Rose to fame on ABC's hit series Desperate Housewives and later had roles on the series Telenovela and Mother Up! In 2018, she was cast as the titular character's mom in the film Dora the Explorer. She has won multiple Screen Actors Guild Awards and was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2009 by THR.
While studying in college, she gained the title of Miss Corpus Christi in 1998. She later starred in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 and appeared in an episode of General Hospital.
She won the ALMA Award for Person of the Year in 2006. She opened a restaurant called Beso in Hollywood with Todd English in 2008. She executive produced and directed the show Devious Maids.