Ariel Winter Workman (born January 28, 1998), better known as Ariel Winter, is an American actress and voice actress. She is known for her role as Alex Dunphy in the comedy series Modern Family, as well as the voice of the title character in the Disney Junior show Sofia the First and the voice of Penny Peterson in the 2014 animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Winter and her Modern Family cast mates have won four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Winter was born in Los Angeles, California, on January 28, 1998, the daughter of Chrisoula (née Batistas) and Glenn Workman. Through her mother, she is of Greek descent, and she is of English descent through her father. She is the sister of actors Shanelle Workman and Jimmy Workman.
Winter obtained her first entertainment industry job in a Cool Whip commercial advertisement in 2002 when she was four years old. She had her first television role in an episode of Listen Up!, and followed it with appearances in a variety of shows such as Freddie, Monk, Bones, and ER. In the animated children's show Phineas and Ferb, she voiced the character of Gretchen before winning the regular role of Alex Dunphy in the series Modern Family, which premiered in 2009. She has continued to work in TV animation, including providing the voice of Marina the Mermaid on Disney Junior's Jake and the Never Land Pirates. In 2012, Winter was cast as Sofia, the lead character in a then-new Disney animated franchise Sofia the First. The series premiered in January 2013 on Disney Junior. In 2014, she voiced Penny Peterson, Sherman's enemy turned friend in the 2014 Dreamworks Animation film Mr. Peabody and Sherman. She also lent her voice to characters in the animated films, Disney's Bambi II and Blue Sky's Ice Age: The Meltdown.
Winter has appeared in feature films, most notably in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Speed Racer, Duress, Opposite Day, and Fred 2. For her leading role in the film The Chaperone, she was nominated at the Young Artist Awards 2012 as Best Actress in a Motion Picture.
In October 2012, Winter's sister Shanelle Workman filed to become her guardian, alleging that their mother had been physically and emotionally abusive. On May 5, 2014, the court ordered guardianship to Workman and removed Winter from her mother's guardianship permanently. Their mother later released a statement stating that "the family has moved beyond the conflict". On May 15, 2015, Winter declared on Twitter that she was officially emancipated.
In June 2015, Winter underwent breast reduction surgery.
In April 2016, Winter was accepted to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was scheduled to begin attendance in the fall quarter of 2016. However, on September 12 she confirmed that she planned to attend UCLA in fall 2017. On her decision to go to college, she explained, "You gotta have something else you can do. I've always been interested in law so I think it'll definitely be something that I'll love to do and also go to school for."
Winter attends a Greek Orthodox Church.