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Amanda Bynes

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Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes on the Red Carpet (cropped).jpg
Bynes at The Heart's Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, February 2009
Born Amanda Laura Bynes
(1986-04-03) April 3, 1986
Thousand Oaks, California, United States
Occupation Actress, singer, fashion designer
Years active 1993–2010

Amanda Laura Bynes (born April 3, 1986) is an American actress, singer, and fashion designer. Bynes appeared in several successful television series, such as All That and The Amanda Show, on Nickelodeon in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s, and in 2002, she starred in the TV series, What I Like About You. She transitioned to a film career, starring in several films aimed at teenage audiences, including Big Fat Liar (2002) What a Girl Wants (2003), Love Wrecked (2005), She's the Man (2006), Hairspray (2007), Sydney White (2007) and Easy A (2010). She was named one of Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" in 2006.

Early life

Bynes was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California (part of the Greater Los Angeles Area), the youngest of three children of Lynn ( née Organ), a dental assistant and office manager, and Rick Bynes, a dentist who also practiced stand-up comedy. Bynes has two older siblings, Tommy (born 1973), a chiropractor, and Jillian (born 1983), who has a B.A. in History from UCLA and has also acted. Bynes' ancestors immigrated from Ireland, Poland, Russia, and Romania, and her maternal grandparents are from Toronto, Ontario. Her father is Catholic and her mother is Jewish. Bynes has described herself as Jewish; regarding her religious beliefs, Bynes has 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."



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.

Head shot of a smiling Bynes, a camera and people in the background.
Bynes at the premiere of Robots, March 2005

In 2006, Bynes starred in She's the Man, a comedy based on William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Bynes appeared in another romantic comedy, Lovewrecked, 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 portrays Penny Pingleton in Hairspray. Bynes next starred in another comedy, Sydney White, released on September 21, 2007.

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 inked 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.

In June 2010, 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.


In 2007, 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 completely in January 2009.

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."

Personal life

Bynes started out at University Elementary, and later graduated from Thousand Oaks High School's independent study program (though she attended La Reina High School, a private Catholic school in Thousand Oaks for some time). She has expressed a desire to attend New York University in the near future. She briefly moved into an apartment in Hollywood, but has since returned to her family home in Thousand Oaks. Bynes is interested in drawing and fashion design, having commented that she is "the girl whose biggest nightmare would be to lose my makeup bag while traveling."

In 2007, Bynes spoke out against becoming another wild Hollywood star: "I think I’ll go out as much as I’ve ever gone out... which is not a lot. I like to dance and stuff, but drinking isn’t good for you in any way. It’s not good for your skin; it makes you feel horrible. So, drinking-wise, no". She restated these ideas in interviews throughout the summer of 2007, telling Access Hollywood: "I like being with my family and friends, and I don't need to be out at the clubs." In an interview in December 2007, Bynes described how her parents taught her about alcohol.

Bynes has since stated that she is "reevaluating" how to spend her social time. In the January 2009 issue of Cosmopolitan, she stated: "I used to be known as the girl who was anti the club scene. But I'm finding a balance. I can have a drink and dance if I want. You have to go out to meet people and guys. I'm in that phase where I just want to have fun."

According to reports, Bynes has permanently moved from Los Angeles to New York to begin her fashion career.

Legal problems

On March 7, 2012, Bynes was stopped by Los Angeles police for talking on her cell phone while driving. On April 6, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after side-swiping a police car in West Hollywood at 3 a.m. Her bail was set at US$5,000, but she was released the next morning without being required to post bail. On June 5, Bynes was officially charged with driving under the influence. On September 4, Bynes was charged with hit-and-run related to leaving the scene of two separate accidents, one on April 10 and another on August 4, without providing proper information.

On September 6, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California suspended Bynes' driver's license. DMV officials did not state a reason or when the suspension took effect. On September 16, Bynes had her black BMW officially impounded after driving with a suspended license and on September 21, she was officially charged with driving with a suspended license On September 27, she pled not guilty to two charges of hit-and-run with her court date set for December 17.

On December 14, 2012, it was announced that Bynes had reached a settlement with the other parties in the alleged hit-and-run incidents from April and August and that the charges were dismissed.


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Big Fat Liar Kaylee
2003 Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure Nellie Voice; Direct-to-video
2003 What a Girl Wants Daphne Reynolds
2005 Robots Piper Pinwheeler Voice
2005 Lovewrecked Jenny Taylor
2006 She's the Man Viola Hastings
2007 Hairspray Penny Pingleton
2007 Sydney White Sydney White
2010 Easy A Marianne Bryant
Year Title Role Notes
All That Various roles Lead role; seasons 2– 6
1997–99 Figure It Out Panelist Lead role; seasons 1–4
1998 Blue's Clues Herself "Blue's Birthday" (season 2, episode 9)
1999 Arli$$ Crystal Dupree "Our Past, Our Present, Our Future" (season 4, episode 2)
The Amanda Show Host / various roles Lead role
2000 Crashbox Pink Robot Season 1, episode 34
2001 The Drew Carey Show Sketch player "Drew Carey's Back-to-School Rock 'n' Roll Comedy Hour" Parts 1&2 (season 7, episodes 1&2)
2001 The Nightmare Room Danielle Warner "Don't Forget Me" (season 1, episode 1)
2001–03 Rugrats Taffy (voice) Recurring role; 7 episodes
2002–06 What I Like About You Holly Tyler Lead role
2008 Family Guy Anna " Long John Peter" (season 6, episode 12)
2008 Living Proof Jamie Lifetime movie
2009 Canned Sarabeth


Soundtrack albums

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
(with Cast of Hairspray)
  • Released: July 10, 2007
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: New Line / Warner Music
2 5 71 48 2 34 61 7 62 46
  • US: 1,200,000
  • RIAA: Platinum
"—" denotes releases that didn't chart or weren't released in that country.


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"You Can't Stop the Beat"
(with Cast of Hairspray)
2007 88 57 55 Hairspray
"Without Love"
(with Cast of Hairspray)
"—" denotes releases that didn't chart or weren't released in that country.

Awards and nominations

Bynes won Blimp awards at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards four years in a row, from 2000 to 2003 for Favorite Television Actress in 2000 for All That, Favorite Television Actress in 2001 to 2003 for The Amanda Show as well as the following year (A Record Tied with Selena Gomez). In 2003 she also received the award for Favorite Movie Actress for Big Fat Liar and won another award in 2004 for Favorite Movie Actress for What a Girl Wants. Bynes also was a part of the Hairspray ensemble win at the 2008 Critics' Choice Awards.

Year Result Award Category Nominated work
2000 Won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actress All That
Won Favorite Television Actress The Amanda Show
Nominated Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Actress
Nominated YoungStar Awards Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series
2001 Won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actress The Amanda Show
Nominated Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Actress
2002 Won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actress The Amanda Show
Nominated Teen Choice Awards Film: Choice Chemistry Big Fat Liar
2003 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy What I Like About You
Nominated Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film: Leading Young Actress Big Fat Liar
Won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress
Won Favorite Television Actress The Amanda Show
2004 Nominated Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama): Leading Young Actress What I Like About You
Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy
Won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress What a Girl Wants
2005 Nominated Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Star What I Like About You
Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy
2006 Nominated Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards teen favorite Favorite Movie Star She's The Man
Nominated Teen Choice Awards Movies: Choice Liplock
2007 Won Hollywood Film Festival Ensemble of the Year Hairspray
2008 Won Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble Hairspray
Won Palm Springs International Film Festival Ensemble Cast Award
Nominated Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2011 Nominated MTV Movie Awards Best Line From a Movie Easy A
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