“I think that in Hollywood, it’s hard because so many people do turn out crazy. I don’t need to go out every night to get attention. I’m happy with the amount that I have.” While she might have meant what she said about her stardom in the late 1990s, Amanda Bynes certainly proved otherwise in the new millennium when her life spiraled out of control as the world watched in horror. Joining the ranks of former child actors like Lindsay Lohan, Bynes struggled to gain control of her life after a series of arrests and legal issues among other wild behavior left her parents no other choice but to commit her for a mental health evaluation in 2013. Spending the next few years attempting to piece her life back together, the 31-year-old Bynes has recently returned to the spotlight after a seven-year hiatus to announce her plans to return to television very soon! What will that look like for the former All That star?
The youngest of three children born to a dentist and a dental assistant, Amanda Laura Bynes came into this world on April 3, 1986 in Thousand Oaks, California. As a youngster, she showed a knack for making people laugh, which is exactly why her parents sent her to a local comedy camp when she was still in elementary school. With the camp teaching her the basics of comedy like timing, Bynes had a new confidence and auditioned for her first acting gig at seven years old—a commercial for Buncha Crunch candies. Snagging the part in the national ad, she went on to star in productions of Annie, The Sound of Music and The Secret Garden before catching a huge break with Nickelodeon in 1996 when she was first cast as a series regular on All That before taking over the lead role.
Amid her growing success on All That, Bynes joined the regular cast of Figure It Out in 1997 and spent two seasons on the show before earning her own timeslot on Nickelodeon with The Amanda Show, a variety series that ran from 1999 until 2002. Clearly unstoppable, Bynes then snagged a starring role opposite Jennie Garth on What I Like About You on the WB and went on to make her feature film debut in Big Fat Liar just months later in 2002. The perfect foil to Garth’s straight-laced character, Bynes was praised for her performance on What I Like About You as the WB gave the series a prime spot in their Friday Night Comedy Lineup, which boosted Bynes’ popularity even more.
Wrapping up What I Like About You in 2006, Bynes explored her talents on the silver screen with credits in She’s the Man, Hairspray and Sydney White just as she was named one of the 25 Hottest Stars Under 25 by Teen People magazine. Shortly after, she lent her voice to a character in an episode of Family Guy in 2008 and briefly dated the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, which added to her fame as the star-studded couple became a tabloid favorite. Adding in a television film called Living Proof in 2008, Bynes struck gold in 2010 when she starred as Marianne Bryant in Easy A, a film that has since earned a cult following after grossing $75 million at box offices worldwide.
Bynes seemed unstoppable as she was set to star alongside Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson in the comedy Hall Pass, but things weren’t as peachy as everyone believed when the 24-year-old actress announced she was retiring in a tweet in 2010. Initially admitting that she no longer loved acting, Bynes changed her tune a few weeks later and told reporters for People magazine that she was taking time off to rest and would be back on the red carpet in a flash. Of course, that’s not exactly how things worked out with trouble brewing for the young actress.
In 2012, Bynes was first pulled over for using her cell phone while driving and, months later, was arrested for driving under the influence and causing a hit and run in West Hollywood, which earned her a three-year probation sentence and suspension of her driver’s license. The arrest, however, only marked the tip of the iceberg as Bynes drastically changed her appearance and started threatening lawsuits to anyone who criticized her. In 2013, she was arrested for starting a small fire in a stranger’s driveway and, months later, was arrested at her home in Manhattan. Charged with possession of marijuana and reckless endangerment after throwing drug paraphernalia from her window, Bynes was at her lowest point when her parents committed her for a 72-hour mental health evaluation. With their daughter hospitalized, they were granted conservatorship over her affairs to ensure she couldn’t destroy everything she’d worked so hard to achieve.
Eventually admitted into a private facility for mental health treatment, Bynes was released in December 2013 and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising to pursue her interests in fashion design. Expelled only a few weeks later, she was arrested for her second DUI and spent the next few years in and out of rehab before shocking the world when she returned to the spotlight in 2017 when she set the record straight on her prior behavior and announced her plans to return to Hollywood.
First addressing the frenzy that she created by changing her look in between arrests, Bynes admitted that she stole Blac Chyna’s look. “I was getting the microdermals in my cheeks because she had them. I thought they looked super hot on her. I never said that she stole my look. I’m a fan of hers. She’s adorable.” Wiping the slate clean and clearing the air with Chyna, Bynes also announced her plans to start a clothing line since she’s learned how to sew and create patterns after being readmitted into the Fashion Institute.
Also celebrating three years of sobriety and confirming that she does everything from hiking and working out to feeding the homeless to stay busy, Bynes saved the best announcement for last: “I do miss acting and I have something surprising to tell you: I’m going to start acting again. I want to do TV. Maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I’m a fan of and maybe another TV show where I’m the star of it.” With Bynes’ unpredictability, who knows what the future holds!