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At 17, often an age of acne and anxiety for mere mortals, Colombia-born Sofia Vergara booked her first gig in a Pepsi commercial. Judging by this picture, we’re guessing she didn’t have an awkward phase.
The soda spot led to modeling gigs, and then a step up to TV host on the Spanish-language travel show Fuera de Serie. But it was in 2009 that Vergara scored the gig of a lifetime playing Modern Family’s Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. The comedic role has had a strong cultural impact for Latinas. “I play [Gloria] the way I see my mother and my aunt behave as Latin women. And now the writers know more about the Latin culture than when I started doing the show, and they know me better too,” she told Time in 2014.
Vergara made $41.5 million in 2017, winning her the No. 1 spot on the Forbes Highest-Paid TV Actresses list. She ranked at No. 58 on the Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities list that same year, above Kylie Jenner and Bruno Mars. One secret to her success is something we can all embrace: “You have to live without the fear of making a fool out of yourself or dreaming big,” Vergara told People en Español.
Outside of the small screen, the 46-year-old icon is growing a business empire. She has a perfume collection, is the face of CoverGirl, does Head & Shoulders ads, and recently launched a women’s underwear subscription service called EBY (Empowered By You). Ten percent of net sales go toward loans for female entrepreneurs. “I wasn’t thinking I was going to be a role model for women, so I embrace it,” she told Forbes. Another reason to love her.
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