Where is Amanda Bynes now? Looking back on her career and health

Amanda Bynes’ career was one envied by child stars and actors alike. With her comedic chops and infectious personality, she became a beloved child star, cementing herself as one of Nickelodeon’s top talent in the early aughts.

Bynes was 13 when she rose to fame as a cast member on the hit children’s variety show “All That,” co-starring alongside Kenan Thompson, Nick Cannon, Kel Mitchell and many others, before starring in her own comedy series, “The Amanda Show.”

Bynes’ discovery was seemingly referenced in an episode of the docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.” The controversial doc looks at the working condition of Nickelodeon, its stars and influence of producer Dan Schneider.

All That (Everett Collection)

Following Bynes’ work on the teen network, was known as a comedy teen queen, covering magazines, starring in rom-coms, and winning awards for her roles.

While Bynes’ career was one filled with starring roles, the actor would go on to quit acting. Health setbacks, legal troubles and a conservatorship would ensue.

Bynes has not responded to TODAY.com’s March 2024 requests for comment.

Here’s a look back at Amanda Bynes’ career, health and recovery.

A rising Nickelodeon child star

Born in Thousand Oaks, California, the 37-year-old actor began her career at the age of 7. Her big break came when she was offered a role in the Nickelodeon variety sketch show “All That,” appearing in skits from 1996 to 2000.

“It was a dream come true,” she told Paper magazine in 2018 of being cast on the show. “It was unbelievable for me.”

Bynes became a stand-out star on “All That” and eventually landed her own spinoff sketch show, “The Amanda Show.”

The show, which ran from 1999 to 2002, also included Drake Bell (who earlier this month alleged he was sexually abused as a child star) and Josh Peck.

Amanda Bynes (Everett Collection)

Much like “All That,” “The Amanda Show” was known for its skits such as “Judge Trudy,” a “Judge Judy” spoof, as well as “Moody’s Point,” “The Girl’s Room” and “Totally Kyle.”

During her Nickelodeon run, the fan-favorite was nominated for and won multiple Kids Choice Awards.

Teen queen of the rom-coms

Bynes would go on to transition to the big screen, making her feature film debut in the 2002 comedy “Big Fat Liar” with Frankie Muniz. She was 15 at the time.

At the same time, she transitioned into a more adult TV role when she starred as Holly Tyler in The WB’s “What I Like About You,” co-starring former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Jennie Garth.

Bynes continued her reign of popular romantic comedies, starring in 2003’s “What A Girl Wants,” about a teen who goes to England to find the father she’s never met.

She's the Man  (Everett Collection)

The actor also starred in the comedy “She’s the Man” opposite Channing Tatum, a movie set in high school inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

Bynes also had a role in the 2007 musical feature film “Hairspray” and “Sydney White,” released the same year.

But while Bynes’ on-air characters seemingly ended up with fairytale endings, behind the scenes, the teen star was at odds with her family.

Bynes reportedly ran away from home, according to multiple accounts featured in “Quiet on Set.” In a video shared to his YouTube page on March 19, former Nickelodeon showrunner Dan Schneider recounted how the then-teenage Bynes called him after she’d left her home during the early morning hours following a fight with her parents.

“The phone rang, I answered. It was Amanda and she was upset, she was in distress she had had some conflict with her parents — I think her father — and she called me,” he recalled. “I was immediately concerned about her safety. I called someone who I knew was fairly nearby. That person was able to go and pick her up, then I knew she was safe… she ended up being taken to the police.”

Bynes also tried to be emancipated from her parents when she was around 16 or 17, both “Quiet on Set” and Schneider said, which ultimately was not approved by a judge.

In his March 19 video, Schneider said that Bynes had turned to “her team,” including him for support as she tried to get emancipated.

“Amanda was between the ages of 16 and 17 and she wanted to get emancipated from her parents, which was a fairly common thing with successful young actors, at least at the time,” he said. “She wanted that for herself, so she turned to her team which included her lawyer, her agent, her manager, her publicist, me —because she included me as part of her team, thought of me that way. We supported her, she tried to get emancipated, it ended up not working out and she didn’t.”

Drug use and departure from Hollywood

Bynes’ final film before taking a step back from Hollywood was 2010’s “Easy A” starring Emma Stone. Bynes portrayed Marianne, a devout Christian and leader of the Cross Your Heart Club.

She was set to appear in the 2011 comedy “Hall Pass,” but later dropped out and subsequently quit acting. In her Paper magazine interview, Bynes revealed that she started smoking marijuana when she was 16 but “didn’t get addicted” then.

“Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy,” she said, adding that she tried “cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice.”

She did, however, say she “abused Adderall” around the time of “Hall Pass.” Bynes explained that the Adderall tablets she took left her “scatterbrained” and wasn’t able to focus on her lines or memorize them.

At the same time, she felt self-conscious about her appearance. She recalled seeing herself on screen and “literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat.” She said, she rushed off the set and thought, “‘Oh my god, I look so bad.’”

Her discomfort in seeing herself on screen continued when she saw a screening of “Easy A.” Bynes said that she was high on marijuana when she saw it and “couldn’t stand” her appearance, so much so that she was convinced she “should never be on camera again.”

Easy A (Everett Collection)

“I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don’t know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things,” she said after watching herself in “Easy A.”

After deciding to quit acting, she shared that she got “really into my drug usage and it became a really dark and sad world for me.”

In November 2018, Bynes said she had been sober for almost four years.

Her conservatorship, explained

Bynes was placed in a conservatorship under her parents, Lynn and Rick Bynes, in 2013, following her substance abuse issues and legal troubles.

Bynes, who was 26 at the time, was arrested in April 2012 on a misdemeanor DUI charge after hitting a cop car.

Two years later, she pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to three years of probation and three months of attending alcohol education classes, according to The Associated Press.

In May 2013, she was arrested in New York after allegedly throwing a bong out of her window. She was charged with tampering with physical evidence, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of marijuana. The case was dismissed months later.

In July of 2013, she was detained for a mental health evaluation after allegedly starting a fire in a neighbor’s driveway in Thousand Oaks, California.

With her parents’ support, Bynes filed to end her conservatorship in February 2022. A judge terminated the conservatorship the following month, according to NBC News.

“In the last several years, I have been working hard to improve my health so that I can live and work independently, and I will continue to prioritize my well-being in this next chapter,” Bynes said in a statement following the ruling. “I am excited about my upcoming endeavors — including my fragrance line — and look forward to sharing more when I can.”

Enrolling in school and personal life

Bynes enrolled in Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles in 2014 and received an associate degree in merchandise product development. In 2019, she posted a photo of herself in her cap and gown at her FIDM graduation.

In February 2020, she announced that she was engaged to a man named Paul Michael. They would go on to call off their engagement and break up in 2022, according to E! News.

Continued health issues

In May 2020, Bynes revealed in a quick update that she had spent two months in treatment. Months prior, her lawyer said she was seeking treatment for “ongoing mental health issues” and debunked rumors that she was suffering from drug or alcohol addiction issues.

“Worked on coping skills to help with my social anxiety that caused me to drop out of school months ago,” she shared in a since-deleted Instagram. “Back on track and doing well! I’m now living in transitional living and doing therapy during the week.”

In March 2023, Bynes was placed in a 72-hour psychiatric hold. At the time, her longtime attorney told NBC News that he was not in a position to comment on the situation

On April 11, a source close to the situation confirmed to NBC News that Bynes had been released from a medical facility and was receiving outpatient care.

Amanda Bynes (Raymond Hall / GC Images)

Where is Amanda Bynes now?

Since then, Bynes has kept a low profile. She occasionally shares updates with her followers on her social media, but is known to delete videos and posts after sharing them.

In late 2023, Bynes shared in an Instagram video that she was working on a podcast. However, she and her co-host, Paul Sieminski, only produced one episode before taking a pause.

In a December TikTok, she explained that they were “not able to get the type of guests” that they wanted on the show.

That same month, she revealed that she had plastic surgery on her eyelids.

“So I saw a couple of stories online that say I have a new look. And I was never open about this before, but I actually had blepharoplasty surgery on the skin folds and the corners of my eye so I don’t have those skin folds anymore,” she explained in a since-deleted TikTok.

Bynes said that it was “one of the best things” she could’ve done for her confidence.

Since then, she has shared minor looks at her life on her Instagram. Her last post was in January, when she posted a photo of her with two friends at dinner.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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