One of four sisters, Jenny McCarthy was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, the second oldest daughter of Linda (Loheit), a courtroom custodian, and Daniel McCarthy, a steel mill foreman. She has Irish (father) and Croatian, German, and Polish (mother) ancestry. She was educated at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, before going on to Southern Illinois University to study nursing and psychology. However, a lack of funds meant she had to drop out.
To earn some money, McCarthy landed a chance to model for Playboy magazine and was Miss October 1993. She was eventually named 1994 Playmate of the Year. Following a relocation to Los Angeles, California, McCarthy landed some television host roles and also began picking up acting parts. Roles followed in various projects, including BASEketball (1998), Scream 3 (2000), Scary Movie 3 (2003), The Drew Carey Show (1995) and her own sitcom, Jenny (1997). She also continued modeling.
She’s an anti-vaxer.