After staying away from the cameras for months, last Thursday former child star Amanda Bynes made her first red carpet appearance since 2011!
The 29-year-old stepped out in a sleek white dress to attend Michael Costello's capsule collection launch in downtown L.A. Bynes, who briefly attended fashion school at FIDM in 2014, appeared at the event unexpectedly, though the designer was overjoyed to have the star in attendance. Speaking to Pret-a-Reporter, Costello spoke about meeting Bynes, saying:
"I thought that was so cool that she was such a huge fan! We talked for a little bit, she’s such a sweetheart, she’s such a nice girl."
Amanda's decision to attend the launch and support the designer is particularly awesome considering the huge mental health and legal issues that have plagued the former Nickelodeon star for the last few years.
Amanda's ups and downs have been extremely well documented in the media, but take a moment to see just why her appearance this week at Michael Costello's collection launch is so great for the star and her future:
Amanda burst onto screens in 1996 on the sketch comedy show All That. The cute and talented actress was so popular on the network that she frequently appeared on other shows such as Figure It Out, and in 1999 was given her own show, The Amanda Show which ran for three seasons.
Transition to film star
Following her success on TV series, Amanda also moved into films, appearing in movies such as Big Fat Liar, What a Girl Wants, Love Wrecked, She's the Man, Hairspray and Sydney White. She also appeared alongside Jennie Garth in the TV series What I Like About You for four seasons.
However, after having a steady and successful career from the mid-'90s onwards, Bynes' career slowed considerably in '08 and '09, and she made her last film appearance in the 2010 comedy Easy A, starring with Emma Stone.
Retirement from acting?
It was in 2010, just before the release of Easy A, that Amanda started publicly exhibiting bizarre behavior. Firstly, she announced her retirement from acting via Twitter, telling fans:
I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I’ve #retired. 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.
But then a month later she went back on her big announcement by simply tweeting:
Despite the actress claiming she's "unretired," Easy A still remains her most recent work.
Contending with legal and mental health issues
While it was obvious in 2010 the actress had some issues, they didn't really become apparent to the public until 2012 when between March and September the actress had 10 various driving-related run-ins with the law.
In May 2013, Bynes was arrested at her New York home after allegedly throwing a bong from the window of her 36th floor apartment. However, the star's legal issues didn't end there and in July 2013 she was detained again, 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 a 72 hour mental-health evaluation hold.
Following her psychiatric hold, her mother Lynn was granted conservatorship over Bynes' affairs. And after the initial hospital stay, Bynes' went on to have two more stints in hospital facilities for what was rumored to be Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder.
A month after her last hospitalization, Amanda finally addressed the rumors of mental health issues with the following Tweets:
It was only after these tweets - more than four years after the public began to see signs of deeper issues - that Amanda has started showing signs that she is on the road to recovery.
Lately it has been rumored that the actress may return to screens in the next season of Dancing with the Stars, with the cast for Season 21 being announced in August. And if this latest appearance of a much happier and healthier looking Bynes is anything to go by, then it seems increasingly more likely that we could see her compete.
Amanda's struggles have been painfully public over the last few years, and after keeping a low profile since she was released from the hospital in November 2014, it seems as though she is really investing time in her recovery.
With this latest and rare appearance, it finally seems as though things are on the up-and-up for the young and talented actress. Time will tell if she is set to make a comeback to TV or film - I for one have my fingers crossed! You go, girl!