By ROSIE WATERLAND
This is Amanda Bynes.
The photo on the left was taken in 2001, when Amanda was 13 and starring in Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show.
The photo on the right was taken last week.
Dishevelled, dazed and having just spent the night in jail, Bynes was fronting court charged with drug possession. She was released on bail, went outside to a cab flagged down by her lawyer and left. Nobody came to meet her. Nobody came to help her get home. Her taxi sped off into the streets of New York City, with Bynes all by herself in the back.
Another child star, fallen from grace.
But how does it get to this point? Why do so many former famous kids end up alone, addicted, broke or in trouble?
Up until a couple of years ago, Bynes had a promising career. After getting her start in a couple of commercials, a Nickelodeon producer discovered her at a kids comedy class and launched her into stardom. Two years later, aged 11, she had her own top-rating sketch show. She was the cutesy-pie flavour of the moment.
Then her show got cancelled. She hit puberty – an awkward phase especially tough for a child star who’s loved for being sweet and innocent. Not quite old enough to be a sex-object, but too old to be keep playing the cute kid, Bynes had the lead in a couple of films that didn’t really take off.
As soon as she hit 21, she posed in her underwear on the cover of Maxim. Some small supporting roles followed, the last of which was in Easy A in 2010. She hasn’t worked since.