Amanda Laura Bynes (born April 3, 1986) is a former American actress. She rose to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s on the Nickelodeon series All That and The Amanda Show. From 2002 to 2006, she starred on the sitcom What I Like About You on The WB. Bynes has also starred in several films, including What a Girl Wants (2003), She's the Man (2006), Hairspray (2007), Sydney White (2007) and Easy A (2010). In 2012, Bynes said that she is retiring from acting.
Bynes was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California, the youngest of three children of Lynn (née Organ), a Jewish dental assistant and office manager, and Rick Bynes, a Catholic dentist. Her ancestors immigrated from Ireland, Poland, Romania, and Russia, and her maternal grandparents are Canadians from Toronto, Ontario.
In 1993, Bynes attended a comedy camp, and began professionally acting at the age of seven, appearing in a television advertisement for Buncha Crunch candies. During her childhood, she also appeared on stage in versions of Annie, The Secret Garden, The Music Man, and The Sound of Music. Bynes became a regular cast member of Nickelodeon's Figure It Out and All That. She was a regular cast member on All That for seasons three through six. She also starred in her own sketch comedy show, The Amanda Show (1999-2002).
Bynes made her film debut in 2002's modest box office success, Big Fat Liar. Her first leading role was in 2003's What a Girl Wants, co-starring with Colin Firth, Oliver James, and Kelly Preston. From 2002 to 2006, Bynes starred alongside Jennie Garth in The WB Television Network's sitcom What I Like About You. Bynes had voice parts in 2003's Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure and 2005's CGI animated comedy, Robots. She appeared in Arliss as Crystal Dupree. Bynes appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair's July 2003 edition with nine of Hollywood's other young female stars.
Bynes was named one of Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" in 2006. Later that year, she starred in She's the Man, a comedy based on William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Bynes appeared in another romantic comedy, Love Wrecked, which was shot before She's the Man but released after it, showing in cinemas outside of the United States in 2005 and 2006 and debuting in the U.S. on the ABC Family network on January 21, 2007. She also portrayed Penny Pingleton in Hairspray. Bynes next starred in another comedy, Sydney White, released on September 21, 2007. Later that year, Bynes signed a five-year deal with Steve & Barry's to create her own fashion line, Dear, consisting of apparel and accessories. The clothing line launched in stores August 16, 2007. The line was cut short when Steve & Barry's filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and went out of business in January 2009.
In 2008, Bynes appeared in the Lifetime Television movie Living Proof as the student assistant of Harry Connick, Jr.'s character. Bynes was also originally set to star as Ryden Malby in the 2009 comedy Post Grad, but was replaced by Alexis Bledel.
In June 2009, Bynes signed a two picture deal with Screen Gems. The first of the two movies was the 2010 teen comedy Easy A, starring Emma Stone and Lisa Kudrow, and the second was to have been a starring role. Bynes also planned to reprise her role as Penny Pingleton in the sequel to Hairspray. However, Hairspray 2 was canceled. Bynes was also originally set to star in the comedy Hall Pass but dropped out and was replaced by Alexandra Daddario.
Bynes appeared in lingerie on the cover of the February 2010 issue of Maxim magazine, highlighting her photo spread inside. She stated, "I think every shot ... was sexy" and that the new look is "who I am." That June, Bynes stated that she planned to retire from acting, announcing on her Twitter page, "I don't love acting anymore, so I've stopped doing it." A month later, Bynes had an apparent change of heart and "unretired". At the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, Bynes told People Magazine that she's merely taking "time off." In September 2012, Bynes said that she has once again retired from acting and would instead focus on launching her career as a fashion designer and rapper.
In 2007, regarding her religious beliefs, Bynes stated: "As far as religion, I was raised both. I learned about both Judaism and Catholicism. My parents said it was up to me to decide which faith to adhere to when I grew up. I'm sort of a spiritual person anyway. I haven't decided yet on a religion. I don't know yet exactly what I believe."
Bynes is interested in illustration and fashion design. Bynes has previously had her own fashion line sold nationwide and moved from Los Angeles to New York in order to facilitate her fashion career.
In March 2012, Bynes was stopped and ticketed by police for talking on a cell phone while driving. A month later, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after side-swiping a police car in West Hollywood. On September 4, 2012, Bynes was charged for two alleged hit and run incidents, one occurring in April and the other in August. The hit and run charges were dismissed in December 2012 following a financial settlement between Bynes and the victims.
Bynes' driver's license was suspended on September 6, 2012, by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. On September 16, Bynes was cited for driving with a suspended license, and her car was impounded. In May 2013, Bynes pleaded no contest to the charge, and was sentenced to three years probation. As of July 2013 the charge for driving under the influence was still pending.
On May 23, 2013, Bynes was arrested at her home in Manhattan for criminal possession of marijuana, attempted tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment. According to a prosecutor at Bynes' arraignment, police observed Bynes throwing a bong from the window of her 36th floor apartment. Bynes claimed that the alleged bong was actually a vase. Following her arrest, Bynes underwent a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital before she was processed at the police station. On May 25, Bynes said on Twitter that she had been sexually harassed by the arresting officer: "He slapped my vagina. Sexual harassment. Big deal." The police department has denied the accusation.
On July 22, 2013, Ventura County sheriff's deputies detained Bynes in front of a stranger's house in Thousand Oaks, California, where she had allegedly started a small fire in the driveway, and had her hospitalized under a 72-hour 5150 mental health evaluation hold. Bynes' parents filed for conservatorship of their daughter shortly after her hospitalization began. On August 9, Bynes' mother was granted a temporary conservatorship over Bynes' affairs, including her medical care, as well as control over her finances, after the judge agreed that Bynes had a "lack of capacity to give informed consent to medical care." On September 24, Bynes' lawyer asked for a "1368 Penal Code" hearing to determine Bynes' mental competency. Six days later, Bynes' parents said that upon doctors' recommendation, Bynes was transferred from UCLA Medical Center to receive "specialized treatment in a private facility outside of Los Angeles."
In December 2013, Bynes was released from treatment to her parents, and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles for 2014. She also agreed to seek counseling for the New York marijuana incident.
On February 24, 2014, Bynes has been sentenced to three years of probation.
Lead role; seasons 3-6
Figure It Out
Lead role; seasons 1-4
"Blue's Birthday" (season 2, episode 9)
"Our Past, Our Present, Our Future" (season 4, episode 2)
The Amanda Show
Host / various roles
Double Dare 2000
Along with the cast of The Amanda Show
Season 1, episode 34
The Drew Carey Show
"Drew Carey's Back-to-School Rock 'n' Roll Comedy Hour" Parts 1 & 2 (season 7)
The Nightmare Room
"Don't Forget Me" (season 1, episode 1)
Recurring role; 7 episodes
What I Like About You
"Long John Peter" (season 6, episode 12)
Big Fat Liar
Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure
What a Girl Wants
She's the Man