Power Rangers actor Jason David Frank dies at 49 : NPR
Jonathan Phillips/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP
NEW YORK — Jason David Frank, who played Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver in the 1990s children’s series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” has died. He was 49 years old.
Justine Hunt, Frank’s manager, said in a statement Sunday that Frank had passed away. She did not name the cause of death or say when he died, but asked for “the privacy of his family and friends during this horrific time as we come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful human being”.
Walter Emmanuel Jones, the first Black Power Ranger who co-starred with Frank in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” wrote on Instagram that he couldn’t believe it. “My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family,” Jones wrote. Thuy Trang, who played the original Yellow Power Ranger, died in a car accident in 2001 at the age of 27.
“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” about five teenage stints to save the Earth from evil, debuted on Fox in 1993 and became a pop culture phenomenon. Early in the first season, Frank’s Tommy Oliver was initially seen as a villain, brainwashed by the evil Rita Repulsa. But soon after, he was inducted into the group as the Green Ranger and became one of the show’s most popular characters.
Although his role was not intended to be permanent, Frank was later brought back as the White Ranger and leader of the team. In spin-off TV series, Frank’s Tommy Oliver also returned with other rangers, including Red Zeo Ranger, Red Turbo Ranger, and Black Dino Ranger. He also played him in the films “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” and “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie”, and had a guest appearance in the 2017 reboot of “Power Rangers”.
A martial arts practitioner, Frank fought in several mixed martial arts bouts in 2009 and 2010.
TMZ earlier reported that Frank’s second wife, Tammie Frank, filed for divorce in August. Frank is survived by four children; one from his marriage to Tammie Frank and three from his first marriage to Shawna Frank.