Gabriela Maria Cuadra de Sevedra was born in Argentina in 1870, a pre-Immortal foundling taken in by a wealthy family.
In 1897, her adoptive father was killed aboard his ship, the Andrew, when it was destroyed by the ancient Immortal, Khordas, and his minion, Lauren. Gabriela was on Martha's Vineyard at the time, accompanying Duncan MacLeod, who sensed her latent Immortality.
Khordas and Lauren then captured the steamer, Gratiano, and during the act, Khordas killed Gabriela, triggering her Immortality. Connor MacLeod, using the identity “David Carruthers” was captain of the ship, Dido, and helped Duncan to finally defeat Khordas, though Lauren escaped during the battle. Afterward, Duncan departed with Gabriela, to train her as his new student.
Jason Henderson, the author of Highlander: The Element of Fire, has mentioned in various interviews that he always visualized actress Selma Hayek when creating the Gabriela character, and that he hoped that the reader would do likewise.