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Eva Longoria, actress

Birthdate: March 15, 1975

Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas

Sign: Pisces

Eva Longoria is a model, she is often referred to as one of the most beautiful women in the world and she is married to NBA player Tony Parker. But ask a fan of "Desperate Housewives" about her and they will tell you she is best known as Gabrielle Solis.

Longoria, now known as Eva Longoria Parker, became Gabrielle Solis when the show debuted in 2004. She shocked the airwaves that first year by dressing scantily and having an affair with her underage gardener.

Longoria had worked in soap operas, film and television prior to "Desperate Housewives," but the show on ABC turned her into an overnight sensation.

Longoria was born on March 15, 1975 in Corpus Christi, Texas to Mexican-American parents. She is the youngest of four girls and the family traces their roots to Southern Mexican immigrants.

Longoria grew up under poor conditions with her family living in stark conditions. The family survived by farming land handed down to them through past generations.

Despite being named one of the most beautiful women in the world, Longoria claims to have been an ugly duckling while growing up.

She earned a degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and in 1989 won the Miss Corpus Christi title after which she entered a talent contest that took her to Los Angeles where she was spotted and signed by a theatrical agent.

Her first role was a guest appearance on "Beverly Hills, 90210" in 2000. A guest appearance on "General Hospital" gave her the break she was looking for and she landed a part on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless." She played the psychotic Isabella Brana Williams on the show from 2001 to 2003.

In 2004, Longoria's life changed when she became a leading lady on "Desperate Housewives." The show shot her to stardom and landed her on the A-list in Hollywood.

She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series in 2005.

Her face also began to appear on numerous lists of "Most Beautiful People." Maxim Magazine named her the number one Hottest Female Star for two consecutive years, 2005 and 2006.

She has won a People's Choice Award for Best TV Actress as well as a Bambi Award in Germany for Best TV Actress.

In addition to her face gracing magazine covers, she holds modeling contracts with Bebe Sport, L'Oreal, Hanes and New York & Co.

In 2002, Longoria married "General Hospital" star Tyler Christopher and her name on television and screen credits changed to Eva Longoria Christopher. They divorced in 2004.

After that she was linked romantically to writer Milan Gracanin, 'N Sync member JC Chasez, Benjamin Dudash, and Mousir Syed.

An avid San Antonio Spurs fan, Longoria met point guard Tony Parker and the two became engaged in late 2006. They had a lavish church wedding in Paris in July of 2007.

Longoria now uses the screen name Eva Longoria Parker and appeared in the 2008 movie "Over Her Dead Body" as the character Kate.

In 2007, Longoria and her fellow "Desperate Housewives" leading ladies renewed their contracts with ABC for four more years. It was reported the deal was worth \$40 million.

Longoria's charity work includes her own charity Eva's Heroes that helps developmentally disadvantaged children. She also supports the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, the National Stroke Association, Project HOME and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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