Inside Amanda Bynes' Ups and Downs — and Her Recent Return to Rehab
Amanda Bynes started her career on Nickelodeon's All That when she was just 10 years old, and became a prominent player on the kids' show, featuring in sketches like Ask Ashley.
The Amanda Show
Bynes graduated to her own show on the same network when she was 13, gaining fame while starring in her self-titled variety show with costars Drake Bell and Josh Peck (with Nancy Sullivan).
Big Screen Debut
After ending her Nickelodeon series, the actress went on to establish her film career with movies like Big Fat Liar alongside Frankie Muniz. Her role in the hit film led her to other teen favorites like What a Girl Wants and She's the Man.
What I Like About Amanda
Bynes still kept to her TV roots while her film career blossomed, however, starring alongside Jennie Garth on the WB sitcom What I Like About You for four seasons.
Last Acting Role
After a string of successes in movies, Bynes declared on Twitter in June 2010 that she was leaving Hollywood behind. "Being an actress isn't as fun as it may seem," she wrote. "I know 24 is a young age to retire ... I've never written the movies and tv shows I've been a part of. I've only acted like the characters the producers or directors wanted me to play." One month later, she recanted her statement and shared a link to the trailer for her new film, the Emma Stone-led Easy A. It would be her last acting role before her legal troubles began.
On April 6, 2012, Bynes was arrested for driving under the influence after colliding with a police car in L.A. After her release, she continued getting into further accidents, holding up traffic and sideswiping a pickup truck. She was officially charged with a DUI in June and two counts of hit-and-run in September. Her driver's license was soon suspended, but Bynes again got behind the wheel, leading to further charges. When reached by PEOPLE, the actress said, "I am doing amazing … I don't drink, and I don't drink and drive. It is all false." The case was dismissed in 2014 after the actress agreed to stay out of trouble and go to counseling.
Second Arrest and Drug Problems
Responding to a report of a disorderly person, officers arrested Bynes (wearing a wig) at her New York City apartment on May 23, 2013, for reckless endangerment amid reports that she threw a bong out the window. The actress underwent a psychiatric evaluation before being processed at a police station, where she was also charged with marijuana possession and tampering with evidence. "It's all lies," she Tweeted days later, accusing the NYPD of sexual harassment and threatening to sue. "I think Amanda's fine," her lawyer, Richard Hutton, told PEOPLE at the time. "Every time I've talked to her, I've had nice, attorney-client normal relations with her."
Bizarre Behavior, Hospitalization and Conservatorship
On July 22, 2013, the actress was hospitalized on a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold following a bizarre incident in which she was seen near a small fire started at the end of a driveway in Thousand Oaks, California. After a hearing at the hospital, a judge extended her stay for two more weeks, while her parents, Rick and Lynne, applied for and were granted conservatorship on the grounds that she was paranoid and a danger to herself. "Prior to moving to New York, Amanda was extremely paranoid about being 'watched,' including at our residence," her parents wrote in court papers released at the time, adding, "[She] is obsessed with the idea that she and others are 'ugly.' She talks incessantly about cosmetic surgeries that she wants to have completed ... We are concerned that the surgeries she wants to have are dangerous and detrimental to her health."
After her parents were granted conservatorship, the actress was relocated from the hospital where she was on psychiatric hold to a private facility where she stayed until that December. Following her release, Bynes retreated into a low-key life and disappeared off social media, resurfacing occasionally to give updates such as her enrollment in fashion school.
Prepping for a Comeback
As 2018 began, Bynes continued to improve, returning to social media and regaining control of her finances. "The fact that Amanda is living on her own, making her own decisions and future plans is something her parents are so proud of," her family attorney Tamar Arminak told PEOPLE. "Finally she is surrounded by friends and companions she can trust and really open up to. She feels free to be herself, which brings her so much happiness and excitement for the future. She is looking forward to graduating and the next phase of her life."
In November 2018, Bynes covered Paper magazine's annual Break the Internet issue, opening up about her tougher times. She admitted to using marijuana at 16, progressing to "doing molly and ecstasy," she said, adding, "I definitely abused Adderall."
She said seeing herself on screen in Easy A made her decide to quit acting. She started "hanging out with a seedier crowd and I isolated a lot" during her darkest moments, and "got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me," she shared.
Apologizing to those she hurt through her tweets in years past, she also said she was still sober. "I really feel ashamed of how those substances made me act," she said. "When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realized what I had done — it was like an alien had literally invaded my body."
Back to Rehab
A source close to Bynes told PEOPLE in March the actress had checked into a rehab facility in January after having a "relapse." The source added the actress had been struggling again since the end of 2018 when she stepped back into the public eye and began pursuing work in Hollywood again.