpsed by a well-known photographer as she strolled the shore in her native Colombia, Vergara was soon stepping in front of the cameras to appear in a Pepsi commercial that soon made her a recognizable face across the country.
A move to Bogotá two years later found Vergara making a name for herself on the runway as well as the small screen, and soon the rising starlet’s popularity would spread stateside when she accepted an offer to host the globetrotting Univision series Fuera de serie. Her undeniable charm even more infectious on screen than it was in the glossy pages of high fashion magazines, Vergara was an instant hit and soon branched out as host of the weekly prime-time variety-show A Que No Te Atreves. When a brief but memorable performance at the 1995 American Comedy Awards found her appeal reaching even further beyond Spanish-speaking audiences and into the American mainstream, it didn’t take long for Hollywood to come calling. In 2002, many American filmgoers got their first look at the up-and-coming actress when Vergara appeared in a supporting role in director Barry Sonnenfeld’s ill-fated comedy Big Trouble. Pushed back from its original release date of 2001 due in large to sensitivities resulting from a plot involving a bomb and an airplane, Big Trouble died quickly at the box office before hastily being relegated to life on the home-video market. Though her following two films, Chasing Papi and The 24th Day, didn’t fare much better at the box office, Vergara’s winning performance in the high-flying 2004 comedy Soul Plane did well in showcasing both her remarkable beauty and impeccable comic timing. Her subsequent role in the animated IMAX film Robots found her stepping behind the cameras for her first voice-over role, though audiences could rest assured that in 2005 Vergara would be back in front of the lens not only in director Catherine Hardwicke’s eagerly anticipated Dogtown and Z-Boys companion piece The Lords of Dogtown but the comedies Pledge This! and Grilled as well.