The squirrel-cheeked young actress Amanda Bynes rose to fame on Nickelodeon and moved on to the WB network for her teenage years. In 1996, she became a regular cast member on the kid's sketch comedy show All That, which first earned her a growing fan base of adoring admirers. Sticking with Nickelodeon-style broad comedy, she was a panelist on the game show Figure It Out as well as host for the popular variety show The Amanda Show, which won several Kid's Choice awards. After lending her voice to the long-running cartoon Rugrats, Bynes made the big switch from the PG world of Nickelodeon to the PG-13 world of the WB with a part on the short-lived series The Nightmare Room, narrated by author R.L. Stine. The next year she made her feature film debut in the comedy Big Fat Liar as the best friend of fellow young superstar Frankie Muniz. In 2002, she launched the WB sitcom What I Like About You, playing a comedic younger sister who moves into the trendy Upper West Side apartment of her straight-laced older sister (Jennie Garth from Beverly Hills 90210). Widely released one day after her 17th birthday, the romantic comedy What a Girl Wants marked her first major starring role and showcased her Sandra Bullock-style pratfalls as lead Daphne, a girl who goes to England in search of her father (Colin Firth) and finds romance. The undistinguished Just One of the Guys retread She's the Man followed in 2006, a year before she landed a plum supporting role in the big-budget musical remake of Hairspray.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Began her career at age 7 when she acted in a commercial for Nestlé's Buncha Crunch candy.
- As a child, trained at a comedy camp under the tutelage of Arsenio Hall and Richard Pryor.
- Enjoys fashion design and drawing; presented David Letterman with a portrait she had painted of him.
- Nominated for a Cable Ace Award in 1997 and has won several Kids' Choice Awards.
- Launched a clothing line called Dear in 2007 with retailer Steve & Barry's, but the chain's bankruptcy forced the venture to cease the following year.