Back in the 2000s, Amanda Bynes was one of America’s most famous faces. She shot to fame as an early Nickelodeon teen star and quickly transitioned into a successful (and lucrative) film career. But by the early ‘10s, the young actress began to crash and burn. Her erratic behavior made headlines and she suffered a very public mental health breakdown. That lead to Amanda Bynes’ conservatorship, which was enacted back in 2013 and continues to make headlines today. Here’s an inside look at the star’s rise and fall—and the money she lost as a result.
The History Of Her Whirlwind Career
Born in Thousand Oaks, California, on April 3, 1986, Bynes started her professional career at the tender age of seven. She booked commercials and worked on stage until 1996 when she was discovered by a talent scout for Nickelodeon. Bynes was cast in a sketch show for the network called All That, which ran until 2000 and earned the young actress tons of recognition. She then starred in the show’s spin-off, The Amanda Show, which became even more popular than its predecessor.
After two years fronting The Amanda Show, Bynes starred in her first feature film, the 2002 hit Big Fat Liar. The movie was a big box office success and elevated her celebrity status even further. Over the next four years, she starred alongside Jennie Garth in the popular WB sitcom, What I Like About You, while also appearing in high-profile movies such as What a Girl Wants, and She’s the Man.
Bynes had her biggest box office hit in the 2007 musical comedy Hairspray, which won her a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The young star was thrilled to land the coveted role and work alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.
“This was the type of movie I want to be in which is a movie with the heavy hitters and the veterans who I hope to, one day, be like,” Bynes said in a 2007 interview with Collider. “So, for me, I just wanted to do my best. I was game every day to just be the best Penny I could be. And, a lot of times, when I do a role, I think, ‘what if someone else was playing this role?’ and, if I was watching it, ‘how would I do it better?’”
Riding high on her success in TV and film, Bynes launched a clothing and accessory line called Dear in 2007. But by 2009, her acting roles were becoming fewer and farther between. She dropped out of a number of scheduled projects, and after appearing in the Emma Stone hit Easy A in 2010, Bynes announced in a Tweet that she was quitting acting. “Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem,” she wrote. “If I don’t love something anymore, I stop doing it. I don’t love acting anymore, so I’ve stopped doing it. I know 24 is a young age to retire, but you heard it here first.”
Bynes was serious about her assertion, despite the fact that she recanted her statement a month later. To date, the now 35-year-old celeb has not appeared in a movie or TV show since 2010.
Her Infamous Conservatorship
A couple of years after her 2010 Tweets, Bynes’ personal life began to unravel. She was charged with a DUI in April of 2012, then found herself facing two counts of hit and run in September of the same year. The She’s The Man star was also pulled over for driving with a suspended license, which had been revoked as a result of her hit-and-run charges. Rumors about the star’s troublesome behavior began to circulate, including reports that she had stopped talking to her management teams and as a result, had been dropped by her agent, publicist, and lawyer.
In May of 2013, Bynes found herself in trouble with the law once again when she was charged with reckless endangerment and marijuana possession. Later that year, she was involuntarily hospitalized under a 72-hour mental health hold. At this point, in an effort to help their daughter get her life under control, Bynes’ parents filed for a temporary conservatorship.
According to 2013 court documents obtained by TMZ, Bynes’ parents were extremely concerned about their daughter’s spending habits. They alleged she dropped more than $200,000 in less than two months and believed much of it was going toward the purchase of marijuana and other illegal substances. Bynes’ parents also expressed deep concern for their daughter’s mental health, saying she had become “extremely paranoid about being watched” and believed she had become homeless.
In 2014, Bynes’ mother was granted full legal conservatorship of her daughter, and in September 2021, The Blast reported it was extended by the court until at least March 2023. This report was later refuted by Bynes’ lawyer, who clarified to People that the arrangement is “open day to day,” and that the former actress is simply due for a health status update in 2023. “Her conservatorship will terminate when it is no longer convenient for Amanda,” her lawyer added.
Perhaps Bynes was inspired by the success of the #FreeBritney movement because five months after the conservatorship was extended, she made it clear that she no longer wants to have it. In February 2022, she filed to end the conservatorship because she “believes her condition is improved and protection of the court is no longer necessary.”
We’re happy to report that in March 2022, Bynes’s conservatorship was officially terminated by a judge, nine years after it was instated. Her parents fully supported the decision after slowly working towards this goal.
NBC reported the court agreed to the petition after Bynes confirmed that she, “has consistently tested negative for illicit substances, has managed her mental health and that her psychiatrist has asserted she has the “capacity to give informed consent to any form of medical treatment.”
Amanda Bynes’ Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Amanda Bynes’ current net worth is $6 million. Her fortune was greatly affected by her struggles and the star spent a substantial amount of money before her conservatorship was put into place. She also hasn’t taken on a film or TV project in more than a decade, and her clothing and accessories line has long since folded. And while Bynes did drop a rap song on her YouTube channel earlier this year called “Diamonds,” it doesn’t appear this is anything more than a fun hobby.
As much as the conservatorship helped to curb Bynes’ overspending during troubled times, it also appears responsible for draining some of the Nickelodeon star’s funds. In a 2020 Instagram video, Bynes spoke up about some of the hefty expenses mandated by the arrangement. “Today I want to talk about a controversial topic: my conservatorship case,” she said. “I have been going to a treatment center that charges $5,200 a month. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t go to a therapist who takes my insurance for $5,000 less a month. This is why I’ve asked to see the judge next week regarding this conservatorship issue.”
It appears Bynes is making positive strides. Her lawyer told People, while clarifying her conservatorship terms, that she is hard in work at school at California’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. He mentioned she is looking into fragrances, as well as a possible clothing line. In her free time, he noted Bynes enjoys meditation and taking cycling classes. We hope Bynes enjoys her newfound freedom!