Jason David Frank, who portrayed Tommy Oliver, the original green ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has died. He was 49.
Justine Hunt, a representative for the actor who was best known for his various roles in the Power Rangers universe, confirmed his death to the Associated Press on Sunday. A cause was not provided. In a statement, Hunt requested that the privacy of Frank’s friends and family be respected “during this horrible time as we come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful human being.”
Frank’s relationship to the long-running franchise spanned nearly three decades, beginning with his debut in the 1993 TV series as the Green Ranger — a transfer student at Angel Grove High School brainwashed by Rita Repulsa to fight the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers before becoming the White Ranger after being freed from her spell. His character would eventually earn a doctorate in Paleontology and is among of the longest-serving Power Rangers in the franchise’s history.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Frank’s Power Rangers co-star Walter Emanuel Jones, shared his disbelief in the actor’s sudden passing. “Can’t believe it,” he wrote. “RIP Jason David Frank. My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
Frank would appear in a number of Power Rangers shorts during the show’s run and even a live show featuring the titular and beloved teen fighting force before going on to a guest appearance in the popular ’90s sitcom Family Matters. In that same year, he would have a small recurring role in the third season of Sweet Valley High, the syndicated TV dramedy loosely based on Francine Pascal’s book series of the same name.
His other recent projects included the 2020 film Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia, which counted Adam Devine and Cameron Esposito among its cast, and voice work on the animated Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears and animated web series Transformers: Titans Return.
Frank, who was latest Power Rangers work included voice acting as Olivier in the Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid video game, appeared in other notable franchise titles including Power Rangers HyperForce, Power Rangers DinoThunder, Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo. The actor, who was also a mixed martial artist, was popular on the comic convention circuit where he regularly met with fans of the franchise.