Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sofia Vergara

Remember her from "The Knights of Prosperity"?

Recognized as one of today's most popular and beloved Latin stars, Sofía Vergara was discovered in her native Barranquilla, Colombia. At the time she was studying to be a dentist. But an innocent walk on a local beach proved that fate had other things in store for the career-minded beauty. Glimpsed by a well-known photographer, she was soon starring in a Pepsi commercial, launching a successful international modeling career that later expanded into television and film.

In the past year Vergara co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in the action drama "Four Brothers," directed by John Singleton, appeared in the skateboarding epic "Lords of Dogtown," as well as co-starring in the ABC comedy series "Hot Properties." She will next be seen in the upcoming comedy feature film "Grilled," opposite Ray Romano and Kevin James.

When she hosted Univision's popular 1995 travel series, "Fuera de Serie," Vergara became known as the queen of Thursday night television in over 70 countries worldwide where the program is seen. With her recent role on ABC's "Hot Properties," she became the first Hispanic star  male or female -- to do a television cross-over into the general market.

Vergara's accomplishments include gracing over 150 covers of international magazines and hosting dozens of Hispanic events. After appearing in several advertisements for various Fortune 500 companies, their sales and/or memberships increased by up to 44% in Hispanic communities.

Her film career was triggered by a stunning and humorous presentation at FOX's 2000 "American Comedy Awards." Shortly thereafter, director Barry Sonnenfeld cast Vergara in Disney's 2001 comedy film, "Big Trouble," starring Tim Allen and Rene Russo. In 2002 she landed a dramatic role in the independent film "The 24th Day," and was subsequently cast in her first lead in the 2003 comedy "Chasing Papi."

In 1999 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú awarded Vergara the Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, commending her on her leadership and representation. She was also honored in 2001 with the Women of Hope Award from the City of Hope for her work as the most outstanding Hispanic woman of the year, her active participation in community causes, inspiring Latin women to fight for their dreams and serving as an example to the community. It was the first time that a Colombian received this award. In 2003 Vergara donated a pediatric cancer pavilion to help sick children in her native Barranquilla through the charity she sponsors, Peace and Hope for the Children of Colombia, to which she donates proceeds from her calendar sales.

Vergara, whose web page, www.Sofí, averages 22 million hits a month, is also an accomplished businesswoman. In Miami in the fall of 2004, one of her biggest dreams came true as she launched her own clothing line, "Vergara by Sofía," in an event attended by high profile business personalities, celebrities and special guests, including Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe. She launched the project under her own terms -- ensuring that all of the 1,500-plus jobs resulting from this particular business went to her hometown. The clothing line will be available in the U.S. in 2006.

Understandably Vergara has become a role model for many young Latinas. Her spirit and relentless quest to work hard -- for what some believed to be unattainable goals -- make her an inspiration.

Vergara and her 14-year-old son, Manolo, currently live in New York. A voracious reader, she devours all kinds of books, often one a day. She also enjoys attending Formula-1 car races and travels wherever the international sport is held.
Bio from ABC's The Kights Of Prosperity.

Visit her Sofia Vergara's offical website here.