Though most pundits referred to Eva Longoria Parker's rise to stardom on the hit series "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004- ) as a textbook case of overnight success, the actress-producer had actually been working in the industry for a decade prior to her award-winning turn as the sultry Gabrielle Solis. A former beauty pageant winner, Longoria toiled in bit parts before landing a meaty turn as a crazed seductress on "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). But it would take a few more years before the runaway popularity of the soap-styled "Desperate Housewives" turned the spotlight squarely on her. When it did, Longoria's knack for light comedy and on-screen sensuality made her a favorite among television viewers, though she struggled to bring that same appeal to her feature work. While her career had its share of ups and downs - including a high-profile marriage to NBA star Tony Parker - Longoria had the drive and ability to become one of the more successful onscreen performers.