“I love risks and I’m up for anything,” says the barranquillera actress Sofia Vergara, who was discovered on a beach where she was asked to model in a Pepsi commercial, which marked the beginning of her successful career in television and modeling.
La Toty, as her family calls her, married at the age of 19 in a pompous wedding with her longtime boyfriend, Jose Luis Gonzalez. From that union Manolo was born, her only son and the love of her life.
At the age of 20 her marriage ended and then moved to Miami with her son. She signed an exclusive contract with the Univision network where she presented the programs ‘Fuera de Serie’ and ‘A que no te atreves’.
An experience that would take her to travel around the world and meet many countries, people and other cultures. But the barranquillera dreamed big, she wanted to be an actress and moved to Los Angeles, the mecca of American filmmaking.
At first, she did not get interesting jobs. Neither the attitude nor the Latin accent, what confused the Americans was the fact that she was blonde, so she decided to darken her hair to see if this time she fit in as a traditional Latin woman.
There was no shortage of criticism. On the one hand, there was her thick accent that did not give her confidence when she auditioned. She hired several teachers, invested part of her savings and hours of study to neutralize her accent. Until she understood that this was his trademark.
And it worked because, successfully, she is part of the cast of one of the most prosperous television series worldwide: ‘Modern Family’, on ABC, in which she plays Gloria Delgado Pritchett, a Colombian married to a rich American.
“This role was tailor-made for me and of course it has a lot of me, of my aunts. The producers loved it from the beginning because they said it was authentic and original”, says Toty to the entertainment press.
Thanks to ‘Gloria’, she has been nominated for big awards, such as Emmy and Golden Globe awards; she has also participated in several movies: ‘The Smurfs’, ‘Happy Feet 2’ or ‘New Year’, where she acts alongside luxury actors: Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Phiffer, Zac Efron, Bon Jovi, among other stars.
According to Forbes magazine, between 2011 and 2012, Sofia Vergara was the highest paid actress with an estimated sum of 19 million dollars, coming from upfront payments, royalties, contracts and advertising.
On May 7, 2015, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Private and family life
Toty’s personal and family life has been marred by difficult times. Her brother, Julio Vergara, was deported to Colombia on April 26, 2011 from the United States because of a felony criminal record. She also talked about the murderer of her other brother, Rafael, during an attempted kidnapping in Colombia in 1998.
On July 10, 2012, she became formally engaged to Nick Loeb and on May 23, 2014, she announced their breakup. On May 1, 2015, the dispute regarding the future of the two embryos they had frozen while together became public.
The Los Angeles Superior Court ordered, on March 9 recently, that Loeb cannot make use of those embryos without the explicit written consent of the actress. The couple signed a contract in which they agreed that one of the two parties cannot obtain exclusive rights to the embryos without the consent of the other.
The couple decided to use in vitro fertilization and freeze the embryos because of the difficulties the actress had in getting pregnant after suffering from thyroid cancer in 2000, from which she emerged victorious.
This legal battle has been dragging on for years and is one in which Sofia has every chance of winning.
In July 2014 the barranquillera started dating the actor and producer Joe Manganiello. The couple got engaged on Christmas 2014 and after six months of dating. On November 22, 2015, they got married in Palm Beach, Florida.
In the midst of the pandemic, she was selected as a judge for America’s Got Talent, in its 15th season.
La Toty assures, whenever she has the opportunity, that she never forgets her country and neither her soul Barranquilla: “I miss everything, a posta de carne with coconut rice, the patacones even the iguana eggs I used to eat in El Retén (Magdalena)”, she says nostalgically.
“That perrenque of being from Barranquilla is what keeps us going in these difficult times; we are going to get out of this by taking care of each other”, she expressed in a live interview, invited by Carnaval S.A. during the quarantine for Covid-19.
Traducción del español: Catalina Oviedo Brugés