Jason David Frank, an actor best known for portraying Tommy Oliver, the Green and White Rangers during the 1990s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” television series, has died. He was 49.
Frank’s representative, Justine Hunt, confirmed the actor’s death in a statement, TVLine reported. No cause of death was given and it was unclear when the actor died.
“Please respect the privacy of his family and friends during this horrible time as we come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful human being,” Hunt wrote. “He loved his family, friends and fans very much. He will be truly missed.”
TMZ also reported the actor’s death, adding that Frank died in Texas.
“Can’t believe it. … RIP Jason David Frank,” the actor’s former “Power Rangers” co-star, Walter E. Jones, who played the Black Ranger in the series, wrote on Instagram and Facebook. “My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
“Can’t believe this. … Cried all night. Heartbroken yet again,” Blake Foster, who played the Blue Turbo Ranger in Power Rangers Turbo, wrote on Instagram. “Lost my hero, our leader, my friend and an icon. Life really sucks man.”
Frank is survived by his four children — sons Hunter and Jacob, and daughters Skye and Jenna, according to People.
His death comes 21 years after actress, Thuy Trang, who portrayed the Yellow Ranger in the original series, died in 2001 from injuries sustained in a car accident, Entertainment Weekly reported. She was 27.
According to IMDb.com, Frank appeared in 122 episodes of the show from 1993 to 1996. Frank starred as Tommy Oliver in the series’ original run as the Green Ranger and later the White Ranger in the show, which lasted from Aug. 28, 1993, until Nov. 27, 1995, according to TVLine.
“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” about five teenagers deputized to save Earth from evil, became a pop-culture phenomenon, according to The Associated Press. Originally cast as a villain, Frank’s character later joined the group as the Green Ranger and became one of the show’s most popular characters, according to the news organization.
The series transitioned to “Power Rangers Zeo,” where Frank — who held an eighth-degree black belt in karate — continued in the franchise as the Red Zeo Ranger.
Frank later made cameo appearances in “Power Rangers” projects through the years.
In 1997, Frank reprised the role once again in “Power Rangers Turbo” for 19 episodes before leaving the franchise. He returned in 2002, for a 10th-anniversary episode of “Power Rangers Wild Force,” according to the TVLine. He later became the Black Dino Ranger for 38 episodes of “Power Rangers Dino Thunder” in 2004, according to IMDb.com.
Frank was also a mixed martial arts fighter from 2008 to 2010, according to Bleacher Report. He was 4-0 as an amateur and defeated Jose Roberto Vasquez by submission in 2010 during his lone professional bout at Texas Cage Fighting: Puro Combate 1.
Note: If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support via the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.
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