Longoria has also appeared in several advertising campaigns and has been named one of Hollywood's most beautiful women by several publications, including People en Español and People magazines. She currently holds contracts with L'Oréal, Hanes, and New York & Co, among others.
Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, the youngest of four daughters born to ninth-generation Mexican-American (Tejano) parents, Ella Eva (Mireles) and Enrique Longoria, Jr. She was raised Roman Catholic. While in high school, she worked at a Wendy's restaurant part-time for three years.
Longoria earned 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; shortly after, she was spotted and signed by a theatrical agent. While auditioning for roles, Longoria worked as a headhunter for four years.
She received her master's degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge, in May 2013 following three years of study. Her thesis was entitled, "Success STEMS From Diversity: The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers."
Longoria landed her first television role in 1999 after meeting Executive Producer Gary Ghiaey at a political reception in Los Angeles Longoria guest-starred in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. Another guest appearance in General Hospital the same year brought her big break on the CBS Daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, portraying Isabella Braña from 2001 to 2003. After leaving The Young and the Restless, Longoria appeared in the Dick Wolf revival of Dragnet. Following Dragnet, she starred in Señorita Justice, a poorly received direct-to-video film, and a television film titled The Dead Will Tell.
In 2003, Longoria was cast as Gabrielle Solis in the ABC comedy-drama Desperate Housewives, later commenting on her career success by stating, "I think it's funny when people say I'm an overnight sensation, because I've been working at it for 10 years." Shortly after her debut on Desperate Housewives, Longoria starred in a direct-to-video film titled Carlita's Secret, for which she was also co-producer.
In 2006, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy along with her co-stars in Desperate Housewives. Longoria was awarded the ALMA Award and named entertainer of the year that year. She also starred opposite Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland in the 2006 thriller The Sentinel, which was her first major role in a theatrical feature movie. In 2006, she played the character Sylvia in Harsh Times, starring Freddy Rodríguez and Christian Bale.
In the 2000s, Longoria appeared in several high-profile advertising campaigns and numerous men's magazines, reaching No. 14 in the FHM "Sexiest Women 2008" poll. She was featured on the cover of various international women's magazines, including Vogue, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar. People en Español listed her among its "Most Beautiful People" for 2003. Longoria continues to be included in lists of Hollywood's Most Beautiful. She was listed as No. 1 in Maxim's Hottest Female Stars of 2005 and 2006, becoming the first woman to top the list in two consecutive years. She was ranked No. 9 in the magazine's Hot 100 of 2007 list. In honor of Maxim's 100th issue in 2006, Longoria was featured on a 75-by-110-foot (23 by 34 m) vinyl mesh replica of its January 2005 cover located in a Clark County, Nevada desert. More recently, she was ranked No. 14 of People's Most Beautiful 2011. People named her one of 2012 Most Beautiful at Every Age.
In January 2007, Longoria was chosen to be the first face of Bebe Sport. She appeared in the Spring/Summer 2007 campaign, photographed by Greg Kadel. The actress also holds contracts with L'Oréal, Hanes, and New York & Co. Longoria also contracts with Magnum Ice-Cream, and Heineken. She was a part of Microsoft's "I'm A PC" ad campaign. She and Tony Parker have appeared together in campaigns for London Fog. Longoria became a spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris in 2005 and continued to feature in L'Oréal TV commercials and print ads until the year 2010. In the summer of 2010 Longoria served as a judge on The Next Food Network Star. In October, Longoria hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010 in Madrid, Spain.
Based on her earnings from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010, Longoria was ranked No. 4 on Forbes Prime Time's 10 Top-Earning Women with an estimated $12 million. Longoria topped the Forbes magazine's list of the highest-paid TV actresses for 2011.
In 2013, Longoria professed that she is a "cat lady" and appeared as a spokesperson for Sheba cat food.
From 2013, she served as one of the executive producers of Devious Maids and directed the season two premiere, "An Ideal Husband". In 2016, she also starred in the fourth season, in the episode "Once More Unto the Bleach". She is also an executive producer of the documentaries The Harvest and Food Chains.
In 2015, NBC announced plans for a sitcom called Telenovela in which Longoria starred as a popular telenovela actress. It was filmed with a single camera. It ran for only one season.
In 2017, Longoria directed the season three finale episode of the ABC comedy Black-ish.
In March 2008, Longoria opened the restaurant Beso (in Spanish: "Kiss") in Hollywood, along with partner and celebrity chef Todd English. The restaurant is located on Hollywood Boulevard and is accompanied by Kiss, a Victorian-themed nightclub on the floor above. The Hollywood Beso was scheduled to be the focus of a pilot episode for a tentative reality series called Beso: Waiting on Fame, to air on VH1 in late 2010. In 2009, Longoria and various investor-partners opened a Beso restaurant, with a nightclub called Eve above it, in the Crystals retail and entertainment district of CityCenter in Las Vegas.
In 2011, the corporation Beso LLC, owner of the Vegas restaurant-and-nightclub venture, with listed assets of about $2.5 million and Longoria as a 32 percent shareholder, filed for Chapter 11 protection, entering bankruptcy proceedings, in order to restructure nearly $5.7 million in debt and other liabilities. On July 28, 2011, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Nevada ordered Longoria to appear in Las Vegas on August 20 in order to be examined about the bankrupt restaurant's finances.
Her first book, Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends, was published in April 2011. In terms of food-related promotions, in 2012 and 2013, Longoria paired with Iron Chef Michael Symon for a promotion for PepsiCo's Lay's potato chips contest called "Do Us A Flavor". The promotion encourages consumers to submit new flavor ideas and fans to vote for their favorite on Facebook. The person who creates the winning flavor is awarded $1 million or one percent of chip flavor's net sales.
In 2015, Longoria announced that she had teamed up with sportsware manufacturer Sunrise Brands to create a women's apparel collection, set to launch Fall 2016.
In March 2017, Eva Longoria launched her clothing line website at evalongoria.com.
In 2006 Longoria founded Eva's Heroes, a charity which helps developmentally disabled children. She is the national spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer. She signed shoes for the Spirit of Women Red Shoe Celebrity Auction. Longoria also supports the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, OmniPeace, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Stroke Association, Project HOME and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Longoria is an executive producer of Shine Global Inc.'s documentary The Harvest (documentary) which is focused on the 500,000 child migrant farm workers in the U.S. and promote awareness and support to enact the Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act).
Her other charity, the Eva Longoria Foundation aims to close the education gap plaguing Latinas and confront Latino poverty. She has stated that, "The Eva Longoria Foundation supports programs which help Latinas excel in school and attend college. Additionally, we work to provide Latina entrepreneurs with career training, mentorship, capital and opportunity." The foundation offers nine-week "parent engagement" courses to help Latino parents and has a mentorship program for Latinas and other extracurricular activities as well as loans to help Latina-owned businesses. It is co-funded by philanthropist Howard Buffett son of investor Warren Buffett.
Longoria was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2009 by The Hollywood Reporter for 'her commitment to Latino causes and giving back to the community. She appeared on Fort Boyard in 2009, helping attract more than €20,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In 2009, Longoria enrolled in a Master's program in Chicano Studies and political science at Cal State University, Northridge. According to Longoria, "because of my involvement with the 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." She graduated with a master's degree in Chicano Studies in May 2013.
In September 2009 Longoria was appointed to a bi-partisan commission called to determine establishing a National Museum of the American Latino. In October 2012 Longoria spoke at the McAfee Focus 2012 event, where the "theme of safety—beyond computers—emerged. Safety involving financial security, emotional security, and the other results from Longoria's philanthropic efforts."
In March 2017, Longoria was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 42 in the list of 200 Most Influential Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs Worldwide.
Longoria has a keen interest in immigration. She accompanied a border patrol in Arizona and has immersed herself in the issues to understand the Mexican and the U.S. points of view. She has described Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law as unconstitutional.
In 2012, Longoria was one of seven Californians named to the post of co-chair of Barack Obama's re-election campaign. On September 6, she spoke at 2012 Democratic National Convention where she endorsed President Obama's reelection. In May 2014, she initiated the Latino Victory Project to raise funds for candidates and efforts to get out the vote. An executive producer of the documentaries The Harvest and Food Chains, she is a supporter of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
Longoria spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016.
Longoria was married to actor Tyler Christopher, star of General Hospital, from 2002 to 2004.
Longoria met Tony Parker, Spurs point guard, in November 2004. On November 30, 2006, the couple became engaged. They married in a civil service on July 6, 2007, at a Paris city hall. They had a full, Catholic wedding ceremony at the Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois Church in Paris on Saturday, July 7, 2007.
On November 17, 2010, Longoria filed for divorce from Parker in Los Angeles, citing "irreconcilable differences". In the divorce petition, Longoria requested that her maiden name be restored. She also sought spousal support from Parker. The couple had a prenuptial agreement that was signed in June 2007, a month before their wedding, and amended two years later in June 2009.
That day Longoria told her friend (Mario Lopez) that she had discovered hundreds of text messages from another woman on her husband's phone. Extra identified the other woman as Erin Barry, the then-wife of Brent Barry, Parker's former teammate, and revealed that the Barrys also were in the process of divorcing. In light of the divorce, Longoria cancelled her scheduled appearance at the 2010 American Music Awards.
On November 19, 2010, Parker filed for divorce from Longoria in Bexar County, Texas, on the grounds of "discord or conflict of personalities", thus establishing a legal battle over where the divorce case would be heard. Unlike Longoria's divorce petition, Parker's did not mention a prenuptial agreement and claimed that the parties would "enter into an agreement for the division of their estate". The divorce was finalized in Texas on January 28, 2011, the same day Longoria's lawyer filed papers to dismiss her Los Angeles petition.
On December 13, 2015, Longoria reported her engagement to businessman Jose Antonio Bastón. The couple were married in Mexico on May 21, 2016.
According to research done in 2010 by Harvard professor and Faces of America host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Longoria's oldest identifiable Spanish immigrant ancestor is her ninth great-grandfather, Lorenzo Suárez de Longoria (b. Oviedo, 1592), who immigrated to the Viceroyalty of New Spain (modern-day Mexico) in 1603. His family was based in a small village called Llongoria, Belmonte de Miranda, Asturias, Spain. Longoria is the Spanish spelling of this Asturian-language surname.
In 1767, her 7th great-grandfather received almost 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land along the Rio Grande in a land grant from the King of Spain. The family retained this land for more than a century. After the US-Mexican border was moved southwards in the aftermath of the Mexican–American War, the land ended up on the American side of the border. Her family had to deal with the influx of United States settlers following the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War.
According to DNA testing, Longoria's overall genetic ancestry is 70% European, 27% Asian/Indigenous, and 3% African. After a computer compared the DNA results of Gates's dozen guests, tests showed that she is genetically related to cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is of Chinese heritage. Since women have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome, Longoria did not inherit her father's Y-DNA, but she did inherit her mother's mitochondrial DNA (genetic information passed from mother to child). Longoria's mtDNA belongs to the Haplogroup A2, making her a direct descendant of a Native American woman, a Mayan from the territory of Mexico long before it was Mexico. Her ancestors include many other Mayans on both sides of her family.
Longoria identifies as a "Texican" or Mexican-American.