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Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher | Source: Getty Images
Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher | Source: Getty Images

How the Lives and Appearances of the 'Desperate Housewives' Stars Have Changed 20 Years after the Show's Release – Details

Gaone Pule
Jun 28, 2024
03:40 P.M.
  • One of the actresses from "Desperate Housewives," faced legal troubles which caused quite a stir but found redemption through activism.
  • Another overcame personal loss and health challenges, becoming an advocate for cancer awareness.
  • Meanwhile, two of the stars from the series navigated relationship ups and downs while maintaining their careers and personal growth. However, one of them has "sort of given up" on love.
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Former main stars of a beloved hit series are now middle-aged women. They each experienced life-changing circumstances since appearing on the show and for one of them, it took ten years to overcome the loss of a significant other.

"Desperate Housewives" is a television show that ran for eight seasons from 2004 until 2012. The series follows a close-knit group of housewives who reside on Wisteria Lane.

Felicity Huffman, Nicollette Sheridan, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman, Nicollette Sheridan, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Their lives appear perfect from the outside, yet they all have hidden secrets, including crimes, domestic issues, and forbidden romances. These are gradually unraveled following the suicide of a neighbor.

The show won a People’s Choice Award in 2005 for Favorite New Television Drama and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series in 2006.

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Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

The series' cast members have also been recognized, especially the four main female leads. Here is how the "Desperate Housewives" stars have changed two decades after the show premiered, after enduring life’s hardships, including trouble with the law, cancer diagnoses, and deaths of loved ones.

Nicollette Sheridan, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, and Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Nicollette Sheridan, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, and Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

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Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo

Felicity Huffman, 61, is one of the main cast members in "Desperate Housewives," who played Lynette Scavo. She was 42 years old when she first starred on the show. The producer is also known for starring in "Sports Night" (1998) and "Transamerica" (2005).

Felicity Huffman poses for a portrait for "Sports Night" on July 27, 1998 | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman poses for a portrait for "Sports Night" on July 27, 1998 | Source: Getty Images

Despite her Hollywood success, including winning Golden Globe and Emmy Awards, her life took an unexpected turn when she was embroiled in a nationwide college admissions scandal in 2019.

Huffman was among dozens of prominent figures charged by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office on March 12, 2019, for bribing a consultant on college entrance exams.

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Felicity Huffman makes her way to the entrance of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse on September 13, 2019 in Boston. | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman makes her way to the entrance of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse on September 13, 2019 in Boston. | Source: Getty Images

Prosecutors alleged that Huffman's $15,000 donation to the Key Worldwide Foundation was payment to a person who pretended to be her daughter and took the SAT for her, receiving a much higher score.

Huffman was arrested on March 12, 2019, charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and was released on $250,000 bail.

Felicity Huffman walks out of Boston Federal Court on May 13, 2019, in Boston. | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman walks out of Boston Federal Court on May 13, 2019, in Boston. | Source: Getty Images

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She pleaded guilty on May 13, 2019, and was sentenced to 14 days in jail, a $30,000 fine, and 250 hours of community service. Huffman reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, on October 15, 2019, and was released two days early due to a weekend release date.

The star's daughter was unaware of her actions. "It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future," Huffman recalled in a 2023 interview. "And so it was sort of like my daughter's future, which meant I had to break the law."

Felicity Huffman is escorted by Police into court on May 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman is escorted by Police into court on May 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. | Source: Getty Images

A college-admission consultant Rick Singer was the middleman in the scandal, receiving millions of dollars to help inflate test scores and bribe school officials.

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Notably, Huffman’s life was further complicated when the FBI arrived at her house. "They came into my home. They woke my daughters up at gunpoint. They put my hands behind my back and handcuffed me. I asked if I could get dressed," she recounted.

Felicity Huffman exits the courthouse on April 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. | Source: Getty Images

Felicity Huffman exits the courthouse on April 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. | Source: Getty Images

After her sentence, she later apologized to the academic community and to those who sacrificed and worked hard legitimately. Huffman has since focused on activism, joining the board of A New Way of Life, a nonprofit helping formerly incarcerated women.

Despite this, she has had a good family life. The star has been married for 27 years to actor William H. Macy, with whom she shares two daughters, Sophia and Georgia Macy.

William H. Macy, Grace Macy, Felicity Huffman and Sophia Macy attend the screening of "Rudderless" on October 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

William H. Macy, Grace Macy, Felicity Huffman and Sophia Macy attend the screening of "Rudderless" on October 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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In a January 2019 interview, Macy praised their enduring union, saying, "Our marriage is sort of like a fairytale marriage. I loved her the second I saw her." The couple dated for 15 years before marrying.

William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman at the 4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 8, 1998 | Source: Getty Images

William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman at the 4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 8, 1998 | Source: Getty Images

As for his wife's appearance, it has changed over the years. In the left image, Huffman had a youthful appearance with short, styled blonde hair and a smooth, fuller face. In the right image, she shows signs of aging with longer, graying hair, more wrinkles, and a slimmer face.

Felificity Huffman in 1998 vs in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Felificity Huffman in 1998 vs in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

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Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp

Marcia Cross always aspired to be an actress, graduating from the Juilliard School in New York. Her career began in 1984 with "The Edge of Night," and it took off when she was cast in "One Life to Live" (1968) and "Another World" (1964).

Marcia Cross on the set of "One Life to Live," 1987 | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross on the set of "One Life to Live," 1987 | Source: Getty Images

Cross also starred in "Almost Grown" (1988) and "Bad Influence" (1990). In 1991, she joined "Knots Landing" before moving to "Melrose Place" in 1992 as Dr. Kimberly Shaw, becoming a fan favorite.

Cross left "Melrose Place" in 1997 to pursue a Master's Degree in Psychology. She returned to the public eye with "Everwood" (2002) before being cast as Bree Van De Kamp in "Desperate Housewives" in 2004. Cross received multiple award nominations and won a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2005.

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Marcia Cross and Andrea Bowen at the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross and Andrea Bowen at the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Her life has been marked by personal challenges since then. She lost her longtime companion and fiancé, Richard Jordan, to a brain tumor in 1993. "It took me a decade to recover," the TV star admitted about the death of the stage and screen actor.

Richard Jordan on set of the movie "Romero" in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Richard Jordan on set of the movie "Romero" in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

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However, Cross found love again with stockbroker Tom Mahoney, whom she wed in June 2006. The lovebirds were first spotted together in March 2005 during a weekend ski trip in Deer Valley, Utah.

Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney at the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney at the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

She and Mahoney, whom she credited for her beauty, got engaged in August of that year. The actress shared she knew her future spouse was "a keeper" when he played word games with her the night before the Emmy nominations were announced.

Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney at Pelican Hill Resort on December 31, 2010 in Newport Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney at Pelican Hill Resort on December 31, 2010 in Newport Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

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She was eventually nominated for the first time and the following day, Mahoney told her he did it so that she would not be nervous. "It was very sweet, Cross gushed. They later welcomed fraternal twin daughters Eden and Savannah in February 2007.

Marcia Cross and Savannah Mahoney and Eden Mahoney seen on August 10, 2013 in Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross and Savannah Mahoney and Eden Mahoney seen on August 10, 2013 in Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images

However, the couple faced an obstacle when Mahoney was diagnosed with cancer three years later. He underwent treatment and thankfully, it went into remission. But that was not the last of their worries. In a routine check-up, Cross was diagnosed with anal cancer.

She underwent radiation and chemotherapy, leaning on friends for support. In September 2018, she shared her hair loss journey on social media. "So grateful and happy to be alive but sad that my hair fell out and is about 1 inch long now and looks cra cra," she wrote.

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Cross became a cancer activist, wanting to reduce the stigma around anal cancer. "I want to help put a dent in the stigma around anal cancer," she said, adding, "There is a lot of shame about it. I want that to stop."

The red-haired, 62, is now doing well. "I'm doing great. I feel back to normal although it's a new normal. I don't think I'll ever take it for granted. I'm so grateful," she expressed in an interview.

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As for her looks, she still maintains her signature red locks. In an image from 2004, Cross had vibrant red hair, smooth skin, and a youthful complexion. Meanwhile, in the next photo from 2023, her red hair is the same, but she shows more pronounced wrinkles and a slightly fuller face.

Marcia Cross in 2004 vs in 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Marcia Cross in 2004 vs in 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis

Eva Longoria's career began after winning a talent contest, leading her to roles in "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1987), "General Hospital" (1963), and "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990). She gained fame with "Desperate Housewives" in 2004, playing Gabrielle Solis at age 29.

Jesse Metcalfe and Eva Longoria on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Jesse Metcalfe and Eva Longoria on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

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Besides her thriving career, Longoria has been married three times. Her first marriage was to actor Tyler Christopher which ended in 2004. Sadly, Christopher passed away in October 2023 at age 50 due to a cardiac event.

Eva Longoria and Tyler Christopher arrive for the 29th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 17, 2002 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria and Tyler Christopher arrive for the 29th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 17, 2002 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Longoria married her second husband former basketball player, Tony Parker in July 2007. However, she filed for divorce in 2010 citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split.

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker attend Entertainment Tonight and People Magazine Hosts Annual Emmy after party at Mondrian on August 27, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker attend Entertainment Tonight and People Magazine Hosts Annual Emmy after party at Mondrian on August 27, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

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The pair officially divorced in January 2011 following reports that their marriage ended due to Parker's infidelity with a female friend. "I think I handled it as gracefully as I could. And it was painful, but life goes on," Longoria said of their split in an interview.

The actress admitted that it was devastating to go through the divorce especially so publicly. When asked during a CNN interview whether she believed that she would be married for life with Parker, she said yes. The two had been together for eight years before parting ways.

Tony Parker and Eva Longoria at the Los Angeles premiere of "Hustle & Flow," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Tony Parker and Eva Longoria at the Los Angeles premiere of "Hustle & Flow," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Longoria is now in her third marriage with Mexican media mogul José Bastón since May 2016. The celebrity, 49, reflected on their relationship in a 2017 interview saying he is the best part of her life. She added that she loves being married to Bastón who makes their marriage special and worth it

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Eva Longoria and Jose Antonio Baston attend NATPE - Day 3 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on January 22, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria and Jose Antonio Baston attend NATPE - Day 3 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on January 22, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

The movie star revealed they are compatible, "We love the same things — family, friends, and traveling — so there's not a lot we've learned separately about each other."

Eva Longoria attends the world premiere of "Land Of Women," 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria attends the world premiere of "Land Of Women," 2024 | Source: Getty Images

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In December 2017, reports disclosed that the newlyweds were expecting their first child together, a baby boy. Longoria and Bastón now share one child.

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In addition, Longoria has barely aged in the years since. Her early career look features dark, voluminous hair and natural makeup while in recent years, she has adopted a more sophisticated style with sleek, highlighted hair and refined makeup.

Eva Longoria in 2001 vs in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Eva Longoria in 2001 vs in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer

Teri Hatcher, known for her roles in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993-1997) and "Desperate Housewives," has had a notable career. She was 40 years old when she first starred in "Desperate Housewives."

Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher on the set of "Desperate Housewives," 2004 | Source: Getty Images

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Since that time in her life, Hatcher has been married twice. Her first marriage was to actor Markus Leithold which ended in 1989. She later married actor Jon Tenney in 1994, with whom she shares a daughter, Emerson. However, they divorced in 2003.

Jon Tenney, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain pictured on May 10, 1994 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Jon Tenney, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain pictured on May 10, 1994 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

In 2022, Hatcher revealed she had a miscarriage while trying to have a second child through a sperm donor. "I did that," she shared. "It didn't work out for me, but I tried to have a second child by myself and I went through that, got a sperm donor. I actually had a miscarriage, unfortunately."

Teri Hatcher during ABC 2004-2005 Upfront at Cipriani's on May 18, 2004 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher during ABC 2004-2005 Upfront at Cipriani's on May 18, 2004 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Besides the pregnancy loss, Hatcher's dating life has also been challenging. She shared her experience on dating apps. "I did get kicked off of Hinge," she said. People doubted she was the real Teri Hatcher. "It was probably silly to even try it," the star admitted.

Teri Hatcher attends the 7th Annual Comedy For A Cure at Avalon on April 6, 2008 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher attends the 7th Annual Comedy For A Cure at Avalon on April 6, 2008 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Discussing her current love life, Hatcher said, "I've sort of given up. I mean, I don't want to say I've given up. My heart is open." Yet she leads a full life despite not having a partner.

Hatcher feels content about being single, stating, "I feel good, and I feel strong. [...] It's liberating to care about the things that are important to you and not about the things that aren't important to you."

Teri Hatcher speaks onstage at the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 25th Anniversary Reunion panel on October 5, 2018 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher speaks onstage at the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 25th Anniversary Reunion panel on October 5, 2018 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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She emphasized that being single doesn't mean being lonely, adding, "Many women are not just surviving alone, they're thriving. [...] You are allowed to be proud of your life when you're not part of a couple."

Apart from her love life, Hatcher has a special course close to her heart. She spoke out about violence against women in November 2014 as she made an appearance at the Empire State Building.

Teri Hatcher speaks on stage at the Empire State Building orange in a special ceremony on November 24, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher speaks on stage at the Empire State Building orange in a special ceremony on November 24, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Now in her late 50s, Hatcher is already spotting gray hair and showed it off in a March 2020 Instagram post. She posted a video revealing she helped a friend get rid of her gray roots.

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However, some online users left negative remarks about her appearance. "Lol, you are 50% grey," commented one person. Another penned, "I was startled by how awful she looked in the beginning. Quit saying she looks good with gray hair!!" "Old," said one.

Meanwhile, some people complimented Hatcher instead with one writing, "You are amazing." "Beautiful smile, beautiful hair, beautiful you!" exclaimed another. Someone else wrote, "You are perfect!" While another noted, "I think you look amazing with the splash of gray."

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Hatcher's appearance from back in the day features soft, wavy hair and natural makeup, highlighting her youthful elegance and understated charm. But in recent years, she has embraced a more glamorous style with bouncy curls and bold makeup, reflecting a vibrant and confident presence.

Teri Hatcher in 2004 vs in 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Teri Hatcher in 2004 vs in 2023 | Source: Getty Images

These former stars have come a long way since appearing on "Desperate Housewives" together. Despite the challenges they each faced in every aspect of their lives, they are still going strong while still looking good.

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