From Nickelodeon to Now: What Happened to Amanda Bynes?

Former childhood star, Amanda Bynes, was the girl everyone wanted to be in the ‘90s and early 2000s. She was the face of Nickelodeon, but we all should have known something was up when she retired (and then un-retired) from acting in 2010. Her career continued to grow after starring in Blockbuster hits like She’s the Man, What a Girl Wants, and Hairspray. However, she abruptly left the acting world, seemingly without reason.

Amanda Bynes / Amanda Bynes / Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum / Amanda Bynes
Source: Getty Images

Over the past decade, the Amanda Show’s former lead has been behaving more erratically with Twitter rants, legal woes, and shocking face tattoos. Bynes’s successful career in television and film came at a price that she is still paying today. Find out what pushed her into a downward spiral and see what she is doing today.

An All-American Childhood

Nickelodeon’s former princess, Amanda Bynes, was born on April 3rd, 1986, in California. She was the youngest of three children, and her parents saw her as the third and final happy edition to their family. Her parents worked together as dentists and lived pretty normal lives. They raised Bynes like any other American kid.

A young Amanda Bynes plays dress-up in a white dress.
Source: Pinterest

However, when Bynes started reading her older sister’s lines for the school play at age three, her parents knew she was talented. Her parents wanted to see where her talents would take her, so they put her in a kids’ comedy camp where people saw she had star potential. The people who ran the camp recommended that Bynes audition for Nickelodeon’s show All That, and that’s when her life changed.

A Standout on All That

After auditioning for All That, Bynes joined the cast in 1996 when she was just ten. It didn’t take long for her to get a starring role in the All That ensemble. In the late ‘90s, All That was the starting point for many famous child actors, and Bynes made herself known to everyone. In no time, she had the lead role in many sketches like Ask Ashley.

Bynes sits on a bed in a segment from “All That” called “Ask Ashley.”
Source: Tumblr

This role was a massive accomplishment for Bynes, and she later reflected that it was a “dream come true.” She got along with all her castmates, and they thought she was hilarious. Her former co-star, Drake Bell, said everything came naturally to Bynes. With that success came paychecks Bynes never thought she could earn.

Bringing Home the Big Bucks

Bynes’ dreams were really coming true, and with that came an income more significant than any ten-year-old could comprehend. At the beginning of her career, Bynes reportedly earned between $2 to $3 million a year, which is much more than the average pre-teen. It was around this time that Nickelodeon gave Bynes her own show.

Amanda and her family pose for a photo in the living room.
Source: Los Angeles Times

Bynes was earning more than her parents at a very young age, and they had to take the proper steps to save the money for important things later in life. As the money continued to roll in, her parents couldn’t believe how successful she had become in such a short time. They were taking her talents right to the bank.

The Amanda Show

In 1999, Nickelodeon saw that Bynes was ready to take her career to the next level, so they gave her a show. The Amanda Show premiered that year, and Bynes carried nearly every sketch. While she was thrilled about the opportunity and overjoyed to be on stage, she didn’t realize how much pressure was on her shoulders.

Amanda Bynes on the set of “The Amanda Show.”
Source: Twitter

With iconic sketches like “The Girls’ Room” and “Moody’s Point,” Bynes was an overnight sensation with the weight of the world on her shoulders, and there were no signs of her slowing down. Bynes worked long days, and the show put her on the fast track to be an even bigger star than she could have ever dreamed.

Taking Her Talents to the Big Screen

With two successful shows under her belt before she started high school, Bynes took her acting talents to the big screen for the 2002 film Big Fat Liar, co-starring Frankie Muniz. As her first film, it was a huge hit and grossed roughly $53 million worldwide. It turned Bynes into the “it-girl” whom everyone wanted in their films.

Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes in a scene from ‘Big Fat Liar.’
Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

Although she was still young, the industry no longer looked at Bynes like a child. Her roles started to reflect a maturing girl. In 2003, What a Girl Wants showed a whole new side of Bynes, one that had clearly grown up. However, no one really questioned if she was happy with this life or level of fame.

Not a Typical Teen

Bynes was anything but the typical teenager. Everywhere she went, people asked for autographs and pictures, and her work schedule was beyond hectic. However, she managed to squeeze in some everyday teenage things between takes. Bynes reportedly had a fling with her All That co-star, Taran Killam, for a year.

Amanda Bynes at the Kid’s Choice Awards.
Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

When she turned 16, Bynes got her driver’s license like every other teen but not taking trips to the mall or attending school dances. Who would have time for homecoming when there was always a stack of scripts waiting for her to read? Bynes traded slumber parties for red carpet events, and she seemed content.

She Kept Climbing the Ladder of Success

Bynes was too focused on her career to notice that her teenage years were flying by. In 2004, the star had seven Teen Choice Awards and nine other nominations under her belt. She was the most beloved actress in the industry, and millions of young girls looked to her as a role model.

Amanda shakes hands with fans while onstage at the Kid’s Choice Awards
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

Bynes’ incredible reputation landed her a spot on Vanity Fair’s iconic 2003 Teen Girls cover. However, like many other child stars, the higher she climbed and the more successful she became, the farther she would have to fall. But her career would grow so much before that could happen.

Officially an Adult

Bynes and her talents kept the roles and cash flowing. After taking a few movie parts back-to-back, she returned to the small screen for a leading role in What I Like About You. Her character was supposed to be 16 years old, even though she was about to turn 18 in real life.

Jennie Garth, Leslie Grossman, and Amanda Bynes in a still from ‘What I Like About You.’
Source: Pinterest

The show’s mature content was a lot for the impressionable actress. As she rang in her 18th birthday with a Kid’s Choice Award win, Bynes was already experimenting with substances that would impact her life. She might not have been clubbing yet, but she was making some poor choices.

Slipping Into a Depression

In 2006, Bynes had the biggest movie release of her career. She’s the Man came out and took the world by storm. The rom-com was a twist on a classic Shakespearean play, and while it was a significant milestone in her career, Bynes couldn’t bask in the win. Instead, she fell into a deep depression.

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum in a still from ‘She’s The Man.’
Source: Dreamworks Pictures

Bynes later recalled that she was depressed for about six months because she didn’t like how she looked as a boy in the movie. The pressures of Hollywood started to get to her, and playing Sebastian in She’s the Man messed with her body image.

Pushing Through the Struggles

Although she was in a funk, Bynes pulled through to take on another major Hollywood project, Hairspray. The 2007 musical comedy let Bynes show off her singing talents with a cast that included John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Zac Efron. Bynes had a great time with her castmates.

Amanda Bynes and Nikki Blonsky are dancing in a scene from ‘Hairspray.’
Source: New Line Cinema

While she made great memories, Bynes also took home a big paycheck because the movie made over $118 million worldwide. It was one of her most successful projects, but all that money didn’t help Bynes to prevent the events that loomed in her future.

Maybe Hollywood Was Too Much

Bynes had many prominent roles under her belt in television and film, proving her skills ranged from comedy to musicals. Her reputation as a comedic powerhouse resulted in her landing a role in the film Easy A, which grossed $75 million. However, Bynes wasn’t feeling fulfilled anymore.

Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone in a scene from ‘Easy A.’
Source: Sony Pictures

While her bank account grew, Bynes couldn’t hide her inner demons from the world. She was visibly unhappy and struggling in her personal and professional life. Her addiction to pills was spiraling out of control, and Bynes started to realize that Hollywood might not be the right place for her.

Narrowly Avoiding a Scandal

By 2007, Bynes was worth around $8 million, but all of that was at risk because of her personal struggles. While she avoided the 2000s tabloid rampage on young actresses, her drug dependency continued to wreak havoc on her life, and people around her noticed a change in her personality.

Amanda Bynes is talking to someone at an event.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Bynes faked ADD symptoms to get a prescription for Adderall so she could have a steady supply to fuel her addiction. She later confessed that she abused the substance to the point where she couldn’t hide the side effects from her co-stars, who became increasingly concerned.

Too Many Mistakes

Bynes’ behavior was bizarre and questionable to the people around her. She made the erratic decision to pull out of the movie Hall Pass because she couldn’t focus on her lines. However, rumors started to circulate that she got fired for substance abuse, which contradicted her story.

John Travolta, Amanda Bynes, and Zac Efron present the Best Movie award at the MTV Movie Awards.
Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Bynes claimed that she made many mistakes, but she wasn’t fired. While she admitted that it was unprofessional for her to walk off when they had already spent so much money on a set, camera crew, and equipment, she said it was her choice to leave. Was this her way out of Hollywood?

“I Needed to Stop Acting”

During the Easy A screening, Bynes knew she needed to take a step back from Hollywood. While everyone was laughing along with the rom-com, she had a different reaction to the film. Bynes couldn’t stand watching herself and hated her acting even though everyone loved it.

Amanda Bynes on the set of ‘Easy A.’
Source: Pinterest

Bynes sat in the theater, mentally picking apart everything about herself. She hated how she looked and didn’t like her performance. She convinced herself that she needed to stop acting after seeing the movie. The substances she was taking were changing her perception of things, and she was at her breaking point.

Announcing Her Retirement

After seeing the movie, Bynes convinced herself that she should never be on camera again. Therefore, she took to Twitter to announce her retirement without giving it a second thought. Years later, when she was in a better frame of mind, she said she should have made an official press statement instead.

Bynes’ Twitter post is announcing her retirement.
Source: Twitter

Bynes admitted that she handled her retirement in the wrong way, but her brain was under the control of the pills she was taking, and she wasn’t thinking clearly. Bynes hit a wall and was finished with acting, so she just quit. However, what would she do now that her acting career was supposedly over?

She Felt Like She Had No Purpose

After walking away from her life as a rich Hollywood actress, the film offers dried up quickly. At just 24, Bynes found herself with nothing to do and too much time. She felt like she had no purpose in life because she had been working since she was a child, and she continued to spiral.

Amanda Bynes tries to cover her face with her bag as she walks down the street.
Source: Twitter

It didn’t take long for Bynes to start hanging out with questionable people, which led her to experiment with different substances. She spent her days at home using recreational substances while watching TV and tweeting strange things. Everything kept getting worse.

Bynes Was in a Dark Place

As her dependency on substances grew stronger, Bynes’ mind was foggy, and she wasn’t making wise decisions. She was in a dark place, and she used Twitter as a diary to express her sad thoughts. Her followers became concerned by her erratic thoughts and worried about her well-being.

Amanda Bynes is attacking Rihanna on Twitter.
Source: Twitter

It was an embarrassing time for her because she targeted celebrities like Drake and Rihanna during her Twitter rampages. These rants ranged from sexual to aggressive in nature. However, her problems weren’t confined to the internet as she was about to deal with real legal troubles.

A Mugshot That Shocked Everyone

During this dark period in her life, Bynes found herself in trouble with the law for numerous charges. In 2012, Bynes was charged with a DUI, which prompted her to tweet to Barack Obama. She asked him to fire the officer who arrested her personally.

A mug shot of Amanda Bynes with shot hair / Amanda Bynes mug shot with pink hair
Source: Reddit / Photo by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Getty Images

After a few more hit and runs, Bynes had her license revoked in California. She was charged with reckless endangerment and drug possession in her NYC apartment. However, the charges were eventually dropped. Amanda felt like the world was against her, and she wanted people to understand that she was innocent.

Bynes Versus the World

After her arrest, the tabloids had a field day, and it seemed like everyone wanted to weigh in on her well-being. Unfortunately, Bynes didn’t want to hear what people had to say about her. In an interview, she said, “I have no clue why people say I’m insane. Every time I’ve heard it, it came from an ugly person’s mouth, so I don’t care.”

Amanda Bynes is escorted in handcuffs by a police officer after being arrested
Photo by Alo Ceballos/Getty Images

The paparazzi were relentless, and she continued to receive negative press. Bynes threatened to take legal action against US Weekly and Perez Hilton, but people were more concerned about her. Other celebrities started to talk about how she needed help and that someone should help her.

On a Downward Spiral

In July 2013, Bynes was arrested by the Ventura County Sheriffs after she was found starting a fire in the residential area where she grew up. The bizarre and erratic episode resulted in her being held for 72 hours for a mandatory psych evaluation. People had no idea what she would do next.

The burnt driveway that Amanda Bynes set on fire.
Source: YouTube

From the assessment and monitoring during those 72 hours, it was clear that Bynes had bipolar disorder. This was the first time Bynes’ parents tried to gain legal control over their daughter when she just needed them to be loving parents.

The Diagnosis Didn’t Help

After her diagnosis, the former actress didn’t change her ways. She continued to vent her inner thoughts on Twitter, and her tweets concerned many people. She accused people and said strange things, and everyone wondered why no one was helping Bynes seek treatment.

Bynes’ tweet is retracting her accusations against her father.
Source: Twitter

In a series of tweets, Bynes accused her father of abuse throughout her childhood. Bynes later retracted her statement saying, “My dad never did any of those things. The microchip in my brain made me say those things, and he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me.”

Her Parents Took Action

As their daughter continued to struggle in such a public way, Rick and Lyn Bynes were concerned. Bynes had stepped away from a multi-million-dollar career in Hollywood only to get arrested and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her parents tried once again to gain legal control over their daughter.

Amanda Bynes with parents Rick and Lynn Bynes years before her downfall.
Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images

In their second request for conservatorship, Bynes’ parents were granted control temporarily. The arrangement was meant to extend for six years, giving Bynes time to focus on her mental health and well-being. She took the time to explore new career options, and people thought she would turn her life around.

Back to School

In an effort to do something different with her life, Bynes enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Irving, California. She earned an associate degree in Merchandise and Product Development. With a degree and a passion, this could have been a fresh start.

Amanda Bynes poses with a friend at her graduation from FIDM.
Source: Twitter

While she studied at FIDM, Bynes began her sobriety journey, and people at the school could see that she wanted to change her life. The president of her school even said that she wanted to get better. She went through such dark times, and it seemed like she was starting to see the light.

The Trouble Started Again

Although people thought Bynes was making big strides to turn herself around, her demons continued to haunt her. Again, she took to Twitter to take her followers on a roller coaster ride of sporadic tweets without a filter. Some of them were deleted, but concerns about her mental health grew.

A mirror selfie of Amanda Bynes with hot pink hair.
Source: Twitter

On numerous occasions, Bynes would say her account had been hacked after she went on a long rant. People stopped believing this excuse because she used it more than a few times, and she would always talk about fellow celebrities or family members.

Trying to Get Herself Back on Track

Despite her Twitter rants, Bynes tried to find some balance in her life. After her associate degree, Bynes continued her studies at FIDM to earn a bachelor’s degree. Fans were so proud to see that she was finishing what she started, even though there were bumps in the road.

Bynes is stepping into her car after an event.
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

At this point, Bynes’ top priority was her mental health and sobriety. She teased the idea of returning to Hollywood, but the stress of acting was too much of a trigger, resulting in a relapse. Although she relapsed, returning to sobriety support groups brought someone special into her life.

If You Like It, Put a Ring on It

While she was attending sobriety meetings, Bynes met Paul. The pair hit it off right away, and it wasn’t long before they were thinking about marriage. Bynes took to Instagram in early 2020 to announce her engagement. She gushed about how lucky she was to her followers.

A selfie of Amanda and her fiancé / Amanda Bynes’ engagement ring.
Source: Twitter

In her post, Bynes wrote, “Hey, everyone, this is Paul, my fiancé.” She said he was the best person on earth, but the couple’s relationship wasn’t simple. Shortly after her post, it was reported that they called off the engagement even though they were staying together. Was the conservatorship stopping them from walking down the aisle?

Pregnancy Rumors Swirled

Fans were confused about the couple’s situation, and their curiosity only grew when Bynes posted a sonogram picture. She captioned the picture “Baby on board” without any further explanation. Paul also shared the same picture on his social media, with the caption “Baby in the making.”

Amanda Bynes’ Instagram post of a sonogram.
Source: Instagram/@amandabynesreal

Although everyone was confused, people sent their warm wishes and congratulated the couple. However, the celebrations ended on May 4th when Bynes’ lawyers released a statement saying, “Amanda is not pregnant, and she is sheltering in a safe location.” Was it all a hoax for attention?

Another Bump in the Road

Bynes’ lawyers explained that she sought treatment for her mental health issues, asking for privacy. Her team didn’t want people making speculations about her life in the media because it was negatively affecting her and causing her setbacks. Bynes needed to focus on getting better.

A mirror selfie of Amanda Bynes at home.
Source: Twitter

However, Bynes thought her lawyers were preventing her from getting the help she needed. In a video, Bynes said, “This is what life has come to.” She shared that she had $5,200 monthly medical expenses because of the conservatorship, and she asked to see a judge because no one was helping.

Fan Speculations

Many of Bynes’ fans noticed that she went silent on social media following her video. Some people suspected she had a private or secret Instagram account, but it was unclear what happened. It was like she fell off the face of the earth without any explanation.

Amanda Bynes arrives at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Even though there was limited contact with her followers, Bynes’ fans developed theories. Some thought her silence was because of former Nickelodeon mogul Dan Schneider. In one of her many tweets, Bynes compared Schneider to Harvey Weinstein, so we can only imagine what she went through.

A Secret Twitter Account

Many of Bynes’ loyal fans and curious conspiracy theorists thought the Twitter account called @PersianLA27 belonged to Bynes. It was full of gossip and rumors, but others believed that was a hoax. Whether it belonged to her or not, the account made people worry about Bynes.

The Ashley Banks Twitter account posts a screenshot of Amanda’s driver's license photo.
Source: Twitter

The account used the name Amanda Banks, a rumored reference to the All That sketch, Ask Ashley. The tweets from the account often went back and forth between denying the relation to Bynes, bashing the actress, and asking for help. It wasn’t very clear, to say the least.

Bynes Addressed the Twitter Account

In a tweet from Bynes’ official Twitter account, she wrote, “I am not @persianla27. I am not getting married, and I am not pregnant. I don’t understand why twitter won’t take @persianla27 down.” The rumored account replied and claimed that her controlling parents were running Bynes’ account.

The actual Amanda Bynes tweets demanding the fake account be removed.
Source: Twitter

It was hard to tell what was fact and what was fake after the account insisted that it was really Bynes. Even Bynes has struggled to keep her story straight throughout the years, so no one knew which account to believe. Why wasn’t Twitter doing something about the situation?

Twitter Took Notice

Many people watched in confusion as the two accounts went back and forth because there wasn’t a way to verify this secret account. Twitter had to do something because it is against their guidelines to imitate a celebrity, especially if the account spreads false or harmful information.

Amanda during a live stream on from her phone.
Source: Pinterest

After Page Six reached out to the social media platform, they were referred to Twitter’s impersonation policy, stating, “Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter rules. Twitter accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended.”

What Else Could Be Done?

Although there was a policy about impersonating people, Twitter couldn’t do anything about the account. They also couldn’t comment about the account for privacy and security reasons. Therefore, it seemed like there was no way to handle the questionable account.

Amanda and her fiancé pose together.
Source: Tumblr

Bynes’ official account stands firm that the other account was a hoax for attention. It was evident that it couldn’t be Bynes because the account reached out to fans for money. However, some people still believed it could be her because she made a video about her financial struggles.

Everyone Is Rooting for Her

Despite everything that happened on Twitter, plenty of celebrities who grew up with Bynes continue to send her support, particularly Hilarie Burton from One Tree Hill, who said she was always in Bynes’ corner and hoped she would get through this challenging period in her life.

Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, Hilarie Burton, Amanda Bynes, and Beverley Mitchell pose together.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Burton said, “I loved Amanda Bynes when we were both on the WB.” She shared her support in honor of Bynes’ Paper Magazine article, back when there was potential to return to Hollywood. The message came with a throwback photo of Burton and Bynes from 2004.

Nick Cannon Shared His Support

Burton wasn’t the only one rooting for Bynes. Nick Cannon had a lot to say about Bynes’ situation as the two go all the way back to All That. The two grew up around each other from a young age, and Cannon published a letter to her on his website. It was entirely in support of her.

Nick Cannon, Amanda Bynes, and ‘All That’ cast pose for a group photo.
Source: Reddit

Cannon wrote, “I genuinely feel that Bynes is one of the most pleasant human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting.” He talked about how he could relate to her troubles with fame and added, “One must know how to navigate through the matrix, or you may find yourself in a very dark hole.”

What Happened to Amanda Bynes?

Unfortunately, Bynes’ future remains unclear. Last year she went through many ups and downs without any official communication, and she hasn’t been able to update her fans about her relationship or well-being. The status of her conservatorship also remains unknown, which creates more questions.

Amanda Bynes as a little girl on a swing.
Source: Los Angeles Times

Based on Bynes’ previous messages, she doesn’t have access to the earnings she made over the years. According to one site, her net worth is currently $3 million. Whether she chooses a career in the spotlight or slips away into anonymity, we hope she is safe and healthy.

Can She Fight Her Conservatorship?

Because Britney Spears is fighting her conservatorship, many people have brought up Bynes’ situation too. There are many similarities in their situations, and Spears could help motivate Bynes to take back her power and regain control of her finances and life choices.

Amanda Bynes is walking down the city streets.
Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

According to California laws, “A conservatorship of the person or estate may terminate by operation of law or may be terminated by court order if the court determines it is no longer required.” If Bynes can prove she has her life on track and is sticking to her sobriety, she could have a case and come to an agreement.

Trying to Move On

Since she was a child, Bynes has only known life in the public eye. In recent years she tried to avoid paparazzi harassment and has stopped posting on social media. While her radio silence has some people concerned, others think she is taking time to focus on her health and happiness.

Amanda Bynes tries to cover her face with her dog as she exits a cab.
Photo by NCP/Star Max/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Like many other child stars, the pressure to be perfect from such a young age was difficult for Bynes to handle, and it broke her. There are few child stars these days who haven’t gone through some crisis because Hollywood is a harsh place filled with people who don’t always have their best interest.

Where Is Amanda Bynes Now?

In more recent statements from Bynes’ reps, people have said that the 35-year-old is only focused on her mental health. This is probably the best thing she could do because the past decade has been anything but easy for her, and everyone hopes she will make a big comeback.

A photo of Amanda Bynes.
Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

While we can’t get behind the face tattoo she debuted last September; we do hope she can fight her conservatorship and regain control of her life. If she is of sound mind and physical health, there is no reason why her parents should be able to hold onto her money while she struggles financially.