Sofia Vergara was determined to beat thyroid cancer for her son.

The outspoken Columbian actress was discovered to have a tumour in 2002 but knew she had to overcome the disease for the sake of her family, including her child Manolo, now 18.

She said: "It was a tough thing for me, but it made me much stronger. I have family and I'm a mother, and I knew I could get through it."

After recovering from the disease, 38-year-old Sofia - who is divorced from Manolo's father - went on to land the role of Gloria on TV show 'Modern Family' and she is delighted to have gotten the opportunity to play a strong Latina character - although she admits she sometimes goes overboard and doesn't even understand her own accent.

She told Ocean Drive magazine: "One of the things I'm very proud of is the fact that I am representing Latin culture with an accent so strong that I don't understand half the things I say myself, but it's good that there can be a loud Latina woman acting crazy on American television. America is ready for more Latin culture mixed in with its own."