Amanda Bynes: Snapshot

Amanda Bynes
Date of Birth
April 03, 1986
Birth Place
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
As the funny everygirl on Nickelodeon's sketch comedy series All That and her self-titled spin-off, Amanda Bynes was hailed as a young Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner and Carol Burnett mixed together. But as she blossomed into adolescence, it became apparent that Bynes not only had comedic chops but the leggy looks of a star.

After leaving The Amanda Show in 2002, the California native moved to primetime with Jennie Garth in the WB sitcom What I Like About You. After four successful seasons, Bynes left with a film career on the up. She headlined teen hits What a Girl Wants and She's the Man before playing Penny Lou Pingleton in the blockbuster movie-musical Hairspray and a mean girl in Easy A with Emma Stone.

But 2012 proved to be a difficult year for the actress, who was arrested for DUI twice in three months – possibly the cause of her erratic behavior. She was forcibly hospitalized in July 2013 after setting fire to a woman's driveway in California.

Since being released into her family's care, Bynes seemed to be on the road to recovery, and in March 2014, she enrolled as a student of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. However in the Fall of 2014 her erratic behavior returned, and in October, she was admitted to an L.A. treatment center.

Amanda Bynes: Video

Star Talk

Find out what makes the holidays special for Bynes – and her dog, Midge! – at her PEOPLE shoot. Plus: Get her mom's secret to the ultimate apple pie. (01:38)

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Amanda Bynes: Five Fun Facts

  1. Amanda Bynes grew six inches while on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2002. "We went through seven or eight stunt doubles," she told the New York Times in 2002. "They couldn't keep up."
  2. Ads for What a Girl Wants originally showed Amanda Bynes flashing a peace sign, but to avoid making a political statement during the Iraqi conflict, the ads were changed to show Bynes' hand hooked into her blue jeans.
  3. Amanda Bynes recalled her first bad review by Variety, where the reviewer called her "puffy-faced": "That's rude - my 'puffy face' doesn't have much to do with the movie...I'm still a kid for God's sake!"
  4. For 2006's She's the Man, Amanda Bynes had to wear a wig and padding for up to 12 hours a day to disguise herself as her onscreen twin brother Sebastian.
  5. After being twice listed on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, Amanda Bynes was given the nickname ''99'' by her friends, reflecting her rank on the list in 2005.

Amanda Bynes: Biography


Amanda Bynes

Nickelodeon Discovers Amanda

"When I was 7, I started taking a comedy class for kids at the Comedy Store in Hollywood," Amanda Bynes tells the Los Angeles Times. "Then when I was 9, I went to the Laugh Factory for another comedy class." While taking the class, Bynes – the daughter of Thousand Oaks, Calif. dentist Rick Bynes and his office manager wife Lynn – interviews with the producers of Nickelodeon's All That. She's hired and becomes a breakout star of the hit sketch comedy series.


Amanda Bynes

October 16

Amanda Spins Off

Bynes headlines Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, where she develops such memorable characters as Judge Trudy, a parody of TV's Judge Judy, and Penelope Taynt, a borderline stalker of Amanda Bynes. Albie Hecht, Nickelodeon's film and TV president, says, "She's a little Carol Burnett." By its second season, the show is the most popular in its time slot for 6 to 11-year-olds. "She's one of the blessings I count each day," Hecht says in 2000. "She's funny--and funny is money." For three years, she wins the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite TV Actress.


Amanda Bynes

February 08

Big Fat Feature Debut

Bynes, 15, jumps to the big screen as Frankie Muniz's best friend in Big Fat Liar, which also stars Paul Giamatti and Sandra Oh. The comedy about kids getting revenge on a Hollywood executive who steals the boy's idea for a movie grosses $48 million domestically. "I honestly think there's never been a kid like her," Dan Schneider, who wrote the film and coproduced All That, tells the Los Angeles Times, "because I've never written her a part she couldn't pull off. While Amanda is pretty enough to be the ingenue, she's not afraid to look silly to get a laugh."

Read More on Amanda Bynes' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): nickelodeon;; Kobal Collection/Wireimage

Edited by Julia Wang

Amanda Bynes

Celebrity Central / Top 25 Celebs