Jason David Frank, best known for his role as Tommy Oliver – the original green and white ranger – in the popular 1990s television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has passed away. He was 49 years old.
A rep for the actor confirmed the sad news to People on Saturday, saying:
“Unfortunately, it is true. 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. He loved his family, friends and fans very much. He will be truly missed.”
While no official cause of death was mentioned, TMZ reports that Jason died by suicide in Texas. Heartbreaking…
As fans know, he starred in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise from 1993 to 1996, where he portrayed the villain turned green ranger. Jason later became the white ranger in the series. Over the years, he also worked on other Power Rangers projects, including the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Power Rangers Turbo, Zeo, and Dino Thunder. His other acting credits included Sweet Valley High, Family Matters, and We Bare Bears. According to IMBD, he had been working on a film called The Legend of the White Dragon before his death.
Beyond acting, Jason had been a professionally trained mixed martial artist who knew Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and more. Per TMZ, he fought professionally between 2008 to 2010.
Following the news of his death, he was remembered by his former co-star Walter Emanuel Jones (Zack Taylor, the black ranger), who said in a statement to People:
“He was an inspiration to so many people. His presence will be dearly missed. It’s so sad to lose another member of our Ranger family. Jason was one of the biggest pranksters on the show. He had a wild sense of humor. We had our share of ups and downs, but I stayed consistent about being an ear if he needed one. My prayers go out to his family and all that will miss him. May he rest in Power.”
Jason’s death comes 21 years after their co-star Thuy Trang died in 2001 at the age of 27 from her injuries sustained in a car accident. Walter also shared a picture of himself, Jason, and their fellow original Power Rangers castmates, Austin St. John and David Yost, writing on Instagram:
“Can’t believe it…. RIP Jason David Frank. My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
Blake Foster, who starred with Jason in the 1997 movie Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, also took to Instagram to mourn the loss of his co-star, writing:
“Can’t believe this … Cried all night. Heartbroken yet again. Lost my hero, our leader, my friend and an icon. Life really sucks man #RIPJDF #WhiteRangerForever.”
Jason is survived by his four children – sons Hunter and Jacob and daughters Skye and Jenna. Our hearts go out to them during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Jason…
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.