One Of The Original Power Rangers Has Died

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Original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers star Jason David Frank has died of suicide.

By Nathan Kamal
| Published

Jason David Frank, the actor and martial artist best known for portraying the Green Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has died at the age of 49. According to TMZ, the Power Rangers actor died by suicide, though there are few other available details at this time. Jason David Frank’s death was confirmed by a representative for the actor, his former co-star Walter Jones, and several other sources. 

Jason David Frank as Tommy Oliver

Jason David Frank was originally only intended to appear in the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but immediately became a fan favorite and the breakout character of the franchise. His longtime character Tommy Oliver was introduced in the episode “Green with Evil, Part I: Out of Control” as the mysterious, antagonistic Green Ranger; it eventually was revealed that he was under the control of Rita Repulsa (Machiko Soga) and he turned to good, though not before almost singlehandedly defeating the other rangers. 

Over time, Jason David Frank became perhaps the most recognizable character in the entire Power Rangers franchise, often acting as the face of the series. He would eventually play Tommy Oliver in almost the entire franchise, including Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers S.P.D., Power Rangers Super Megaforce, and Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel. Jason David Frank acted in 124 episodes of the original series alone, making him one of the most visible actors in the entire franchise.

Over the course of the Power Rangers franchise, Jason David Frank portrayed Tommy Oliver in five different roles: Green Ranger, the White Ranger, Zeo Ranger V–Red, the Red Turbo Ranger, and the Dino Thunder Black Ranger. Additionally, he made numerous guest appearances as Tommy Oliver and made a cameo as an unnamed town citizen in the 2017 feature film Power Rangers reboot, which also featured Bryan Cranston (who voiced  Snizzard and Twin Man in the original series). 

Sadly, the Power Rangers reboot was not a commercial or critical success and did not become a series, though there are always plans for a new reboot of the franchise. In addition to his work in Power Rangers, Jason David Frank appeared in many other television shows and movies. He appeared in an episode of the classic 1990s sitcom Family Matters, the Transformers: Titans Return webseries, and Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe.  He also provided the voice of Tommy Oliver in several video games, 

Jason David Frank portrayed Tommy Oliver as a great fighter, and was actually an accomplished martial artist in real life. He studied Aikido, Shōtōkan, Wadō-ryū, Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Jeet Kune Do, and developed his own style of American Karate known as Toso Kune Do. Additionally, he fought in a number of mixed martial arts bouts, defeating his first contestant in the first round.

Jason David Frank was married twice and is survived by four children. RIP, Tommy Oliver, the greatest Power Ranger of them all.