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See Former Teen Idol Andrew McCarthy Now at 59

The Brat Pack member is an actor, director, and travel writer these days.

Andrew McCarthy has been associated with the Brat Pack ever since it came to be, though, for much of his career, it was something he shied away from. The name was bestowed on a group of young actors who worked together in various combinations in popular '80s films including The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, and Sixteen Candles. As for McCarthy, he starred in St. Elmo's Fire and Pretty in Pink with other Brat Pack stars. For a long time, the actor wasn't happy to be so specifically associated with that one aspect of his life, but in recent years, he's been accepting and embracing it more. In 2021, he even published a memoir titled Brat: An '80s Story.

McCarthy continued acting following the heyday of the Brat Pack, but he also took on new careers in directing and travel writing. Read on to find out more about the former teen idol's life today.

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He still makes the occasional onscreen appearance.

Andrew McCarthy at the premiere of "Some Kind of Wonderful" in 1987
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire, McCarthy starred in other memorable '80s movies such as Mannequin, Less Than Zero, and Weekend at Bernie's. He kept acting regularly throughout the '90s and '00s, but in recent years, he's been behind the camera more. Still, he has take on roles in some popular shows, including Good Girls13 Reasons Why, and White Collar.

He's been more focused on directing.

Andrew McCarthy on "CBS Sunday Morning" in 2021
CBS Sunday Morning / YouTube

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning in 2021, McCarthy spoke about being behind the camera instead of in front of it. "I always say, 'Directing is stressful and acting causes anxiety,'" he explained. "I'd rather be under stress than feel anxiety from within. And I have every actor anxiety that there is, so when I see it in another actor I'm able to disarm it quickly, because I'm like, 'Dude, I know.'"

McCarthy has directed episodes of many TV shows, including Gossip Girl, Orange Is the New Black, Grace and Frankie, Good Girls, and The Blacklist, the latter of which reunited him with Pretty in Pink co-star James Spader.

He's also a writer.

Andrew McCarthy at opening night of "Is There Still Sex in the City?" in 2021
BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

In addition to writing his memoir, McCarthy has had his travel writing and young adult fiction published. According to Parade, he's been a contributing writer for National Geographic since 2006, and he was named Travel Journalist of the Year in 2010 by the Society of American Travel Writers. His YA novel, Just Fly Away, was published in 2017. He also wrote the 2012 book The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, which is about both his travels and his personal life.

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He's a father of three.

Dolores Rice and Andrew McCarthy at the premiere of "W.E." in 2012
Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic via Getty Images

McCarthy has been married twice and has three children. He shares a son, Sam McCarthy, who is also an actor, with his ex-wife, Carol Schneider. He also has two children, Willow and Rowan McCarthy, with his current wife, Dolores Rice, to whom he has been married since 2011. Teenage Willow is also interested in acting and starred in Matilda the Musical on Broadway.

"If I were a plumber, I'm sure he would have gone into plumbing," McCarthy told Parade of Sam following in his acting footsteps. "You can't tell anyone what to do, and if I told him no, then he probably wouldn't have talked to me anymore. I'd rather talk to my kids."

He's come around on the Brat Pack label.

Andrew McCarthy at the opening night of "American Son" on Broadway in 2018
Walter McBride/WireImage via Getty Images

When McCarthy found out about the Brat Pack title, which was coined in a 1985 New York Magazine article, he immediately knew it would change his life.

"It's interesting because the photo on the cover was a still shot from St. Elmo's Fire, which I was in. And then I was removed, cut out of it for the cover shot," he told NPR in 2021. "And when I saw the cover I went, oh my god, they cut me out. And then I read the article and I went, oh my god, thank god they cut me out. And then soon enough, I was swept up into it anyway."

He also shared that he has gained a better understanding of what the Brat Pack means to people as the years have passed.

"There's no more thrilling, exciting moment in our lives than when we are young and just—get out of my way. I'm coming out, world!" he told NPR. "And those movies represented that to a lot of people. And so I in a certain way kind of represent that to people. And I've grown to find that very satisfying, whereas I ran from that for so long."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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