The Scream 3 star grew up in a small house in a middle class Chicago, Illinois neighbourhood and the family often struggled to make ends meet.
So when MCCarthy got the chance to pose for the racy magazine in 1993 at the age of 21, she gladly accepted and used the combined $120,000 (Gbp75,000) pay-out to buy her mum and dad a new place.
During an interview on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America on Tuesday (02Oct12), she said, "We grew up very, very poor... It was devastating in my childhood to watch my mum and dad struggle for food, and wonder where dinner was gonna come from...
"As time went on, I knew I was gonna bail them out some day. And when I posed for Playboy I went home and wrote a cheque out to pay all their bills and moved them into the suburbs."