Born on April 3, 1986 in Thousand Oaks, California, Amanda Laura Bynes is the youngest child of Richard and Lynn Bynes. Together with her older siblings, Tommy and Jillian, she had been encouraged to perform at a very young age by her father, who is also an amateur stand-up comedian. As a result, little Amanda grew up with the intention of becoming a professional actress. She then was involved in the community theater productions of "The Secret Garden," "To Kill A Mockingbird," and "The Music Man." Realizing his daughter's talent, Richard Bynes thus supported her to enter comedy schools namely The Comedy Store and Laugh Factory in order to develop her skills. By the age of 10, Amanda was selected to perform at a kids' stand-up comedy showcase held by Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. She exhibited her aptitude brilliantly and impressed the audience, including Brian Robbins and Dan Schneider. "She was just on fire," Schneider commented. "She was great. She had this natural charisma on stage. You know, she was the size of an avocado, but she was hysterical, and she just totally won over the audience." These renowned producers immediately signed her to join the cast of Nickelodeon's variety comedy show, "All That," which has been aired from 1994. Well known for her wonderful performances in the skits of "Ashley Ask" and "Whatever Girls," she gained admiration as well as huge fans.
After showing up in "All That" for three years, Amanda was terribly surprised as Nickelodeon offered her to have her own variety sketch show in 1999. "The first time I got the script, it said The Amanda Show on it," she recalled. "I thought they were kidding. I'm still little Amanda, and to be getting my own show, it's like, oh, my gosh!" Surely it was such a great leap in her career, leading the 13-years-old girl to be the youngest host of a variety show. "The Amanda Show" instantly soared to popularity and was one of the most favorite Nickelodeon's TV programs. She still appeared in "All That" though, being the regular performer until 2000.
Reaching fame and success through "The Amanda Show," she was compared to the famous comedy artists, like Lucille Ball and Tracey Ullman. This merely gave her more chances to prove herself worthy of the praise. Previously had been the guest panelist in "Figure It Out" (1997-2000), she made a guest appearance in "The Drew Carey Show" in 2001, then ventured into the big screen by starring in "The Big Fat Liar" alongside Frankie Muniz in 2002. In the same year, she also ended her show, looking for another opportunity to maintain her career. Shortly thereafter, she had secured a role in "What I Like About You" (2002), a Warner Bros TV production of comedy series.
Having contributed her voice to the animated "Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure" (2003), Amanda eventually got her first leading role as Daphne Reynolds in "What a Girl Wants" (2003). This movie was a fair success with the income of more than 36 million U.S. dollars, directing her to be established as the new Hollywood starlet together with Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. By 2005, she was seen in "Lovewrecked" while voicing Piper Pinwheeler in "Robots." Her next project, "She's the Man" is expected to come out in 2006. Being busy with acting, she did not neglect her study at all as she ultimately graduated from Thousand Oak High School on June 10, 2004.
Beyond her career as an actress, she has also actively involved in charity. In 2003 she appeared at the 5th annual Lullabies & Luxuries luncheon and fashion show to do charity for CCFA or Caring for Children & Families with AIDS. In the following year, she participated to raise funds for the economically disadvantaged and homeless people. As for her private life, she once dated Taran Killam, whom she first met during the running of her show. After they separated in 2002, she established a relationship with her co-star in "What I Like About You," Nick Zano, from 2003 until 2004.