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'Desperate Housewives' Series Finale: 10 Latinos Who Helped Make The Show Must-See TV

Posted: 05/13/2012 8:51 am Updated: 05/13/2012 8:59 am

When "Desperate Housewives" premiered on ABC in the fall of 2004, many Latinos instantly fell in love with Gabrielle Solis, an affluent and wealthy Latina played by Mexican-American actress, Eva Longoria.

For many Latinos, Gaby represented something we rarely saw in primetime network television - a well-spoken, successful Latina character, in a lead role, who didn't have an accent and wasn't reduced to playing a stereotype.

Many non-Latino viewers were also smitten with the character - a former model turned housewife who has an affair with her teenage gardener.

The popularity of the Gaby character made it possible for other well-known Latino actors to guest star on the show, including veteran actors like Tony Plana ("Ugly Betty"), Maria Conchita Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros, as well as many others.

Longoria also opened the door for other Latina stars to join ABC, including America Ferrera and Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty"), Sara Ramirez ("Grey's Anatomy"), Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") and more recently, Lana Parrilla ("Once Upon A Time").

And with "Desperate Housewives" airing its series finale tonight at 9/8c (ABC), we thought we'd pay homage to the show that featured so many amazing Latino stars, by taking a walk down memory lane (or should we say, Wisteria Lane).

Thanks "Desperate Housewives" for bringing more Latino stars to primetime.


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  • Eva Longoria and Ricardo Chavira

    When Gaby (Longoria) and Carlos (Chavira) showed up on the pristine cul-de-sac,"Wisteria Lane," they weren't there to clean the homes of the street's rich residents. In fact, Gaby and Carlos were one of the richest couples on the block! They drove beautiful cars, shopped 'till they dropped and lived in a gorgeous mansion. The best thing about Gaby and Carlos is that they shattered the stereotype of Latinos as "the help," and showed America that many Latinos have are affluent, have manicured lawns and beautiful homes.

  • Lupe Ontiveros

    Lupe Ontiveros has played a maid over 150 times in her career, but the Mexican-American actress didn't play one on "Desperate Housewives." On the hit show, Ontiveros played Carlos' (Ricardo Chavira) "Mama," Juanita Solis. Juanita was a formidable foe for Gaby (Eva Longoria) and discovered her affair with the gardener John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe) before being run over by Bree's (Marica Gay Cross) son Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom).

  • Maria Conchita Alonso

    The Cuban/Venezuelan actress played Lucía Márquez, Gaby's (Longoria) mother. Although it was Lucia's second husband Alejandro (Tony Plana) who sexually abused Gaby, Lucia believed that Gaby seduced Alejandro to make her jealous, which caused friction between Lucia and Gaby and Carlos.

  • Daniella Baltodano

    In the season four finale, the show did a time warp five years into the future, and Gaby - who was unable to reproduce in earlier seasons - was shown looking frumpy at home with two daughters: Juanita (Madison de la Garza) and Celia (Daniella Baltodano).

  • Madison de la Garza

    In seasons five through eight, we get to know Gaby's (Longoria) daughter, Juanita Solis (played by part-Mexican actress, Madison de la Garza). Juanita is a total badass who often rebels against her pushy mom by refusing to do her homework, eating whatever she wants, and refusing to exercise - despite <a href="" target="_hplink">being forced to chase a moving car</a>!

  • Maiara Walsh

    At the end of season five, Brazilian actress Maiara Walsh joined the cast as Carlos' (Ricardo Chavira) out-of-control niece, Ana. Gaby often confronted Ana about her provocative clothing, and her bad influence on her daughters, juanita and Celia.

  • Cecilia Balagot

    In season seven, it was revealed that Juanita (Madison de la Garza) isn't actually Gaby's (Eva Longoria) birth daughter. That same season, we met Grace Sanchez (Cecilia Balagot), Gaby and Carlos' (Richardo Chavira) biological daughter, who was switched at birth by nurse Teresa Pruitt (Patty McCormack).

  • Miguel Ferrer

    Known for playing villains, the Puerto Rican actor starred on five episodes of the show's 8th season in the recurring role of Andre Zeller, a renowned and temperamental contemporary artist who clashes with Susan (Teri Hatcher), who is one of his students at the local college.

  • Tony Plana

    Although in an earlier season he was said to be dead, Gaby's stepfather Alejandro (Cuban-American actor, Tony Plana) resurfaced in the season seven finale, as a man stalking Gaby. Alejandro didn't stay alive too long though. Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) ensured he never hurt Gaby again by hitting him over the head with a candlestick in their living room.