Amanda Bynes seemed to have it all when she first came onto the scene. She was pretty, she was accessible, and she was clearly a talented actress. Bynes quickly established herself with well-received films such as Hairspray and Easy A. But suddenly her behavior started to change. She posted bizarre things on social media. The arrests and the accusations started to mount up. And the media presented the results as a joke – just another child star gone off the rails, they said. But they had it all terribly, terribly wrong.
Amanda Bynes started acting aged just seven, doing TV advertisements and stage work. Her big break came in 1994 when she was cast in the Nickelodeon show All That, a sketch comedy that soon became wildly popular. After that she joined the game show Figure It Out and then her own comedy series. Aged just 13, she was the star of The Amanda Show.
The Amanda Show was another huge hit, and it propelled its leading lady ever further into the spotlight. In 2002 she won her first lead role in a movie, the teen comedy Big Far Liar. Network executives sung her praises as well. In a 2002 New York Times article titled “A Proud Product of the Nick Pipeline,” All That co-creator Dan Schneider happily described Amanda Bynes as “clean-cut and wholesome.”