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Juanita "Mama" Solis

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Juanita Solis
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Portrayed by
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
First mentioned
Episode count
Juanita Solis
Also known as
Manner of death
Falling Down Stairs
Family members
Diego Solis - Late Husband
Carlos Solis - Son
Gabrielle Solis - Daughter-In-Law
Juanita Solis - Legal Granddaughter
Celia Solis - Granddaughter
Grace Sanchez - Biological Granddaughter
Unnamed Father-In-Law
S1 - S2 - S3 - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7 - S8
Family should always hug... regardless of how they feel about each other.

Juanita Solis, simply known by most as "Mama", was the mother of Carlos Solis. When she moved into the Solis house to act as a spy on Gaby, she discovered her affair with John Rowland, but was soon run over by a drunk Andrew.


Early life

When Juanita was sixteen, she married Diego Solis and had her son Carlos. Diego became abusive to Juanita and Carlos and Juanita eventually had enough of it. Juanita "made sure Diego payed for his actions". Juanita told Carlos that Diego left their family for a waitress at a truck stop dinner. Ever since that day, Juanita made it her main goal in life to protect her son. ("Come in, Stranger")

Years later, Carlos becomes engaged to Gabrielle Marquez but Juanita thinks she's a gold digger and only wants him for his money. Juanita and Gaby clash because of this but Carlos refuses to leave Gaby. Juanita is furious when Carlos buys Gaby a wedding dress that costs more than Juanita's first house. ("Women and Death")

Season 1

Carlos Solis calls his mother, Juanita for a visit because he thinks his wife Gabrielle Solis is having an affair but he doesn't know with who. Gabrielle is furious to see Juanita coming for a visit. Juanita keeps Gaby company 24/7 which starts to irritate her since she can't see her lover, John, with Juanita around. However, while Juanita is watching one of her Mexican soup operas, Gaby sneaks out to have sex with John at a hotel. ("Come in, Stranger")

Juanita plays a poker game with her daughter-in-law's friends, Susan Mayer, Lynette Scavo, and Bree Van de Kamp. Juanita wipes the three ladies dry. Gaby tells Carlos about this and he reveals that Juanita has a major gambling problem. Gaby uses this to her advantage and drops Juanita off at a casino while she goes to have sex with John. Gaby picks Juanita up and finds out Juanita maxed out Carlos's credit card and is now in debt $150.000.00. Gaby helps Juanita keep this from Carlos. Juanita see's that Gaby loves Carlos and tells Carlos she thinks Gaby might not be having an affair. Moments later however, Carlos tells Juanita he warned Gaby about Juanita's gambling addiction. Juanita starts to see how Gaby tricked her. Then she notices how Gaby passes John as she walks into her house and Juanita knows that Gaby and John are having an affair. ("Running to Stand Still")

Gaby and John plan to have break up sex when John is upset with Gaby. Gaby tells Carlos she is sick and can't go to his business dinner so Carlos takes Juanita instead. While Gaby and John are having sex, Juanita buys a disposable camera and rushes home to catch Gaby in the act. Juanita catches John and Gaby and takes a picture while saying "Smile Gabrielle". Juanita rushes down the stairs while John tries to stop her. Juanita and John trip but Juanita gets back up and runs out the door. As Juanita runs to her taxi, she is hit by a driver who continues on and is left unconscious. Gaby goes to see if Juanita is okay and when she see's Juanita is asleep, Gaby takes the camera from Juanita and destroys it. The hit-and-run driver is revealed to be Bree's son, Andrew Van de Kamp because he was drunk driving on his way home to apoligize to his mother. ("Anything You Can Do")

It is revealed that Juanita is comatized and it is uncertain that she will live. Carlos spends a lot of time visiting his mother. John comes by to visit and wants to confess to Carlos but Gaby won't let him. ("Guilty")

Juanita dies, and with no-one knowing the truth

After being in a coma for several months, Juanita finally wakes up and walks through the hospital looking for someone to get her home so she could tell Carlos about Gaby's affair. While running down a flight of stairs, she trips and falls and dies. Juanita tells the nurse to tell Carlos about Gaby's affair but the nurse had ear buds because she was listening to music and didn't hear Juanita. ("There Won't Be Trumpets")


Season 1

Carlos throws his mother a lavish funeral which Susan, Lynette, Bree, and Edie also attend along with friends and family. Carlos had a horse-drawn carriage for Juanita and a crypt. Carlos and Gaby fight over the expenses this will cause them and as they walk away from the croud walking to the crypt, Bree Van de Kamp leads everyone in Gaby and Carlos's absences. ("There Won't Be Trumpets")

Season 8

Juanita's ghost watches Susan leave Wisteria Lane. ("Finishing the Hat")

When Susan Delfino decides to leave Wisteria Lane with her children, MJ Delfino and Julie Mayer, and granddaughter, Juanita's ghost appeared alongside George Williams and Mona Clarke, in front of 4362 Wisteria Lane, and they watched the family as they drove away from the lane and began their new lives together. ("Finishing the Hat")


  • Gabrielle and Carlos named their eldest legal daughter after her.
  • Lupe Ontiveros reprised her role as Juanita "Mama" Solis in episode "Women and Death", for the first time since the first season. Her character was absent for 156 episodes, which is the longest absence for a recurring character in "Desperate Housewives".
  • Juanita watches Mexican soap operas.
  • Juanita is a gambling addict.
  • Juanita is hinted to have murdered her husband in "Come in, Stranger".
  • While hospitalized in Sacred Heart Hospital, she was comatosed and contained in room 312.

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