- Actor Jason David Frank, best known for starring in the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV franchise, has died, according to multiple reports citing his representative.
- The actor died in Texas, his representative Justine Hunt told TMZ.
- According to People, Frank’s representative asked for privacy for the actor’s family and friends, as they “come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful human being.”
The actor who originated the part of Tommy Oliver/Green Ranger in the “Power Rangers” franchise passed away on November 19 in Texas. He had 49 years of age.
Justine Hunt, Frank’s manager, confirmed to the Associated Press his passing. No other information regarding the actor’s death could be confirmed, but she requested for the “privacy of his family and friends during this terrible time as we mourn the loss of such a lovely human being.”
In 1993, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” debuted on Fox Kids, where it aired for three years to a young audience enthralled by its band of kung-fu-savvy vigilantes. Since then, the “Power Rangers” franchise has persisted through numerous versions and adaptations, with Frank frequently returning to his part in the series and becoming a fan favorite.
Frank’s character was initially presented as a villain in the series; trapped under a spell by the Power Rangers’ archenemy Rita Repulsa, the Green Ranger is a dangerous adversary to the heroes. Frank was originally scheduled for a limited cameo, but due to the character’s popularity, he became a series regular. After the Green Ranger is liberated from Rita’s mental control, he is converted into the White Ranger, a role that Frank played for the next two seasons.
“Can’t believe it…. RIP Jason David Frank.,” One of Frank’s co-stars on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” Walter Jones, said on Instagram. “My heart is heartbroken to have lost another member of our precious family.
Frank went on to accept roles in subsequent “Power Rangers” shows and films, such as a Red Zeo Ranger in “Power Rangers Zeo” and the first-ever Red Turbo Ranger in “Power Rangers Turbo,” but he left the latter project in the middle of the season. In addition, “Power Rangers Wild Force,” “Power Rangers: DinoThunder,” and “Power Rangers Ninja Steel” are franchise highlights.
Frank was born in Covina, California, on September 4, and his legacy lives on in the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and the Black Belt Hall of Fame. Frank’s acrobatic abilities were not the result of movie magic; the famed actor also held an eighth-degree black belt in karate and had training in Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai, among others. He began studying karate at the age of four and obtained his first black belt at the age of twelve.
In 1994, Frank began opening martial arts schools. At these dojos, Frank taught a new, self-designed school of combat called Toso Kune Do, which translates to “Way of the Fighting Fist” and combines several different styles of martial arts.
Frank met Kyoshi Rick Herbster after the conclusion of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” who became his long-term business partner. Together, they established Rising Sun Karate Academy, where Frank taught for the remainder of his life.
Frank made his mixed martial arts debut in 2010 in the U.S. Amateur Combat Association’s inaugural “Lonestar Beatdown” in Houston, Texas, where he defeated Jonathon “the Mack Truck” Mack in the first round. A year before the match, he began receiving MMA training from UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard.
Frank was reportedly slated to star in an upcoming film directed by Aaron Schoenke. The film, titled “Legend of the White Dragon,” would star Frank as the titular warrior.
Frank’s two sons, Hunter and Jacob, and daughters, Skye and Jenna, survive him.