Amanda Bynes: She's the Star
Amanda Laura Bynes (born April 3, 1986) is an American actress and aspiring fashion designer. A staple on kids' television shows during the late '90s, Amanda continued on with a film career with several notable successes, but then abruptly retired - and unretired - and then apparently retired again.
|Amanda Bynes in 1997, when she was 11.|
So, Amanda Bynes is far from just your run-of-the-mill former child star. She has remained in the public eye largely due to transition issues related to changing her image from that of a child star to an adult woman. She also has had some widely reported personal issues which we will get into below.
Amanda is from Thousand Oaks, California, the youngest child (of three) of Lynn and Rick Bynes. Her mother is Jewish and her father is Catholic, and her ancestry stems from Ireland, Poland, Romania and Russia, by way of Canada on her mother's side.
Amanda has stated that she has not chosen a religion, but comes from a Catholic/Jewish background. She started her career at age seven, appearing in television advertisements, and moved on to several theatrical productions.
While on the show, she also was the lead panelist on "Figure It Out" from 1997-1999" and played herself on "Blue's Clues." She continued on with "The Amanda Show" from 1999-2002, which established her as an iconic star of the younger set.
|Amanda Bynes with Emma Stone in "Easy A."|
It is not overstating matters to say that Amanda Bynes was her generation's Lucille Ball. Everywhere you looked on the small screen, there she was. While largely unknown to anyone over the age of 15, Amanda Bynes was legendary to the tween set. After her own show ended, Amanda continued on with other, smaller tv roles over the next half-dozen years such as "What I Like About You" and "Rugrats."
Amanda's special talent was being on two shows at once. It must have been an exhausting schedule, and it made her fame enduring. It also, may, have had some lasting consequences on Amanda herself, consequences that manifested themselves in unpredictable ways.
Having completely conquered the Nickelodeon audience, Amanda moved on to feature films. She debuted in "Big Fat Liar," a minor success, and went on to other successful films such as "She's the Man" and "Hairspray."
All along, Amanda had won many major awards during her tv career. These included her wins at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, such as "Favorite Movie Actress" and "Favorite Television Actress" in 2003, a rare double play. Amanda even had some singing success with the cast of "Hairspray" in 2007, and she became a magazine cover girl as she matured.
|Amanda Bynes with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.|
Amanda's final film was released in 2010. In "Easy A," Amanda was nominated for "Best Line From a Movie" at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. Nobody really expected it to be her final film. Well, maybe her final film for 2010, but forever? No way.
The plight of former child stars is pretty much a cliché, but a cliché that reflects the reality for a lot of talented kids. As the years went by, Amanda showed many of the sorts of issues that have plagued child stars since the advent of Hollywood.
Amanda began dressing in provocative fashion, wearing edgy fashions, and apparently making tweets which some considered bizarre and many of which she later disavowed and ultimately deleted. While she has every right to wear whatever she wants and say/tweet anything she desires, some of her choices perplexed her mainstream audience. She abruptly announced on Twitter that she was retiring from acting.
|Amanda has a knack for wearing very stylish shoes|
A number of rumors circulated about Amanda's allegedly bizarre behavior. Some of it may have been true, but rumors swirl around all edgy celebrities. There were some very real problems, though. A series of traffic incidents escalated into a bust for marijuana possession and related charges at her apartment in New York City in 2013.
This incident at her apartment turned into a maelstrom of bad publicity for Amanda. She accused the arresting NYPD officer of sexual harassment. They accused her of throwing something from her Manhattan apartment - on the 36th floor. Everyone appeared to agree that something was thrown, but exactly what it was became a point of contention.
|Amanda during her infamous drug bust.|
|Amanda has a thing for leather clutches and bags|
Some time later, in July 2013, she was observed in a stranger's driveway not far from her childhood home starting a fire. Inexplicably, this involved her dog and which put her at risk.
|Amanda wears boots with the best of them|
Amanda was detained and put on a psychiatric hold, with her mother put in charge of her finances. She wound up hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.at her parents' and doctors' request.
The press, of course, chronicled Amanda's every move. Apparently, after her release from the facility, Amanda's parents refused to let her back into their house.
After Amanda's release, her parents got Amanda a luxurious pad in a Glendale hotel - which she refused to use. Instead, she crashed with friends in West Hollywood.
|Amanda Bynes in 2013|
Fortunately, Amanda pulled through and went home in December 2013. Reports surfaced that Amanda was studying fashion design in Los Angeles and looked forward to a career in that field.
However, Amanda's issues did not end there. September 28, 2014, the police arrested Amanda for her second DUI. This and some other incidents - on Twitter, she accused her father of molesting her then retracted it with a truly bizarre explanation about a microchip being implanted in her brain by... her father - led to another psychiatric hold and stay in a facility.
Amanda Bynes is a continuing work in progress. In June 2017, she announced that she wanted to resume acting, but, as of this writing, no projects for her have surfaced.
|Amanda with her mother at a 2014 fashion event.|
Many former child stars can no doubt relate to Amanda and her issues with returning to a normal life after her enormous early success on television and in film. It is easy for others to have a sense of schadenfreude at Amanda's difficulties, but if ever there were a poster girl for victims of the Hollywood child star system and growing up in the public eye only to see one's prominence later dwindle, Amanda is it. She is a "cautionary tale."
The important thing is that she survived, got help thanks to her loving parents, still looks terrific and appears to be back on track. No doubt, Amanda will have no difficulty resuming that career if that is her desire. In any event, Amanda has stated that she is set for life due to her childhood earnings, and good for her.
There is no question that Amanda Bynes is extremely talented and quite pretty. We wish Amanda all the best, and wish to show our appreciation for her obvious skills.
Below is Amanda in a 2007 interview that is eerie in hindsight. Things actually got much worse for her after this report and she hit bottom less than a year later.