Sofia Vergara has never been shy about showing off her assets, including her entrepreneurial streak, her telegenic personality and, of course, her voluptuous curves.
But it's her comedic talent that's made her a well-known name on broadcast television as a costar of ABC's hit series "Modern Family."
Vergara, the highest-paid actress on TV for three years running, said she understood herself and her potential place in Hollywood well enough to jump at the sitcom role.
"I've always been the class clown in my school. I love making people laugh. So it was a natural thing," she told The Times in 2009. "It was obvious they were not going to cast me in ‘Schindler's List 2.'"
The native of Colombia launched her U.S. career in the mid-1990s as a model and TV host on Spanish-language channel Univision in Miami. Despite her early breakout success, her transition in Los Angeles wasn't as smooth as she might've expected, which she found out was because of her natural blond locks.
"I started auditioning here and I had the accent, the body and the attitude for the Latin woman, but they don't associate ‘blond' with us. I went for a screen test, and they asked me to come with dark hair," she said in an L.A. Times profile. "So now they believe me that I'm Latin. [Laughs] I always joke that if they throw me in a chlorine pool, all my Latin is going away — my hair and my self-tanner!"
Vergara has reportedly pulled down $325,000 an episode for her Emmy-nominated role on "Modern Family," but that's not why she's repeatedly ended up on the Forbes list of best-paid TV stars. Her reported $37 million earnings from June 2013 to June 2014 also came from endorsement deals and branded products. She's worked with Diet Pepsi, Cover Girl, Head & Shoulders, AT&T and Synthroid, a drug that treats hypothyroidism. (She's a thyroid cancer survivor).
She's also co-founder of Latin World Entertainment, a management and marketing firm that handles her licensing program, which includes fragrances, jewelry and furniture. She's wrapping up a four-year deal with Kmart that spawned a popular apparel and accessories line named for her.
Even after her numerous wins in the business world, attention always seems to come back to that famous figure, which she said she's whittled, only slightly, to conform to entertainment standards.
"When they told me to lose weight, I was like, are they playing a joke on me? I've always been known for my body!" she told The Times. "My friend says that the other actresses look better than me on TV because they're skinny. And I'm like, ‘Yeah, but I look better naked!'"