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OTRC: Andrew McCarthy talks 'Pretty In Pink' wig, travel writing: 9 facts

Andrew McCarthy appears in the ending scene (left) and a middle scene (right) from the 1986 movie 'Pretty in Pink.' / Andrew McCarthy appears on the cover of his 2012 book: 'The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest For The Courage To Settle Down.' (middle) (Paramount Pictures / Free Press)

Andrew McCarthy, star of "Pretty In Pink" and other 1980s "Brat Pack" movies, has released a new memoir that offers tidbits from his childhood and early acting career and details how he got his current second gig as a travel writer.

The book, "The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest For The Courage To Settle Down," is currently available in stores. Check out 9 facts about Andrew McCarthy.

1. "Pretty In Pink" almost ended differently and a last-minute change prompted Andrew McCarthy to wear a wig.

In the final scene of the cult 1986 teen romance film, his character, Blane, professes his love for main character Andie, played by Molly Ringwald.

"We reshot the end of that movie," McCarthy, 49, told Access Hollywood in a recent interview. "In the original version, [Molly's character] ends up with Jon Cryer's character ... with Duckie. They test screened it and everybody said, 'No, No!' So we reshot."

While re-filming the scene, the actor was starring in a play, "The Boys of Winter," and had shaved his head for his role.

"They threw a bad wig on me," he told Access Hollywood, regarding the "Pretty In Pink" reshoot. "If they knew we'd still be talking about it 25 years later, they would have paid for a better wig."

McCarthy made similar comments on the 20th Anniversary edition of the "Pretty In Pink" DVD, which was released in 2006.

2. Charlie Sheen almost got McCarthy's role.

Ringwald revealed this tidbit on the DVD. The actress was the one who helped convince the filmmakers to cast McCarthy as her character's love interest.

"For one reason or another ... Andrew and I just had that connection together," she added. "Andrew also seemed to have this appeal to women that guys didn't get. He was one of those actors that girls would sort of say, 'Oh, he's so cute' and guys would say,' Ugh, what is your problem? He's so annoying' or 'He's so this.' And it was funny but all the girls I knew thought he was great looking."

3. Andrew McCarthy's dad did not want him to pursue acting.

In "The Longest Way Home," the New Jersey actor writes that when he was 14, his family moved to a different neighborhood and he began to spend more time alone. His mother suggested he audition for his school's production of the musical "Oliver!" and he then discovered his love for acting.

He later applied to acting school in New York and performed lines from the musical's as character the Artful Dodger during his audition. McCarthy says in his book that after his father learned about the tryout, he told him: "No son of mine is going to be a (expletive) thespian."

The actor eventually became a theatre major at New York University and made his on-screen acting debut in the 1983 movie "Class."

4. He battled alcohol addiction.

McCarthy writes in his book that he battled a drinking problem in his twenties, while he was busy making movies, and at age 29, traveled to Minnesota to undergo treatment.

5. He got his job as a travel writer by being a pest ... and knowing someone.

McCarthy writes in "The Longest Way Home" that he initially kept a travel journal, detailing experiences from trips to places such as Saigon, Laos and Malawi. He says he "knew someone who knew someone" and then met the editor of National Geographic Traveler.

"I convinced him after much cajoling to let me write a piece for them," the actor told the Associated Press earlier this month. "Eventually I said, 'Let me write it, if it doesn't work, you don't pay me.' And he went, 'I can live with that.'"

"So I did a piece for him and that worked out so I did more for Traveler and then my editor there, I kept pitching him so much he said, 'Look, go write for some other people, would you?' So I started writing for the Atlantic, the Times and numerous things and nobody really put together that it was the actor Andrew McCarthy writing," he added.

6. His first assignment? Ireland - where he found love.

McCarthy writes in his book that when the editor asked him where he wanted to go for his first National Geographic Traveler assignment, he said Ireland. Dolores Rice, the woman who would become his second wife, lived there. The two have a daughter together. He also has a son with first wife, Carol Schneider.

7. The actor has visited many exotic locations all over the world, before and during his writing career.

The list includes: Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Morocco, the Sahara desert, Mozambique, Sudan, the Amazon, Saigon, Malawi, Laos, Argentina and Spain's Camino de Santiago.

8. Andrew McCarthy fights his fear - of flying - to continue pursuing his passion.

He says in "The Longest Way Home" that he finds it impossible to relax while traveling on planes but that he "decided long ago that my fear wouldn't stop me from traveling."

9. He's kept his day job.

McCarthy continues to act. In recent years, he has appeared on shows such as "Lipstick Jungle," "White Collar" and "Royal Pains" and films such as "Snatched" with Ernest Borgnine, who died earlier this year. McCarthy recently starred in the half-Vietnamese movie "Forbidden Love" with fellow on-screen heartthrob Richard Chamberlain and Los Angeles socialite Bai Ling.

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