starred in her first TV commercial at age 7, her own Nickelodeon series at 13 and had her first leading film role in What a Girl Wants
at 17. But, as it is for many celebrated young actors, adulthood has been a challenge. "She went from being this incredible child star to having a tough time transitioning," says a source close to Bynes. "She didn't really know where she fit in."
Now her recent behavior has friends concerned about Bynes, 26. On April 6, driving home from the L.A. hot spot Greystone Manor in her BMW at 3 a.m., Bynes allegedly collided with a police car. Arrested and cited for driving under the influence, Bynes was put in jail and later released pending a court hearing. Her father, Rick, maintains that his daughter wasn't drunk: "She likes to go to clubs to dance, but she isn't a partier." A source at The Standard hotel, where Bynes dined earlier that night, says Bynes had alcohol but "never seemed drunk."
Just before her most recent role in 2010's Easy A
, Bynes tweeted her retirement from acting amid a flurry of odd posts. "Being an actress isn't as fun as it may seem," she wrote. She soon took it back. ("Her mood would change at the drop of a hat," says the source close to her.) "I really just needed some time off," Bynes told PEOPLE in June 2011. Says another source: "She's been a little lost. But she'll find her way."