Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy wears a lot of hats. She's a mom, an actress, the host of the reality TV show, "Love in the Wild," a Playboy Playmate and has six New York Times bestsellers. But before she was a blonde bombshell, McCarthy had a devout Catholic upbringing and even dreamed of becoming a nun.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy was born and raised in a polish neighborhood on Chicago's south side. She chronicles her Catholic upbringing in her new book, "Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic." McCarthy is pictured here, second from the left, at church. "This is the church I went to twice a week," she told "Nightline."
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Shown here is McCarthy as a third grader with her grandparents on the day of her first Holy Communion. In her new book, McCarthy said she started testing her faith at a young age.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    An undated McCarthy family portrait with Jenny McCarthy, her parents and her sisters Lynette, Amy and Joanne. McCarthy is in the second row on the right, opposite her father. The family grew up poor. In her new book, McCarthy talks about borrowing a VCR from a neighbor to watch a movie on Sunday nights.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy, on the far left, standing in her Catholic school uniform. In her new book, McCarthy said she was in seventh grade when Madonna came out with the song, "Like a Virgin." She feel in love with her music, even though her mother called Madonna a sinner, McCarthy wrote.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy in her high school cheerleading uniform in this undated photo. McCarthy said her childhood bedroom used to be covered in Jesus memorabilia. "I used to have a Jesus poster, the Pope was over there, flaming heart of Jesus was over there and I had some 'I love Jesus' t-shirts and bags hanging up," she told "Nightline." But she had dreams of Hollywood.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy

    While working as a Polish grocery store clerk, Jenny McCarthy did a test shoot for Playboy. The magazine hired her in 1993 and named her Miss October. The following year, McCarthy, then 22, was named Playmate of the Year, a title that came with a $100,000 check, which she said she gave to her parents to pay off their bills and move them to the Chicago suburbs.
    Hyperion/Playboy
  • Jenny McCarthy: Catholic School Girl to Playboy

    Jenny McCarthy moved to Hollywood and grew dissilusioned with her faith, but used it when touring as Playmate of the Year. "Guys would be like, "So, you know, what are you doin' after this ... we should maybe walk on the beach later.' And I would go, 'Well, as long as we can also bring Jesus, my savior,'" she said. She and Carmen Electra hosted MTV's dating game show, "Singled Out," in the '90s.
    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
  • Jenny McCarthy: Catholic School Girl to Playboy

    Jenny McCarthy eventually turned to acting, and starred in various TV shows and movies, including the 1999 film "Diamonds" with Corbin Allred.
    Miramax/Getty Images
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy with her son, Evan Asher. McCarthy married director/actor John Mallory Asher in 1999 and had their son in 2002. The couple divorced in 2005. Evan was eventually diagnosed with autism. An outspoken advocate for autism research, McCarthy has also built an entertainment career for two decades.
    Jenny McCarthy/Hyperion
  • Jenny McCarthy: Catholic School Girl to Playboy

    Jenny McCarthy crowd-surfs during the filming of a scene for the film "Dirty Love" at Club 1650, on Sept. 13, 2004, in Los Angeles.
    Dan Tuffs/Getty Images
  • Jenny McCarthy: Catholic School Girl to Playboy

    Jenny McCarthy told "Nightline" that she was prone to using men to get through difficult periods of her life. She famously dated actor Jim Carrey for more than five years. "When Evan was diagnosed with autism I quickly got into a relationship [with Carrey] just to distract from the pain that I was going through," she said.
    Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images
  • Jenny McCarthy

    In an interview with "Nightline," Jenny McCarthy went back to her old childhood bedroom in Chicago. The single mom turns 40 in November and recently moved back to her hometown to raise her 10-year-old son, Evan.
    ABC News
  • Jenny McCarthy

    Jenny McCarthy sat down with ABC's Juju Chang for "Nightline" to talk about her new book, "Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic," her childhood and her son.
    ABC News
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