Amanda Bynes, the child star least likely to succumb to a dark, downward spiral, has been slowly disintegrating, much to our dismay, horror and (unfortunately) morbid curiosity. We’ve been watching Amanda Bynes self-destruct like a car crash happening in slow motion, over and over again. What exactly happened? Did Amanda crumble under the pressures of Hollywood? Did she lose herself among crowds of evil-doers? Did someone just inject her with crazy one night? Is this all a publicity stunt craftily designed in order to revitalize her career?
Amanda Bynes, as normal as she originally seemed, fits the stereotype. She started acting at a really young age and then hit a plateau. She probably lost a lot of attention, so she started rebelling in her own way and maybe experiencing things she couldn’t before. She never had a real education, so her options to do anything else were limited; she was suddenly given a lot of freedom and the combination of freedom and money is totally dangerous. In approximately one year, Bynes managed to go from beloved former child/teen actress to fizzled out mess.
But before Bynes went off the deep end with a variety of scandalous behavior, she was the up-and-coming young actress that had a squeaky clean image. Bynes emerged as a bankable young actress after appearances on two different hit Nickelodeon shows and then striking gold on her own show on the WB network. It was clear that Bynes was headed for an undeniable path of success. But then she hit a massive wall. Her squeaky-clean image went south and her partying ways got worse. The advent of social media exploded with Bynes rise to success and chronicled all of her issues every step of the way. Bynes even participated in her own downfall. Let’s look at the rise and fall of Amanda Bynes, a once aspiring young actress who has become a not-so-hot mess. This is 15 Photos of Amanda Bynes Before She Went Crazy.
15. Baby Steps
Before Amanda took this sexy picture and was labeled the next “big thing,” she had to take her first baby steps in acting. After appearing in a commercial spot, she set her sights on broadening her craft. She did what many kids who are aspiring actors do, they sign up for roles in play productions. Amanda was always an extremely personable and outgoing kid, so jumping into acting was a natural progression. She appeared in a variety of productions, starring in most. She was in Annie, The Secret Garden, The Music Man and The Sound of Music. Amanda had a natural gift to deliver the lines and perform in front of audiences. She used her experiences in play production to go and seek out bigger and better things and began to audition for commercial and television roles.
14. The Girl From T.O.
Thousand Oaks, California is a beautiful city that rests just north of the San Fernando Valley. The area is clean and beautiful, part of Ventura County. It’s about a thirty minute drive to Zuma Beach and just under 2 hours to Santa Barbara. The area is gorgeous and it is where Amanda Laura Bynes was born. Bynes is the youngest of three, her parents a very normal family. Her mother was working for her father as a dental assistant as he drilled away (on patients that is…and probably her mother too). By the age of 7 Bynes knew she wanted to perform and attended a comedy camp and then landed a spot for a commercial. The commercial spot was for Buncha Crunch candies and Bynes knew exactly what she wanted to do. She had a taste for acting and that became her focus.
13. Nickelodeon Calls
Amanda’s beautiful smile and hazel eyes were big selling points as an aspiring actress. She had that “girl next door” kind of appear while at the same time sporting a beautify and elegance that further sold her appeal. As a pre-teen and early teenager Bynes took stabs at Hollywood and she got her ticket punched by Nickelodeon. Although she was jumping into a show that was already heading into its third season, All That, Bynes had the kind of impact that the producers at Nickelodeon loved. They saw a great deal of potential in Bynes who had a lead role in the series from seasons 3-6. Bynes was the beneficiary of the departure of regular cast member Angelique Bates, whose contract was not renewed on the show. Bynes gave the show a much-needed shot-in-the-arm and helped extend the life of the show.
12. Nick Success
Amanda Bynes arrived on the Nickelodeon hit show All That in 1996 and her impact was immediately felt. She impressed the audience as well as the Nickelodeon creative heads. Her character is “annoying, sweet and perky,” and hit a homerun. At the same time of All That, the Nickelodeon heads got Bynes involved in the show, Figure It Out. Amanda Bynes was a regular panelist on the children’s game show. Bynes outgrew the sketch comedy by season 6 and the game show ran out of steam. But that wasn’t a problem for Bynes as Nickelodeon had bigger things in mind for her. Bynes was about to become a star.
11. Amanda Makes Her Own Waves
By the time 1999 had arrived, a 13-year-old Amanda Bynes already was featured on two different Nickelodeon shows and was rolling toward success. The braintrust at Nick knew they had something special in Bynes and positioned her for a leading role in her own series. The series would be called The Amanda Show, a clear signal that Bynes had indeed arrived. The sketch comedy show aired from 1999-2002. The show was created by super-kids-show-producer Dan Schneider and lasted a total of 3 seasons. The show was a spin-off of Schneider’s hit series All That and took Bynes’s character and made her the centerpiece. Toward the end of the series, Bynes would look to conquer the next big hurdle for an actress; a transition to the big screen.
10. Amanda on the Big Screen
Amanda Bynes primed for the red carpet treatment. She was coming off a successful run on Nickelodeon, clearly a darling for the small screen audience. She was pushing toward her mid-teens, a beautiful young girl ready for the leap to movie stardom. Amanda Bynes had a clear following of fans and producers of the film Big Fat Liar (2002) wanted to take her fan base and merge it with another young teen star, Frankie Muniz. The combination of two successful young television actors proved to be a hit as the small budgeted $15 million project brought in $53 million at the box office. The film garnered the exact attention Bynes wanted. She proved she was trustworthy as a box office entity and delivered her young fan base. The film also netted Bynes and Muniz some fun awards from: Blimp, Teen Choice and the Young Artist Awards. The gist was, the movie was a success both financially and for Bynes’s career.
9. What I Like About You
A confident Bynes headed into 2002 with a successful movie and three leading roles in television series, one of which carried her own name. She was officially becoming a headliner and the WB threw money at her to star in a new series with former Beverly Hill 90210 alum, Jennie Garth. The show was called What I Like About You. It premiered in 2002 and kept Bynes on a very successful run of work. At just 16, Bynes was becoming a serious player in Hollywood and had a growing fan base. The series would last for 4 seasons and run from 2002-2006 with positive reviews. A run of 86 episodes had the show as an anchor for WB’s Friday Night Comedy Line-up. The show landed Bynes a plethora of Teen Choice nominations. If there was any doubting Amanda Bynes and her draw, What I Like About you further cemented her place as a big success.
8. The Sex Symbol
As Amanda Bynes grew in popularity, so did her image begin to blossom. Her career began when the Internet wasn’t crazy-popular yet. But by the time Bynes arrived on What I Like About You, social media was starting to expand and the Internet was growing like wildfire. 1999 featured the spreading of Napster and the colossal attention given to the Internet. With each passing year, Bynes grew in popularity and by 2006, Napster was long gone, but the Internet was flourishing with Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006) and Amanda Bynes was growing with it. Her sexuality began to play a role in her popularity. Her beauty and sex appeal was obvious and as the show What I Like About You came to an end, Bynes was 20 and had the world at her feet.
7. Spreading Wings
Amanda was getting very comfortable with her figure in 2006. A lot of photo shoots began to show the former Nickelodeon star spreading her wings and flourishing like a beautiful butterfly. She began to expand her resume and once again jumped onto the big screen. Bynes had a string of films come out that either featured or co-starred her. She’s the Man, Hairspray, Sydney White, Living Proof and Easy A all laid the groundwork for what seemed like the perfect career moves for the young actress. It appeared as though Bynes had the world before her. She had signed a 2009 movie deal with Screen Gems to appear in two films. The first was Easy A in 2010. The next film was set to star Bynes, a sequel to the hit Hairspray. However, Hairspray 2 got cancelled. In addition, Bynes was set to star in the comedy Hall Pass but she dropped out and was replaced by Alexandra Daddario. This series of setbacks led to a change in Bynes; a change to the darker side.
6. Amanda’s Focus Changes
With Amanda Bynes turning 24, there were clear changes ahead of her. She wanted to expose more parts of her body and this came just in time for the social media explosion. Instagram was right around the corner but that didn’t matter to Bynes. She used Twitter as a great asset. Bynes was posting updates and just getting her feet wet along with many other up-and-coming young women looking to promote themselves. Nothing was more obvious that Amanda Bynes was changing when her 2010 Maxim photo spread arrived. In fact, multiple sexy photos from this article originate from Amanda’s shoot. It was her change in tone and mentality that caught everyone off guard. There was the shoot that featured her half-naked. Shortly after the spread, Bynes announced she was retiring from acting; a shocking revelation for such a young actress with so much success ahead of her.
5. Uncertainty Arrives
Just as Amanda was as beautiful as ever, her mental make-up starting to fray before the public’s eyes. At the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, Amanda Bynes contradicted herself by claiming she wasn’t retiring. She told People Magazine that she just needed to take some time off. The quick turn-around in focus caused numerous questions to arise. This flip-flop of mentality was a sign of things to come. And that’s when 2012 arrived. Amanda Bynes first run-in with the police was a ticket delivered by a street officer for talking on a cell phone while driving. This didn’t seem like a big deal at first, but a month later Bynes had another run-in with the police and this time it was a DUI. She was arrested and charged with a DUI due to her erratic driving. It probably didn’t help that she actually sideswiped the officer with her car prompting the police to chase her down and find her drunk at the wheel.
4. The Start of the Spiral
Do you think someone could rip up a lottery ticket up and just throw it in the trash? It’s a strange question and one that highlights the epic failure of Amanda Bynes and her sinking career. 2012 marked a wide variety of issues that arrived at the doorstep of Amanda Bynes. After stepping away from Hollywood for a moment, Bynes started to seek out another career to conquer, the fashion industry. It is a fair train of thought for someone who wanted to perhaps own her own clothing line and broaden her career. Bynes doubled-down on her police incident in 2012. After sideswiping a police vehicle she was charged with two additional hit and run incidents. It was clear that something was going on with Bynes. Things were about to get much worse.
3. Rock Bottom???
Amanda can take a good photo. However, in 2013, Bynes was in and out of court and dealing with the police on a regular basis. It’s as if she and another child star, Lindsay Lohan, were in competition to see who could be a bigger epic disaster. Bynes had her driver license suspended, and naturally, got in trouble for diving with a suspended license as well for good measure. But the biggest arrest came on May 23, 2013 when Bynes was arrested in her Manhattan, New York home. The official arrest order found Bynes guilty of possession of marijuana, attempting to tamper with evidence and reckless endangerment. Bynes hurled a bong from her 36th floor apartment. If that sounds crazy, wait until her next arrest. Just two months later, Bynes was arrested on the west coast this time, back in her home town of Thousand Oaks, California, for starting a small fire in the driveway that got her a 72-hour mental health evaluation hold.
2. Rock Bottom Part II
For all of Amanda Bynes’ sexiness, she mentally was falling apart. Her success started to seem like a thing of the past. Her present was marred with extreme mental issues and alcohol and drug use. The combination led to Amanda Bynes having a breakdown. She started to post selfies of herself with little to no clothing on. Bynes also was pictured smoking joints on the streets of New York. A reporter was in her apartment for an interview and leaked that there was drug paraphernalia everywhere, including cocaine. He also said that Bynes was high and doing coke in his presence. The entire situation was a sad state of affairs and prompted Amanda Bynes’s mother to step in and get control of her daughter and her money. Bynes was ruled unstable and lacked the capacity to manage her own life. She was admitted to UCLA Medical Center to receive “specialized treatment.”
1. The Bottom Gets Deeper
This lasting image of Amanda Bynes at the top of her game will be the last of its kind. She was a star-in-the-making. She was successful in so many ways. She had made lasting impressions on both the small and big screens. But after her UCLA Medical Center stay, she was released to her parents and less than a year later had another DUI to add to her growing rapsheet. She was once again hospitalized, this time in Pasadena, California. She had to be placed on a psychiatric hold due to Twitter accusations she made that her father sexually abused her as a child. Then came the accusation that a microchip had been placed in her brain that forced her to make those false claims. Instead of Bynes getting the help she needed, she bolted the facility a week later. Amanda Bynes started to represent a homeless witch with crazy bleach blonde white hair that went in all kinds of directions.
The drug use combined with the images she posted online of herself wasted and naked were all concerning. We thought Amanda Bynes would circle the drain for good. But more recently, she has seemingly done less posting on the Internet and instead, refocused on fashion. One thing is for certain, Bynes is not going to be jumping back into Hollywood anytime soon, but a healthier (and seemingly happier) Bynes just may emerge as a fashion mogul. TBD. We do, however, miss the beautiful and happy version of Bynes, so we are definitely rooting for her success no matter what field she dives into!