Jason David Frank, ‘Power Rangers’ Star, Dies at 49
It seemed like another cruel internet hoax for hours but now it has been confirmed. Jason David Frank, best known as one of the longest tenured members of the Power Rangers multimedia franchise, has died. Frank was only 49 years old.
Several of Frank’s close friends and colleagues began memorializing him on social media — including Walter Emanuel Jones, who co-starred with Frank on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as the Black Ranger. “Can’t believe it ... RIP Jason David Frank,” Jones wrote. “My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
According to TMZ, who confirmed his death, it “was the result of suicide.”
Frank’s character, Tommy Oliver, was introducing during the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, initially as a brainwashed pawn of the villainous Rita Repulsa. He fought the rest of the original Power Rangers team, but eventually was freed from Rita’s control, and joined the Rangers as its sixth member.
Although Frank’s role was initially intended as more of a long-term guest star, he proved so popular he became a fixture on Power Rangers for years and then the group’s leader. He later had tenures as the first White Ranger, and a couple different Red Rangers, as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers evolved into a variety of different teams.
Frank also starred in both the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
Born in 1973, Frank first joined Power Rangers when he was just 20 years old, and remained with the franchise until 1997, although he remained closely associated with the series and did make a few guest appearances through the years. In 2014 he played Tommy once again, in a special episode of Power Rangers Megaforce.
After leaving Power Rangers, Frank appeared in a variety of other films and shows, and also tried hish and at mixed martial arts. He was also a fixture on the convention circuit, particularly after ’90s kids grew up and became extremely nostalgic for the original Power Rangers. He will be remembered for a very long time by Power Rangers fans.