May 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM ET
The increasingly erratic behavior of Amanda Bynes has left the ladies befuddled and concerned for the actress, who once worked with Kathie Lee.
KLG said she collaborated with Bynes on the former Nickelodeon program, “The Amanda Show,” where the young actress demonstrated uncanny comedic timing.
“I found her to be so unbelievable refreshing. She’s so, so talented, so funny,” Kathie Lee recalled Tuesday. “Working with her, I felt like it was what Lucille Ball must have been like early on. She was that good.”
KLG noted that Bynes was surrounded by an extremely grounded family at the time.
“I just thought, ‘This kid has everything she needs to make a successful transformation from child star to adult star.’ And somewhere along the line something went wrong and it’s really sad,” she said.
In the last week alone, the 27-year-old actress has been arrested for marijuana possession and allegedly throwing a bong out of her 36th floor apartment window. She has also taken to Twitter in a series of bizarre rants to explain her side of the story, lashing out at everyone from the New York City police officers who arrested her to the singer Rihanna. Bynes was also photographed in various wigs after she apparently shaved off her hair.
"It seems like one minute everything was fine, and the next minute, the wheels fell off,” Hoda said. “You feel very sorry for her because you felt like you were witnessing something that ‘s beyond someone who’s going through a bad phase.”
KLG expressed hope that Bynes gets help.
“It’s not just partying, there seems something just off now, and mentally wrong with her,” she said.
While Kathie Lee likes to stress how children are often a reflection of the way they were raised, she admitted that "bad things happen to good people."
“It’s a huge issue for me," she said, of seeing the state Bynes is in these days. "I just thought she had everything going on.”