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Happy Birthday, Eva Longoria: 10 Things You Didn't Know

Eva Longoria

First Posted: 03/15/2012 8:14 am Updated: 03/16/2012 2:52 pm

In honor of actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria’s birthday today, we wanted to share some quirky facts on The Desperate Housewives star.

We found a couple of surprising gems. For instance, did you know...







10 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT EVA

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  • Her Family History Goes Back To Before Pilgrims Arrived At Plymouth Rock

    When Longoria's family history was profiled on the PBS program <em><a href="http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/profiles/eva-longoria/8/ " target="_hplink">Faces of America</a></em>, her family genealogy was traced back to Spanish settlers who lived in the United States 20 years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. A proud "Texican," Eva Longoria's family <a href=" http://www.chicagonow.com/chicanisima-latino-politics-news-and-culture/2009/08/why-is-eva-longoria-parker-proud-of-henry-louis-gates/ " target="_hplink">has lived in the U.S. for 12 generations</a> and under 5 flags: Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States. Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. told Eva Longoria that "of all the people I have traced you are one of the most American people I've ever found. Your family was here before [the] Pilgrims."

  • Her First Job Was At Wendy's. Why? To Pay For Her Quinceanera, Of Course!

    Longoria told Latina Magazine <a href="http://www.contactmusic.com/news/eva-keeps-in-touch-with-wendys-staff_1077508 " target="_hplink">about her teen years</a> working at the fast food restaurant: "I loved it. And I still love them. They are an amazing organization. I still keep in touch with my manager from when I was 14. They are just great to me. I wanted to have a quinceanera, so I went to Wendy's to work to pay for my own quinceanera. I stayed. I paid for my cheerleading and everything through that. It was like whatever you want to do outside of school, you have to pay for it. I never had a car because I was always trying to save."

  • She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree From Texas A&M

    Longoria <a href="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9580764/#.T1-icWK3BXN" target="_hplink">graduated</a> in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M Univerisity-Kingsville and planned to become a sports trainer.

  • She has a Master's in Chicano/a Studies

    In 2009, Longoria enrolled in a Master's program in Chicana/o Studies at California State University Northridge. She tells <a href="http://www.latina.com/entertainment/celebrity/eva-longoria-parker-head-class" target="_hplink">Latina.com</a> she went back to school "Because of my involvement with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and my charity work, I really wanted a better, more authentic understanding of what my community has gone through so I can help create change." Longoria speaks during the National Museum of the American Latino final report press conference at the U.S. Capital Mansfield Room on May 5, 2011 in Washington, DC.

  • She was the first to be cast in a starring role on "Desperate Housewives"

    In an <a href="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9580764/#.T1-e7GLLxeM " target="_hplink">interview with Dateline's Stone Phillips</a> in 2005, Longoria recalls her audition with the show's producer Marc Cherry: <blockquote>Marc Cherry asks, "So what did you think of the script?" like the whole thing. And I said, "Well I didn't read the script. I only read my part." And Marc Cherry goes, "I knew you were Gabrielle at that moment because it was such a Gabrielle thing to say."</blockquote>

  • The First Spokeswoman for PADRES Contra El Cancer

    On the <a href="http://www.iamhope.org/supporters/celebrities/evalongoria.php" target="_hplink">organization's website</a>, Longoria shares this about her involvement: "I've experienced cancer with older relatives and I've seen their pain and suffering. I can only imagine how hard it must be for a child. Latino families, because of social, economic and cultural barriers don't always have access to all the resources available. That's what attracted me to PADRES -- together we can break those barriers, so no child or family suffers alone." Longoria arrives at 3rd Annual Variety's Power of Women Event presented by Lifetimeon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel September 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, United States.

  • The First Woman to top Maxim's Hot 100 List Twice

    On her back-to-back wins in 2005 and 2006, Longoria humbly <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-15-longoria-maxim_x.htm " target="_hplink">told USA Today</a>: "I just couldn't believe it. I was like, 'Surely there are more beautiful women in the world.' I can name 10."

  • She Grew Up Shooting and Hunting

    Raised on a ranch, Longoria's father taught her and her three sisters to handle a gun. In an <a href="http://www.indielondon.co.uk/Film-Review/the-sentinel-eva-longoria-interview" target="_hplink">interview with <em>indieLondon</a></em> about preparing for her role as a federal agent in the 2006 film <em>The Sentinel</em> she said, "I used to go target shooting all the time growing up, so I'm great with a gun. We'd shoot Coke cans and anything that exploded really. I can handle a gun, I can skin a deer, I can skin a pig and pluck a quail - you name it I've done it. But that doesn't mean the actress endorses the sport, <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/pop/Longoria-Secret-Shooting-Skills-7833.html " target="_hplink">telling WENN Media</a> in 2007 that, "Shooting wasn't fun and it certainly isn't a sport."

  • The Texas Beauty Queen was crowned Miss Corpus Christi in 1998

    But Longoria <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-511229/How-I-bullied-ugly-Eva-Longoria.html " target="_hplink">says she grew</a> up as the "ugly duckling" -- or "la prieta fea" -- of her family saying "I was the darkest one of my family. I was the only one with black hair and the only one with dark skin. All my sisters were light blondes with hazel eyes. They used to call me ugly duckling. Longoria tells Dateline's Stone Phillips: "People would literally walk up to my mom when we were little and they would go-- "Oh my god, your daughters are so beautiful-- and who's this?" I was skin and bones. I was clumsy. I was dark. I was ugly. So I think growing up, I didn't depend on looks or the superficiality of being pretty because I wasn't. I always knew that I'm gonna work have to work hard. Nothing's gonna be given to me. And I think that comes from my mom and dad."

  • She Was A Struggling Soap Opera Actress Before Landing Her Leading Role in Desperate Housewives

    Longoria was on TV drama, The Young and the Restless <a href="http://www.people.com/people/eva_longoria/0,,,00.html " target="_hplink">for two years and says,</a> "It was, like, almost minimum wage. But I had a great time on it, and it obviously led me to better things." She also played bit parts on General Hospital and Beverly Hills 90210.

Looks like Eva Longoria approves!

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Filed by Andrea Long-Chavez  |