Jason David Frank, one of the original stars of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has passed away. He was 49 years old. Frank’s next of kin have not confirmed his cause of death, but TMZ is reporting that the actor took his own life.
In 1993, Frank landed the role that would define his career: Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger. Although Tommy’s counterpart in the Japanese Sentai series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, perished at the end of his initial storyline, the Green Ranger survived his story and joined the Power Rangers. Frank quickly proved to be one of the show’s most popular cast members. When the Green Ranger footage was exhausted, the show’s producers repackaged Tommy as the White Ranger.
Within the series, Tommy transitioned into the leading role and he was the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo, the first revamp of the series. Frank remained with the show for three seasons and two feature films. He also reprised his role as Tommy in Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, and Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel.
Outside of the show’s initial continuity, Frank and his former co-star, Amy Jo Johnston, made cameos in the 2017 Power Rangers reboot film. He also appeared as Tommy/the White Ranger in the fan-produced web series, Super Power Beatdown, in a battle against Mortal Kombat‘s Scorpion. One of Frank’s final contributions to the franchise was lending his voice to the Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid video game. The team behind Super Power Beatdown, Bat in the Sun, also produced Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe. That web series featured Frank as Bloodshot.
Beyond Power Rangers, David made guest appearances on Sweet Valley High, Undressed, and Family Matters. Over the years, Frank also fought in four amateur MMA bouts, and in one professional fight. He won his only pro MMA bout in 2010.
Frank’s final role will be in the fan-funded movie, Legend of the White Dragon. He will portray Erik Reed, the White Dragon. However, the film is not expected to be released until next year.
Superhero Hype extends its condolences to Frank’s family, colleagues, and fans all over the world.