Ariel Winter, star of shows like Modern Family and Sophia the First, celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday with a night out dancing and laughing in Las Vegas.
The actress posted pics on Instagram showing a group of women holding a sign that spelled her name, along with a 25th birthday sign and videos behind the DJ booth at Vegas club XS as just some of the events that marked her quarter century on earth.
Born January 26, 1998, Ariel is the youngest sister of three, all actors. Her brother Jimmy Workman played Pugsly in the 90s Addams Family movies while sister Shanelle Gray is mostly a voice actress for video games, with her and Ariel both appearing in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Ariel looked to be having the time of her life in the Insta videos, and doesn’t she deserve it at this point? With her first credit at four years old, she’s been going almost nonstop for the past twenty-one years of her life, and that’s strictly when it comes to acting roles, not including the family troubles that plagued her early career.
While she made her debut in a Cool Whip commercial in 2002, Ariel Winter was put through a speedrun of Hollywood child-actor life, being cast in everything from one-off roles on Nip/Tuck and Monk to voice roles in Curious George and Bambi 2: The Great Prince of the Forest. The 2000s were a really weird time for Disney, let’s be honest.
Eventually, she gained some more traction, getting better recurring roles in shows like Crossing Jordan and movies like Speed Racer. Ariel Winter even gets credit for killing off the curse of America remaking Japanese horror with the unbelievably mishandled One Missed Call, bastardized from the original Takashi Miike film. Still, she made enough of an impact to land her breakout role as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family, which ran for eleven seasons.
Not long after being cast in Modern Family, her first major long-term role, in 2012 it was revealed Ariel’s mother had been emotionally abusing the young actress, causing her sister Shanelle to seek and win guardianship over Ariel. Things would go smoothly for her from there and she would be emancipated in 2017.
During the 2010s Ariel took almost every project that came to her agent’s desk, appearing in commercials, starring in Modern Family until its end in early 2020, and voice acting in half of Disney Junior’s most-played preschooler shows for the last decade. She still voices the character of Sofia the First when the Almighty Mouse deems it necessary, along with various Mickey and Minnie Mouse cartoons.
The 2010s: Ruthless
Her greatest accomplishment to date though is staying with the Kingdom Hearts series since Birth By Sleep back in 2008. The actress has played the younger version of the character Kairi since then, being one of the few steady recurring actors in the series. She’s also lent her voice to the Final Fantasy franchise on numerous occasions as both a Moogle (adorable creatures that run shops) and also voicing Marlene in Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children.
Ariel Winter is accomplished on the big screen as well, starring alongside Burt Reynolds and (unfortunately) Chevy Chase in The Last Movie Star and lending her voice to animated films like The Smurfs. She’s currently confirmed to be finishing production on three different live-action projects ranging from horror to comedy and television drama.
Retreat From Hollywood/College
Her most recent appearances have been voice work since Modern Family ended, with another appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory and added her voice to an already stacked cast in the spiritual sequel to Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn, The Quarry in 2022. The games were both well received, with The Quarry being praised for the love it showed to older movies while offering deep characters. Kingdom Hearts was praised by fans of the series because it’s going to be necessary for the plot, somehow, and we can’t miss it or we’ll be lost.
The actress also somehow found the time to attend college in 2017 at UCLA, though she decided to take a hiatus from college to focus on her work the next year. Ariel Winter decided to leave Los Angeles after Modern Family ended, desiring to finally live the quiet life she wanted for the past few years.
All in all, good for her. Ariel Winter has done more than a lot of child stars, making it free from the Hollywood jaws of Hell, unlike so many others. Making it to twenty-five isn’t easy, much less with the conditions she grew up under. Happy birthday, Ariel, and take it easy.