Julie Bowen calls Sarah Hyland a 'little tough cookie' amid health struggles (Exclusive)

Julie Bowen has so much love for her Modern Family co-stars.

ET caught up with the actress at the Feeding America event in Los Angeles over the weekend, where she marveled over Sarah Hyland, who has been very vocal about her ongoing health struggles.

"She's a little rock star," Bowen said of Hyland, who has endometriosis and recently received a second kidney transplant. "What her body has gone through... if you've ever met her, I mean. Im not big, and she next to me is a little slip of a thing. I don't even know how many surgeries she has been though. And she's a tough little cookie."

"I know she's a survivor and she's a lovely person as well," Bowen continued. "I'm very proud of her. I'm proud of all my real and fake children. I really am. They've all turned out really well."

Modern Family fans were shocked last month when they learned in the midseason finale that Hyland's character, Haley, is pregnant with her boyfriend, Dylan's, baby. The actress took to Instagram at the time to show off her fake baby bump:

"It's appropriate," Bowen said of the shocker. "We watched these kids grow up. It's kind of, at the end of the pilot, it was Elton John, 'The Circle of Life.' Granted, with a very funny twist. That is [what we're doing]. We're doing the circle of life. Babies making babies. We just keep going!"

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Modern Family Cast
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: The cast attend the FYC Event For ABC's 'Modern Family' at Avalon on April 16, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: The cast attend the FYC Event For ABC's 'Modern Family' at Avalon on April 16, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: The Cast of Modern Family along with show runners attend ABC Celebrates The 200th Episode Of 'Modern Family' at Fox Studios on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: (L-R) Nolan Gould, Steven Levitan, Ariel Winter, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell attend the 'Modern Family' ATAS event at Saban Media Center on May 3, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: Actress Julie Bowen and actor Ty Burrell attend the 'Modern Family' ATAS event at Saban Media Center on May 3, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
MODERN FAMILY - 'Modern Family' cast members Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker), Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy), Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy), and Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy) talk about their favorite scenes from Season 9 of the show with show co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan, at an FYC event held Monday (April 16) at the Avalon Hollywood, hosted by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. (Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images) SARAH HYLAND
MODERN FAMILY - 'Modern Family' cast members Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker), Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy), Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy), and Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy) talk about their favorite scenes from Season 9 of the show with show co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan, at an FYC event held Monday (April 16) at the Avalon Hollywood, hosted by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. (Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images) JULIE BOWEN
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) 66th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: 'Modern Family' cast and crew Nolan Gould, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Sofia Vergara, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland and writer/producer Steven Levitan pose in the NBC/People photo booth during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014. (Photo by Larry Busacca/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: (L-R) Actors Sarah Hyland, Sofia Vergara, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Ariel Winter, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, and Ed O'Neill, winners of Ouststanding Comedy Series for 'Modern Family' pose in the press room at the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Steve Levitan (C) and cast and crew of 'Modern Family' appear onstage during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Producer Steve Levitan (C) and cast and crew of 'Modern Family' appear onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Cast and crew on set during filming for the American sitcom 'Modern Family' on location near the Park Hyatt hotel in The Rocks, on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Craig Greenhill/Newspix/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Sarah Hyland poses at the Modern Family Media Call at The Sebel on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The cast from the popular television program are in Australia filming their Australian vacation episode. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Nicholas Loeb and Sofa Vergara arrive at the Modern Family Media Call at The Sebel on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The cast from the popular television program are in Australia filming their Australian vacation episode. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: The cast of 'Modern Family' on stage at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/FilmMagic)
The cast of 'Modern Family,' winner of the Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series award, poses in the press room at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, January 18, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: The cast of 'Modern Family' attends the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Actors Sarah Hyland, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neill, winners of Outstanding Comedy Series for 'Modern Family,' pose in the press room at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Actress Sofia Vergara (2nd-R) and the cast of 'Modern Family' pose in the press room after winning Outstanding Comedy on September 22, 2013 during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for MONDAY, OCTOBER 7 included the cast of ABC's 'Modern Family' and musical guest Korn. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, ERIC STONESTREET, ED O'NEILL, SOFIA VERGARA, TY BURRELL, JULIE BOWEN
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: The cast of 'Modern Family' onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Actors Ariel Winter, Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Nolan Gould, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Sarah Hyland of the cast of 'Modern Family,' winners of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award, pose in the press room during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO -- Guests: The Cast of Modern Family -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Tyler Ferguson, James Lipton, Eric Stonestreet (Photo by Anthony Behar/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO -- Guests: The Cast of Modern Family -- Pictured: (l-r) Ed O'Neill, James Lipton, Sofia Vergara (Photo by Anthony Behar/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Cast & Crew of 'Modern Family' accept the Outstanding Comedy Series award onstage at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Cast and crew of 'Modern Family', winners of the Outstanding Comedy Series Award pose in the press room at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The cast of 'Modern Family' makes themselves at home on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 5/19/10 airing on the ABC Television Network. GM10 (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ERIC STONESTREET, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ED O'NEILL, JUJU CHANG, JULIE BOWEN, JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, SOFIA VERGARA, ROBIN ROBERTS
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