Best known for his role on the long-running melodrama "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012), actor Ricardo Chavira carved out a comfortable niche for himself as a versatile character actor. Early television guest spots on popular series like "NYPD Blue" (1993-2005) and "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) led to a recurring role on the critically-acclaimed drama "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05). Things seemed ready to break for the Texas native when he landed a supporting role in the epic historical drama "The Alamo" (2004), starring Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton. Although the feature film failed to generate big box office, it did pave the way for Chavira to be cast as the mercurial Carlos Solis on the hit primetime soap "Desperate Housewives." For seven seasons, opposite femme fatale Eva Longoria, he endured prison, his wife's infidelities, temporary blindness and various other humiliations. No saint himself, the constantly scheming Carlos engaged in extra-marital affairs of his own, not to mention several explosive acts of violence. Enjoying the opportunities that came with being a cast member on one of the decade's most enduring series, Chavira took on the occasional feature film supporting role - as he did in the bikini-clad, blood-soaked "Piranha" (2010) - while he positioned himself for what his post-Wisteria Lane days might have in store.
Ricardo Antonio Chavira was born on Sept. 1, 1971 in Austin, TX, where his parents, Juan and Elizabeth - ex-Peace Corps members from Mexico - raised him until he reached the early grades, during which time the family headed for San Antonio. Chavira's father, who later became a renowned judge in the court system, was a legal prosecutor who often brought along his son to watch him in courtroom action. In San Antonio, Chavira attended Robert E. Lee High School. At age 16, by then one of three siblings, he was forced to watch his mother pass away after coping with breast cancer for six years. It was an event that affected and shaped his life profoundly, and occasionally prompted frustrations that brought him to the other side of the law.
Upon his graduation, Chavira opted to get a bit of time outside of Texas at the University of Colorado. A year into his studies, his financial aid ran out, so the actor took this as a sign that he belonged back in San Antonio. He headed back to attend his original choice of colleges, the University of the Incarnate Word, plunging headlong into theater productions, including a well-received 1996 turn in "Macbeth" as King Macbeth of Scotland. After receiving a bachelor's degree in theater that year, he decided to venture out once more, heading to San Diego, CA to obtain an MFA at the University of California, San Diego. Following his many years of education, Chavira graduated in 2000, ready to take his stage training to a new, professional level. With the intention to make Los Angeles his homebase, he immediately began racking up onscreen credits, starting with the independent feature comedy "Barstow 2008" (2001). Chavira spent 2001 on a pair of Steven Bochco television dramas; first with an appearance on the hit cop series "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), followed by a guest-starring role as Assistant DA Eddie Price on the legal drama "Philly" (2001-02). In 2002, Chavira snagged the series regular role of a high school sports coach on Fox's "The Grubbs," an adaptation of the British comedy series "The Grimleys." Despite having eight episodes in the can, none aired.
Chavira was quickly becoming a dependable choice for onscreen charisma. His guest spots on primetime staples such as "24" (2001-2010) in 2002, gave way to a more favorable status as a recurring character for hire on different series. He appeared in one of two episodes of Lifetime's legal drama, "The Division" (2001-04), then appeared as Ramon on four episodes of HBO's prestige drama "Six Feet Under" (2001-05). Chavira returned to Austin in January 2003, called to duty as Private Gregorio Esparza in Disney's big-budget retelling of the story of "The Alamo" (2004). For the hometown boy, it was a stellar way to kick off the year. Back in Los Angeles, Chavira dove right back into television, heading over to CBS to play a police sergeant on "Joan of Arcadia" (2003-05) and putting in an appearance on the military procedural "JAG" (1995-2005).
At the start of 2004, Chavira found himself once again cast as a series regular on a pilot. This time, however, the vibe seemed different. ABC was betting big on "Desperate Housewives," a steamy nighttime soap with an overarching murder-mystery element tying it all together. The role of Carlos Solis allowed the actor to chew up the scenery as a rich businessman who tussles verbally and physically with a similar-minded wife, Gabrielle Solis, played with equal relish by bombshell newcomer, Eva Longoria. Its September debut immediately captivated audiences, providing a wealth of devious storylines for its talented ensemble cast. Going into 2005 with "Desperate Housewives" on his résumé, Chavira now had instant caché in Hollywood. That May, ABC slid him into a guest role on its hit comedy "George Lopez" (2002-07). He reconnected with his experience with breast cancer, becoming a spokesperson and an honorary chairman that June for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's annual awareness summit in Washington D.C.
"Desperate Housewives" experienced a fast ride to the Emmy Awards, a popular choice with fans and critics. In its first three seasons on the air, the cast netted consecutive nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, winning at both the 2005 and 2006 award ceremonies. Time permitting, Chavira was still eager to work as much as possible, flying to New York City to shoot the independent drama "Rockaway" (2007), about soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. During the summer of 2006 and on a breather from Wisteria Lane, he was in Miami, FL filming the Nicholas Pileggi-scripted "Kings of South Beach" telefilm for A&E, after which he shot the independent drama "Cosmic Radio" (2007). In addition to his ongoing "Desperate Wives" duties, Chavira continued to pick up the occasional side gig, including a pair of guest turns on the Tony Shalhoub mystery series "Monk" (USA Network, 2002-09) and a co-starring role as an inner-city priest in the action-drama "Saving God" (2008) opposite Ving Rhames. The following year, he voiced the brutal super-villain Major Force for the direct-to-DVD release of "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" (2009) before being fed to the fishes in horror director Alexandre Aja's 3-D remake of "Piranha" (2010).
First stage role, playing King Macbeth of Scotland in a school production of "Macbeth"
Moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting
Film debut in the independent feature comedy "Barstow 2008"
Made TV debut on a pair of Steven Bochco dramas, ABC's cop drama "NYPD Blue" and ABC's legal drama "Philly"
First TV role as a series regular, playing a high school sports coach in FOX's "The Grubbs" (episodes never aired)
Appeared in two episodes of Lifetime¿s legal drama, "The Division"
Cast as Ramon on four episodes of HBO¿s "Six Feet Under"
as Private Gregorio Esparza in Disney¿s "The Alamo"
Cast as wealthy businessman and Gaby's (Eva Longoria) husband, Carlos Solis on ABC's "Desperate Housewives"
Featured in the independent drama "Rockaway"
Co-starred in the A&E movie, "Kings of South Beach"