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Amanda Laura Bynes (born April 3, 1986) is an American actress, fashion designer, and singer. 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 She's the Man (2006) and Hairspray (2007).
Bynes was named one of Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" in 2006, and in 2007, Forbes listed her as the fifth highest paid celebrity under 21, with earnings of $2.5 million. In 2010, Bynes announced her retirement from acting. After one month, Bynes announced she had "unretired".
Bynes was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California, the daughter 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 1974), a chiropractor, and Jillian (born 1983), who has a B.A. in History from UCLA and has also acted. Bynes' maternal grandparents are from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and her ancestors immigrated from Ireland, Poland, Russia and Romania. Her father is Catholic and her mother is Jewish; Bynes has described herself as Jewish, and has also stated "I haven't decided yet [on a religion]. I don't know yet exactly what I believe".
In 1993, Bynes attended a comedy camp, with guest-instructors including Arsenio Hall and Richard Pryor, 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. After taking acting classes, Bynes became a regular cast member of Nickelodeon's Figure It Out and All That (both in 1996). Bynes remained a regular cast member on All That until its presumed cancellation in 2000, though she appeared in the sketches since shooting and preparing as the star of her own sketch show The Amanda Show, also on Nickelodeon. The Amanda Show features a combination of comical skits and sketches, including Amanda Bynes playing Judge Trudy, a judge based on Judge Judy that always rules in kids' favor, and Penelope Taynt, an Amanda-obsessed fan.
Bynes made her film debut in 2002's modest box office success, Big Fat Liar, where she starred opposite Frankie Muniz. Her first solo leading role was in 2003's What a Girl Wants as Daphne Reynolds, co-starring with Colin Firth, Oliver James and Kelly Preston. Subsequently, Bynes starred in The WB Television Network's sitcom What I Like About You and had voice parts in 2003's Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure and 2005's CGI animated comedy, Robots. She also co-starred in an episode of The Nightmare Room as Danielle Warner, and in Arliss as Crystal Dupree. Bynes appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair's July 2003 edition with nine of Hollywood's other female young stars, including Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Alexis Bledel, Raven-Symoné, Evan Rachel Wood, the Olsen Twins, and Mandy Moore. Although she is often compared with them, Bynes has said that "It's like being the hot girl at the high school party. I was never that girl. I grew up with terrible acne and feeling insecure. I was tall and skinny. I didn't feel pretty at all, and guys didn't even like me. That's why I got into comedy." Bynes has also said that her relatability to teenage audiences may stem from the fact that she is "more similar to them than some... socialite or whatever".
In 2006, Bynes starred in She's the Man, a comedy based on William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; in the film, Bynes disguises herself as her brother in order to join the boys' soccer team due to the fall of the girls' team. Producers had originally wanted to cast singer Jesse McCartney as Bynes' brother, noting a physical resemblance between McCartney and Bynes disguised as a boy, but McCartney was unavailable. James Kirk plays her brother in the film. Around the time of the film's release, Bynes commented that she would like to start appearing in more mature roles, and believes that she is still developing her acting skills and maturing as an actress, saying that she is "getting better" with each role. 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, a film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. The movie, which was her first musical role, began filming in Toronto in September 2006 and was released on July 20, 2007. Bynes has stated that she enjoyed appearing in a "fun, quirky part in a big ensemble movie". Bynes next starred in another comedy, Sydney White, released on September 21, 2007. The film is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with Bynes playing a freshman in the college Greek system, co-starring alongside Sara Paxton and Matt Long.
In 2008, Bynes appeared in the Lifetime Television movie Living Proof as the student assistant of Harry Connick, Jr.'s character, who creates the Herceptin drug for breast cancer. In April 2009, Bynes filmed a pilot for an ABC sitcom titled Canned, but the series failed to make the network's fall lineup. Bynes was also originally set to appear as the female lead in the 2009 comedy Post Grad, and was replaced by Alexis Bledel.
In June 2009, Bynes inked a two picture deal with Screen Gems. The first of the two movies is 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 big screen sequel to Hairspray. However, Hairspray 2 was cancelled. On June 19, 2010, Bynes announced on her Twitter that she has decided to retire from her acting career, because she no longer enjoys it as much as she once did. Her last film to be released was to be Easy A. On July, 23 Bynes announced via Twitter that she "unretired".
In 2007, Bynes signed a five-year deal with Steve & Barry's (which had been expanding its product offerings outside of its traditional university apparel and sweatshirts) to create her own fashion line, Dear, consisting of apparel and accessories. The line launched in stores August 16, 2007. The clothing line was cut short when Steve & Barry's filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and went out of business completely in January 2009.
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 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, California, 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 every 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."
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."
Bynes won Blimp awards at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards five years in a row, from 2000 to 2004 for Favorite Television Actress in 2001 for All That, Favorite Television Actress in 2002 for The Amanda Show as well as the following year. 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.
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