Best Local Girl Made Good - 2010
OK, technically the bombshell star of ABC's hit sitcom Modern Family is not originally from Miami. But this Colombian-born actress made the Magic City her home way before she became a famous actress. While living in Miami, she modeled, hit the nightclubs (as Chris Paciello's onetime girlfriend), and hosted a slew of shows for Univision. After making a noticeable splash in Miami in the '90s, she moved to La La Land to pursue acting full-time. Vergara scored small parts in TV shows (Entourage, Dirty Sexy Money, Hot Properties, and The Knights of Prosperity) and movies (Big Trouble, Four Brothers, and Meet the Browns). At one point, the sexy brunette even "auditioned" for a real-life role as Tom Cruise's paramour via a high-profile date at Jerry's Deli in Los Angeles. Fortunately, that "job" went to Katie Holmes. Otherwise, we would never have seen Vergara play the fiery Gloria who puts Al Bundy — um, Ed O'Neill — in his place repeatedly on Modern Family, which was picked up for a second season. Success is finally coming fast for the 37-year-old Vergara, who has a teenage son named Manolo. She just landed the female lead in the new live-action Smurfs movie (opposite Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria), which is filming in New York. She is also a spokesperson for Cadillac and has her own charity, Peace and Hope for the Children of Colombia. The most remarkable thing about Vergara: The actress has remained as down-to-earth, unpretentious, and spunky as she was when she was modeling in Miami and trying to make it.