Concerns arise about Amanda Bynes: A look back on her career, mental health journey

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Amanda Bynes finally speaks out

Amanda Bynes has given an interview in “Paper” where she talks about being sober after years of depression and drug abuse.


Amanda Bynes was set to appear at 90s Con this weekend. It would have been the child star’s first public appearance since the end of her conservatorship last spring – but she didn’t make it.

Former “All That” cast mate Kel Mitchell addressed her absence at the fan convention celebrating the pop culture of the decade, saying he’s been “praying for her.”

“It’s awesome to see she’s doing better. Which is great. We’re just continuing to pray for her on her journey, and it’s answered prayers that she’s doing a lot better,” Mitchell told Entertainment Tonight.

Bynes, 36, rose to stardom on Nickelodeon before taking on roles in several successful movies in the early 2000s. But in 2010, she took a hiatus from the industry.

“I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it,” she tweeted at the time.

In 2013, Bynes had a public breakdown and was placed on a psychiatric hold. Her mother was then granted a conservatorship over the actress, which remained in place until 2022.

Here’s a look at Bynes’ time in the spotlight, her legal struggles and what’s happened in her public life over the past decade.

Amanda Bynes was a fixture in 1990s, 2000s movies and TV shows

Bynes started acting professionally early in life — she had an agent by the time she was 7, according to an interview with Paper magazine published in 2018. 

The actress, born in 1986, built a long resume, becoming a household name with film and television credits in the 1990s and 2000s. 

While most of her peers might’ve been in middle and high school, Bynes filmed some of her most notable TV roles, including her time on Nickelodeon’s “All That” (1996-2002), The WB’s “What I Like About You” (2002-2006) and her own sketch comedy show called “The Amanda Show,” which she hosted on Nickelodeon between 1999 and 2002 starting at age 13. 

She also starred in films including 2006’s soccer rom-com “She’s the Man” alongside Channing Tatum, father-daughter flick “What a Girl Wants” (2003) and 2007’s movie musical “Hairspray” with Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky. 

Bynes stepped away from the public eye in 2010. Her last movie role was “Easy A” in 2010 and she announced her retirement from the entertainment industry that same year.

Amanda Bynes detailed her struggles in a 2018 interview

In a 2018 profile, Bynes opened up to Paper about her history of substance abuse — at the time, she said been sober for around four years.

The “Sydney White” star wasn’t one for partying during her earlier years in the spotlight, but that changed as time went on.

“I started smoking marijuana when I was 16. Even though everyone thought I was the ‘good girl,’ I did smoke marijuana from that point on.” she told Paper. “I didn’t get addicted (then) and I wasn’t abusing it. And I wasn’t going out and partying or making a fool of myself … yet.”

Then she moved onto other drugs. “Later it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy,” she continued, noting she also tried cocaine but disliked it.

Adderall was another drug she said she abused, acquiring a prescription from a psychiatrist after pretending to have symptoms of attention deficit disorder. At the time, she had read an article about the drug being used to stay skinny, according to Paper.

After “Easy A” came out in 2010, Bynes was upset with how she looked in the film. “I saw it and I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid.”

But without a sense of purpose, Bynes “got really into my drug usage” and “was just stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting.”

Why was Amanda Bynes put under a conservatorship?

Bynes was placed under a conservatorship in 2013 following legal troubles, bouts of bizarre tweets and outlandish public appearances.

A judge granted Bynes’ mother Lynn with a temporary conservatorship to protect the actress and her estate. This came after Bynes was placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold that same year and set a fire in a neighbor’s driveway.

Bynes was accused of multiple hit and runs, and was arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence and in 2013 for reckless endangerment and criminal possession of marijuana, according to a report from Entertainment Weekly. During the 2013 incident, Bynes allegedly tossed a bong out of her window in New York City.

The actress filed a petition in February 2022 to end the conservatorship. At the time, her attorney David A. Esquibias told People: “She believes her condition is improved and protection of the court is no longer necessary.”

The conservatorship was terminated by a judge on March 22, 2022.

Contributing: Edward Segarra, Andrea Mandell

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