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Where Is Amanda Bynes Now?

For many on the outside, celebrity — and the trappings such fame holds — seems idyllic. The fashion, the parties, and of course, the money tease and tantalize those of us in the "civilian" world, often making us yearn for a spotlight we have little hope of stepping into. But even the briefest look at Hollywood history reveals the truth of the old adage "Money can't buy happiness." Each generation of celebrities has its cautionary tales, examples that expose the harsh realities of immense success. Unfortunately, those examples often come in the form of child stars whose early fame ended in tragedy.

In the mid-1990s, Amanda Bynes joined the cast of Nickelodeon's "All That" and became a child star on the rise. However, a little more than a decade after headlines trumpeted her talent and bright future, Bynes became a near-constant feature in tabloids due to her personal struggles and public breakdowns. As it's been some time since Bynes was in the headlines or the tabloids, many fans wonder what she's up to today.

Bynes was a child star

Born in 1986, Amanda Bynes began her professional career in acting in commercials when she was just 7 years old. Three years later, she joined the cast of Nickelodeon's sketchy comedy series "All That" (per Us Magazine). Bynes quickly became a standout among fans, which led to receiving her own spin-off series called, "The Amanda Show." During the three seasons of the show, Bynes earned significant critical praise, including four Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Television Actress according to IMDb. After "The Amanda Show" wrapped in 2002, Bynes began her film career, starring opposite fellow child star Frankie Muniz in "Big Fat Liar," followed by "What a Girl Wants" in 2003 (via IMDb).

While making and promoting those films, Bynes was also a lead on The WB's "What I Like About You," playing Holly Tyler, the younger sister of Jennie Garth's Val Tyler. The series ran for four years, ending in 2006. Both Bynes and the show earned multiple Teen Choice Awards. The actor closed out the 2000s with a starring role in the film "Hairspray," and began the 2010s playing Marianne Bryant in "Easy A." In June 2010, shortly before the release of "Easy A," Bynes took to Twitter to announce her retirement. She cited a loss of love for the craft as the reason for her early exit from the spotlight (via The Wrap). A month later, Bynes reversed her decision, again using Twitter for the announcement before deleting her feed (via Entertainment Weekly).

She faced legal troubles and mental health issues

On April 6, 2012, news broke that Amanda Bynes had been arrested for driving under the influence (via E!). That story would be followed by another on April 10, claiming Bynes was involved in a hit-and-run accident. Bynes was charged with a second hit-and-run in August of 2012, as well as driving with a suspended license in September. In mid-2013, Bynes was arrested again, this time in New York on charges of reckless endangerment and marijuana possession (via NBC New York). Two months later, Bynes was placed on a psychiatric hold after starting a fire in the driveway of a neighbor's home (via LA Times). 

Also in 2013, Bynes used Twitter to initiate feuds with Courtney Love, Perez Hilton, and Jenny McCarthy (via EW). In 2014, she used the platform to publicly accuse her father of physical, emotional, and sexual assault; she would later recant those claims, claiming a microchip implanted in her brain caused her to make the accusations (via Complex). Bynes closed out the year by announcing she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and manic depression (via E!).

Amanda Bynes is newly sober and working on a degree

Amanda Bynes remained relatively quiet for several years after the chaotic period of 2012-2014. She sat for an interview with Paper in 2018, during which she apologized for her past behavior. She also stated that she'd been sober for four years. As she began her road to recovery, Bynes enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, earning her associate's degree in 2019 and entering another degree program at the school (via People). In the Paper interview, Bynes expressed interest in returning to acting. In 2019, Bynes returned to rehab after an apparent relapse (via People).

Recently, the former actor has been active on Instagram, where Bynes revealed a heart tattoo on her face and a septum piercing, as well as news of her engagement to Paul Michael. The couple also shared news of a pregnancy, though her lawyer announced two months later that the actor was not pregnant (via People). In April 2021, her lawyer also spoke with People ahead of Bynes' 35th birthday, telling the magazine that she was doing well and currently "lives by the beach, attends school and is enjoying meditation and Soul Cycle classes."