Sofia Vergara Is a Blonde Bombshell in '90s Throwback Bikini Photo

Sofia Vergara celebrated Throwback Thursday with a photo from the early days of her career, long before she became internationally known as Gloria on ABC's Modern Family.

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(Photo: Instagram/Sofia Vergara)

The 45-year-old Vergara shared a photo on Instagram of herself in a black and white bikini. "#[Throwback Thursday] the 90's Mimai," she wrote in the caption.

Vergara, who was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, started her career with television commercials. Her big breakthrough job was as a game show host for Univision's You Wouldn't Dare. That job brought her to Miami in the mid 1990s.

"I was in dentist school in Colombia," Vergara explained in a 2005 interview. "I did a TV commercial for Pepsi when I was 17 and it was huge, all over Latin America so I started getting propositions to work, to model, but I was just 17 years old. You wake up and go, do I go to work and make money or do I go to class? It's not the right thing to do but that's usually what you start doing - going to work. So I started a TV show in Colombia but that was only for two years. I then was on Univision in Miami - they brought me from Colombia to Miami - and then hosted a traveling show for five years."

According to a New York Post profile, Vergara's pre-Modern Family life was difficult. Her older brother, Rafael, was murdered in 1998 in their hometown. Two years later, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which was thankfully caught early.

In the mid-1990s, Vergara also became involved with Chris Paciello, a leader in the South Beach nightclub scene with mob ties. The couple split when he was sentenced to six years in jail for a botched robbery. Vergara also reportedly dated a former Colombian drug lord before she finally got a guest spot on ABC's My Wife And Kids.

In 2005, she signed a long-term deal with ABC, and in 2009, landed the role of a lifetime: Gloria on Modern Family. The role has made Vergara the highest-paid actress on TV for six years in a row.

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According to Forbes, Vergara earned $41.5 million before taxes in 2017, and she is one of the highest paid television actors. She has earned four Golden Globe nominations and four Emmy nominations, and won four Screen Actors Guild Awards as a member of the cast. Vergara is also married to Joe Manganiello.

"When I think of Gloria, I think of my aunt and my mom," Vergara recently told CBS News. "They're intense, they're passionate. They dress sexy and colorful. They're loud. So, what is wrong with that stereotype if it's a stereotype?"