LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A smiling Lindsay Lohan was released on Thursday from almost five years of formal probation, and told by a Los Angeles judge to grow up and stop clubbing.
Actress Lohan, 25, who has made multiple trips to court, jail and rehab since a 2007 drunk driving and cocaine possession arrest, was praised for completing months of community service at a Los Angeles morgue and court-ordered psychotherapy.
"She has done everything that this court has asked of her," Los Angeles Superior Court judge Stephanie Sautner said. "Probation terminates today. Now."
Lohan, dressed conservatively in a powder blue pants suit and black top, let out a sigh of relief and hugged her attorney.
Although the "Mean Girls" actress will remain on informal probation until 2014 for a 2011 jewelry theft, she will not have to report regularly to court and will no longer be compelled to live in Los Angeles, as long as she stays out of trouble.
Sautner sent Lohan on her way with words of warning. "I know it is kind of hard when people are following you all over the place, but that is the life you chose. You need to live your life in a more mature way. Stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work."
"I don't expect to see you again," Sautner added. "Goodbye and good luck."
Lohan's once promising movie career was derailed by the 2007 arrest, years of hard partying, missed court dates and failed drug tests that saw her probation extended repeatedly.
But the former "Parent Trap" child star is now on the comeback trail. She posed for Playboy, hosted TV sketch show "Saturday Night Live," has an upcoming guest part in TV musical "Glee" and a TV movie role as screen legend Elizabeth Taylor.
On Thursday she thanked Sautner for helping her turn her life around. "I just want to say thank you, your honor, for being fair. It has really opened a lot of doors for me."
Lohan later told celebrity website TMZ.com in a phone call that ending probation "has just been a tremendous weight that has lifted off my shoulders".
The actress, who has said that parties are no longer her thing, told TMZ she wanted to put the focus back on her acting career, adding "I have not been to a club for I can't tell you how long."
"I am honored to be playing Elizabeth Taylor," she said of her upcoming role as the former child star. "There are a lot of similarities (in her life) that I can relate to."
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte