Jennifer Ann "Jenny" McCarthy (born November 1, 1972) is an American model, comedienne, actress, author, and activist. She began her career as a Playboy magazine model in 1993, before launching a television and film acting career . Most recently, she has written books on parenting issues and has become an activist promoting the awareness of autism, opposing vaccination and promoting New Age beliefs.
McCarthy was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her middle-class Catholic family lived in the West Elsdon neighborhood of Chicago. She is the second of four daughters; her sisters are named Lynette, Joanne and Amy. Her cousin is Melissa McCarthy of Gilmore Girls fame. McCarthy's mother, Linda, was a housewife and courtroom custodian, and her father, Dan McCarthy, was a steel mill foreman. She attended St. Turibius Grade School on Chicago's South Side. As a teenager, McCarthy attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School (whose school sweater she donned in the pages of Playboy) and was a cheerleader at both Brother Rice High School and St. Laurence High Schools, although she has referred to herself as an "outcast" at her school. After McCarthy graduated from high school, she attended Southern
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