Jason David Frank, who portrayed the beloved and iconic character of Tommy Oliver across multiple renditions of the Power Rangers franchise, has died at age 49, apparently of suicide according to TMZ sources. Frank was best known for playing the Green Ranger and then the White Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but he was actually prolific in how he returned to the franchise on so many occasions and in prominent roles, spanning Mighty Morphin, Zeo, Turbo, Wild Force, Dino Thunder — and the list just continues from there. Frank’s martial arts prowess on screen also translated into real life, as he was a trained MMA fighter.
On social media, Walter Emanuel Jones, who played the original Black Ranger, Zack Taylor, wrote, “Can’t believe it…. RIP Jason David Frank. My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.” To TMZ, he further said that Frank was an inspiration to many, and “Jason was one of the biggest pranksters on the show. He had a wild sense of humor. We had our shares 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.”
For young kids who grew up in the ’90s, the revelation of a (temporarily) evil Green Ranger showing up to wreck the Rangers’ day basically felt like low-budget Shakespeare, and long-haired Tommy was such a cool character before and after his stint with evil. It is tragic that Jason David Frank has died at such a young age.
Frank is survived by four children. A representative for Frank told TMZ, “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 truly be missed.”