La Toti was the nickname given to Sofía 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. Sofia grew up on her father's farm in Colombia, where for recreation and exercise, she liked to swim in a river and ride horses. Sofia came from a moderately well-off family in Colombia and was sent to private bilingual (Spanish/English) schools there, including elementary school. She speaks Spanish and English both very well, (with a Midwestern accent in English). She got married at the age of 18, and she gave birth to her son Manolo in 1992. The marriage did not last very long, and then Sofia studied pre-dentistry at a college in Colombia for three years.
Sofia 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. She made her
first public appearance at the age of 17 in a Pepsi-Cola
commercial that was widely telecast all over Latin America.
Considering that she had a son, mother, and younger siblings who
needed her financial support in the absence of her father, who
had departed the family, gave Sofia further impetus to drop out
of college and go to work where she could earn good wages.
Sofía Vergara moved to Bogotá at the age of 20, where she worked as a model on the fashion runway and on TV. From 1995 to 1999, she was co-host with Fernando Fiore on the Fuera de Serie ("Out of Sight"), a series which sent her to exotic places all over the world. [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 Sofia some USA TV exposure. She also co-hosted the Univision show A que no te atreves ("I Dare You").
Besides runway and catalog modeling work, Sofía Vergara also did independent projects. She was photographed for posters swimsuit calendars in 1998, 2000, and 2002. These were top sellers in Latin Ameica, 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 is 5' 8" tall, and she has naturally blonde/sunbleached hair. (For films and TV, she is frequently required to dye it brunette to make her look more "Latina".) As for her figure, she says that she has been built this way since she was 13 years old, and it is all 100% natural.
Sofía was long under an exclusive TV contract with Univision, but that has now expired and she was open to accept a role with ABC in the United States.
Sofía Vergara has occasionally been seen dating Enrique Iglesias and Latin superstar Luis Miguel. Sofia has long lived in the United States now, mostly in Miami and Los Angeles, and she has brought her mother, sister, and son to live with her. Her friend Tom Cruise was erroneously linked in a dating relationship with her.
Vergara acted in the short-lived ABC sitcom Hot Properties in 2005-06.
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