Who was Amanda Bynes before she became a tabloid staple (and the worst celeb driver)?

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Amanda Bynes (WireImage)
Amanda Bynes (WireImage)

Before she became a tabloid staple over the last six months, Amanda Bynes was known as a cute former child star. The 26-year-old actress was Nickelodeon's answer to Disney star Hilary Duff in the late '90s and early '00s. She starred in the kid-friendly network's sketch comedy show "All That" from 1996 to 2002, and even headlined her own spin-off, "The Amanda Show," from 1999 to 2002. When those stints ended, she starred alongside Jennie Garth, who played the older sister serving as her guardian, on The WB sitcom "What I Like About You" for four seasons ending in 2006. She also found time to take on leading roles in comedy films like 2003's "What a Girl Wants" with Colin Firth, 2006's "She's the Man," and 2007's "Sydney White," as well as supporting roles in 2007's "Hairspray" with John Travolta and 2010's "Easy A" with Emma Stone. In 2007, Bynes had her own clothing line, Dear, at the now defunct store Steve and Barry's. She was a big name in Young Hollywood.

These days, that name has become synonymous with trouble. Her driver’s license was suspended after she was charged with two hit-and-runs and a DUI just since April. She even rear-ended a car when she wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel. And in the latest chapter of the Amanda Bynes saga, TMZ reports that she barricaded herself in the dressing room of West Hollywood boutique Kin for an hour and 45 minutes on Monday. A clerk reportedly became so worried about Bynes that another employee was called to the store, and when they checked on the actress, she repeatedly told them that she needed more time. When Bynes emerged from the dressing room at about 5:30 p.m., she purchased several items. Soon after she exited the store, she returned to pay for a swimsuit that she said she forgot she was still wearing underneath her clothes. Then, she finally left the shop in a cab that she had asked the clerk to call for her. A few hours later, TMZ says that she spent more than three hours at an L.A. Starbucks, where she wore headphones and talked on her phone. She ended the night at around 11 p.m. by climbing into a chauffeured SUV.

The driving woes appear to just be a small part of Bynes' problems. As TMZ reports, her neighbors and people at her gym have claimed they've seen her speaking to inanimate objects. Her family and friends have reportedly pleaded with her to seek professional help, but Bynes insists that she has no reason to go to rehab. Stay tuned ...

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