ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Any kid worth their salt will remember the wildly popular Nickelodeon show All That. Premiering in 1994, All That ran for 10 seasons before ending in 2005. The show gave birth to many famous faces through its run - Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Jamie Lynn Spears, but perhaps it's most famous star was the irresistibly cute Amanda Bynes.

For Amanda Bynes All That catapulted her into child stardom and a life growing up in the spotlight and in front of cameras. However, while her genre of choice was comedy, the reality for Bynes was soon to become far from a laughing matter.

A (child) star is born

Born in 1986, Amanda Bynes is the youngest of three children to Lynn and Rick Bynes. It was shortly after attending a comedy camp in 1993 that Amanda started acting, first appearing in TV ads and stage shows before joining the cast of the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That in the third season.

Amanda was so popular on the network that she also frequently appeared on the show Figure it Out, and soon had her own TV show titled The Amanda Show, which ran for three seasons. During this time she also launched her film career, first appearing opposite Frankie Muniz in the 2002 comedy Big Fat Liar, followed by the lead role in 2003's What a Girl Wants.

For much of the mid-2000s Amanda Bynes owned the teen-comedy scene appearing in the TV series What I Like About You for four seasons alongside Jennie Garth, and movies Love Wrecked and She's the Man, with Hairspray and Sydney White both coming out in 2007.

But after so many successful shows and movies, Byne's career slowed down in '08 and '09 with smaller roles, followed by her last movie appearance in the 2010 comedy Easy A, which starred Emma Stone.

A series of set backs

So what happened to Amanda Bynes' career? In 2007 the star had teamed up with Steve & Barry's to create her own fashion line called 'Dear,' however this dream was cut short when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and went out of business in 2009.

The young starlet was also set up to star in a number movies including the comedy Post Grad, where she was replaced by Alexis Bledel, and Hall Pass in which she was fired and replaced by Alexandra Daddario. A planned sequel to Hairspray, which would have seen Bynes reprise her role of Penny Pingleton, was also canned. Bynes' appearance in 2010's Easy A was supposed to be one part of a two-picture deal with production studio Screen Gems, though the second film, which was supposed to be a lead role for Bynes, never eventuated, perhaps because of what was soon to become a very public struggle.

Retirement from acting?

Bynes in Maxim Magazine Feb 2010
Bynes in Maxim Magazine Feb 2010

In June 2010, shortly before the release of Easy A, Amanda Bynes started confusing many fans with her increasingly bizarre behavior. First of all, she broke hearts when, via twitter, she announced her retirement from acting, tweeting:

"I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heart it here first I’ve . I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it … If I don’t love something anymore I stop doing it …Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem."

However a month later she took to Twitter again to simply say:

"I've unretired."

Despite the actress claiming she "unretired," Easy A still remains her most recent work.

A descent into chaos and turmoil

Amanda Bynes 2012 mugshot
Amanda Bynes 2012 mugshot

But whatever was going on with Amanda in 2010 didn't really become apparent to the general public until 2012, when a series of wild events between March and September 2012 saw her completely shed her 'good girl' image:

  • March 7th she is pulled over for talking on her phone while driving, though the star drives away while the cop was still writing her a ticket
  • April 6th she's charged with a DUI (the charge was dropped in 2014 but she was sentenced to 3 years probation as part of a plea deal)
  • April 10th she commits a hit-and-run
  • May 5th she is pulled over for reportedly side swiping a car
  • August 4th she commits a second hit-and-run
  • August 20th she is in an accident with another vehicle
  • August 25th the California Department of Motor Vehicles takes away her license
  • September 4th Amanda Bynes is charged for two alleged hit-and-run incidents (the charges were later dismissed)
  • September 9th LAPD pull her over for driving without headlights on
  • September 16th her car is impounded after being caught driving with a suspended license.

And that's not all, outside of all of her charges related to driving, Amanda Bynes continued to be in trouble with the law. In May 2013 Bynes was arrested at her home after throwing a bong from the window of her 36th floor apartment in New York. Despite Bynes claiming that the bong was actually a vase, she was still arrested on the spot. This incident was followed by Bynes being detained again in July 2013, after allegedly starting a small fire in a driveway. It was at this point that the star finally began getting the help she so desperately needed when she was put on 72-hour mental-health evaluation hold.

Amanda Bynes appears in court wearing a wig
Amanda Bynes appears in court wearing a wig

Following the psychiatric hold, her mother, Lynn, was granted conservatorship over Bynes' affairs, and Amanda went to a private facility in California to received "specialized treatment." After being released in December 2013 to her parents, for almost a year it looked as though Amanda had a grasp on what was rumored to be Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder, enrolling in classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. But sadly the good times didn't last too long, and following the the star being expelled from the school in October 2014, she was once again hospitalized on a temporary psychiatric hold.

This time the reason for Bynes' hospital stay was a series of worrying tweets she sent claiming that her father had sexually abused her, though shortly after the initial claims, she then changed her mind tweeting that he had not abused her, and that a microchip implanted in her brain had forced her to make the accusation:

One month later, after being released from hospital Amanda Bynes publicly addressed rumors surrounding her mental health with the confirmation that she was in fact suffering with Bipolar disorder as well as manic depression:

Rising from the ashes

Following these tweets, Amanda Bynes seems have been focusing all of her energy on her recovery and coming to grips with her diagnosis, and has largely stayed away from the public eye. In February it was reported that her conservatorship was extended until June 23rd, due to the fact that her recovery is going so well under the supervision of her parents.

However, now for the first time in many years Bynes' name may be connected with good rumors rather than hurtful gossip: Apparently the 29-year-old may be set to appear on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars! A source spoke to Hollywood Life about the possibility saying:

"They want her! If she does it, she wants to dance with Derek [Hough] or Mark [Ballas]. She is in very, very loose discussions and absolutely nothing has been set in stone but as long as she is mentally stable, she is basically a lock for the next season."

If these rumors turn out to be true, then we could very well be witnessing a truly amazing comeback from an actress who, although she undoubtedly has undergone some huge struggles, is undeniably talented. Fingers crossed for amazing things in Amanda's future.

Sources: IMDB, Observer, Huffington Post, Cambio, The Hollywood Reporter


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