Eva Jacqueline Longoria (born March 15, 1975) is an American actress, best known for portraying Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. Longoria received a nomination for the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on Desperate Housewives.
Longoria first became famous on television in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She became nationally recognized in the 2000s after appearing in several high-profile advertising campaigns and numerous men's magazines, reaching #14 in the FHM "Sexiest Women 2008" poll, and having appeared on the cover of various international women's magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar.
Eva Jacqueline Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, the daughter of Tejano parents, Enrique Longoria, Jr. and Ella Eva Mireles.She was raised Roman Catholic. Longoria is the youngest of four daughters, her sisters being Elizabeth Judina, Emily Jeannette and Esmeralda Josephina.The Longoria family has resided in Texas since before the creation of the United States, predating the English-speaking settlers.
Longoria originally wanted to be a fashion model and sent in photos to a modeling agency but was declined because of her height. Longoria attended Marvin P. Baker Middle School and later Roy Miller High School; she subsequently received her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at nearby Texas A&M University-Kingsville. During this time, she won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA in 1998. After completing college, Longoria entered a talent contest that led her to Los Angeles, California; shortly after, she was spotted and signed by a theatrical agent.
Despite working on a farmland that had been handed down to them from past generations, the family often had very little money; Enrique and Ella struggled for many years to give their children a decent upbringing. On The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, Longoria shared with viewers an introspective look into the hardships she faced in her formative years while growing up poor; she took cameras on location to the family farm and showed how spartan their life had been. Longoria admitted that only when she had made it in show business, did things begin to look better for her family financially.
In another interview with Dateline's Stone Phillips, she also revealed the snubbing she had received from her siblings. "I grew up as the ugly duckling. They used to call me 'la prieta fea,' which means 'the ugly dark one,'" Longoria said.