Eva Tamargo as Pilar Lopez-Fitzgerald
|Portrayed by||Eva Tamargo|
|Created by||James E. Reily|
|First appearance||July 6, 1999|
|Last appearance||August 7, 1999|
|Residence||462 Railroad Road|
Pilar is the matriarch of the Lopez-Fitzgerald family. She had been born in Mexico, but had moved to Harmony in her twenties as the wife of Martin Fitzgerald, whom she had married when she was 18. She had immediately gotten a job working for the wealthy Winthrop family, becoming Ivy Winthrop's personal maid when Ivy was only a small child. When Ivy had married Julian Crane, Pilar had gone with her to the Crane household.
Martin had disappeared shortly after Pilar had given birth to their youngest daughter, Paloma Lopez-Fitzgerald, leaving her with five children under age 10. Pilar had immediately sent Paloma to Mexico to live with and be raised by her sister Maria, leaving grade-school-aged Antonio in charge of toddlers Theresa and Miguel. At the same time, the young family had also been kicked out of their home on the Crane grounds. Pilar had refused to leave Ivy and, because the Cranes paid poorly, she had worked two jobs to support her family, leaving young Antonio to care for his younger brothers and sister. This had continued for the next dozen years until Antonio had disappeared shortly after Luis graduated high school, at which point Luis had become a police officer and Pilar had been able to quit her second job.
Although Pilar had always been loyal to Ivy (including keeping the secret of the paternity of her son, Ethan Crane), her first loyalty is to her family. As the series begins in 1999, Pilar discovers that Theresa is obsessively pursuing about Ethan, despite the fact he was in a relationship with Gwen Hotchkiss, but Pilar does nothing to stop her daughter. In 2000 Pilar takes preventative methods when she learns that Theresa had accidentally come across the papers that proved that Ethan was Sam Bennett's son and not Julian Crane's. Pilar forces Theresa to lie to Ivy and Ethan. With the secret about Ethan is finally out in the open in 2001 when Gwen and her mother frame Theresa for exposing it, Pilar tries hard to keep Ivy from interfering in Sam and Grace Bennett's marriage. In 2002, as Ethan and Theresa are about to marry, Ivy intends to tell her son that Theresa had accidentally wed Julian and had then believed that she was having his child. To protect the secret, both Pilar and Theresa attack a wheelchair-using Ivy, leaving her locked in her room without any means of escape so that Theresa can marry Ethan without interference. Ivy manages tell Ethan the truth anyway.
The family are evicted from their home in 2004, and Pilar becomes very ill, eventually being hospitalized. A mystery cure seems to be helping her, but after she learns of Antonio's death, she relapses. Pilar seems to finally be cured, and then Martin returns to town. Initially Pilar is overjoyed, but upset to learn of Martin's longtime affair with Alistair Crane's former wife, Katherine, with whom Martin had left town. By 2005, Pilar is not willing to let her husband go, and is determined to get him back. She even aligns herself with the evil Alistair, but is unable to use the information that he gives her to force Martin to be with her. Martin finally confesses to Pilar why he had left town, and Pilar admits that she knows about Alistair beating and raping Katherine, and about Martin helping Alistair cover up Sheridan's murder of her aunt, Rachel Barrett. Martin and Pilar begin planning for their life together in 2006, and things only seem to get better when they discover that Rachel is alive after all. Martin and Pilar move forward with their future, planning an elaborate vow renewal. Unfortunately, Pilar discovers Martin and Katherine together just hours before the ceremony and tells Martin to get out of her life, even though he swears that she is the only one that he wants. Six months later, she files for divorce.
In March 2007, the Blackmailer terrorizes everyone in Harmony by threatening to expose their darkest secrets, originally collected by tabloid reporter J.T. Cornell. It is revealed that Pilar herself has a "horrible" secret of which her entire family is unaware; Gwen soon finds out, and uses it against her. Divorced from Ethan but wanting him back, Gwen pressures Pilar to convince Theresa to stay away from Ethan, and to keep the secret from Ethan that Theresa's son Little Ethan is actually Ethan's. Pilar hints that the exposure of her secret will guarantee her children's deaths. On November 12, 2007, Gwen tells her mother Rebecca Hotchkiss that she just wants to keep Ethan and Theresa apart, not reveal Pilar's secret; Rebecca, however — no fan of Pilar or Theresa — has already told the mysterious "white-haired woman" hunting Pilar that the Lopez-Fitzgerald family is in New England.
On November 21, 2007 Pilar's secret is revealed. Pilar and the white-haired woman — Juanita — had grown up in Mexico as close friends. Juanita had become engaged to a man named Carlos Alejandro Vasquez, the heir to an immense drug cartel; Pilar had been worried about the Vasquez's involvement with drugs, but Juanita had assured her friend that Carlos was not involved in the family business, and was instead going to become an attorney. Pilar had then settled down in New England with Martin, and had given birth to Antonio and Luis. Juanita (who had also had a son and at least two daughters) had contacted Pilar, and invited her for a visit. During this visit, on January 28, Pilar had soon discovered that Carlos had indeed risen to control the cartel. But before Pilar had been able to tell Juanita, Carlos had viciously raped Pilar; she in turn had struck him with a candlestick in self-defense and killed him. Pilar had called the police and told them about the cartel, but Juanita had arrived and accused Pilar of murdering her husband and refusing to believe Pilar's accusations about Carlos. At that moment the police had stormed the Vasquez estate; believing that the entire family had been involved in the drug cartel, the police had fired upon Juanita's children and the rest of the family, who had been outside on the terrace. They had all been killed. Juanita — the only Vasquez left alive — had been taken into custody because of her relationship with Carlos. Mad with grief, she had blamed Pilar for her family's deaths, vowing to make Pilar and her own family pay with their lives. Pilar had returned to Harmony while Juanita had been sent to prison. Pilar had subsequently given birth to Theresa, Miguel and Paloma, and had never told of her involvement in the massacre to anyone except for Father Lonigan and Ivy Winthrop. The secret had remained buried for twenty five years.
In 2007, Juanita states that after her time in prison, she had discovered her husband's involvement with the cartel; at first horrified, Juanita had gradually learned to enjoy the lifestyle, and had soon became head of the cartel herself — honoring her husband's memory and murdering anyone who stood in her way. Finally getting information on Pilar's whereabouts, Juanita executes her plan of revenge. She first murders Pilar's sister Maria Lopez and her two sons. Juanita lures Pilar and Theresa to Mexico and hunts them down; the boat they are on explodes, and Theresa is presumed dead. She survives, however, but returns to Harmony in secret to protect her family from Juanita's vengeance.
On August 4, 2008 - the final week of Passions, Juanita Vasquez was finally captured by Sam Bennett, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald & Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald. At long last, Juanita finally got what's coming to her, her bomb that she was going to use to kill the Lopez-Fitzgerald family was defused & most of all - Pilar can finally live the rest of her life without living in fear from Juanita. Gwen and Rebecca are exposed for their scheming ways, and brought to jail, leaving Theresa to be with Ethan. Pilar now not only lives without fear, but with the satisfaction that all of her children are happily wed.