May the power protect him. Jason David Frank, who played the original Green Ranger and White Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has died at age 49. “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,” a representative said in a statement to Vulture confirming the news. “He loved his family, friends, and fans very much. He will be truly missed.” No cause of death was provided, though TMZ has reported that he died by suicide. Power Rangers actor Walter E. Jones reacted to the news of his former co-star’s death on Instagram. “Can’t believe it … RIP Jason David Frank 🙏🏾,” he wrote. “My heart is sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
Frank was born in Covina, California, in 1973. He joined the Power Rangers universe in 1993 as Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger who fought the Power Rangers with his Dragon Dagger and Sword of Darkness until he was finally freed from Rita Repulsa’s spell. The character was so popular among ’90s kids that he was later reborn as the White Ranger, the leader of the group of superheroes. According to CBR, Frank holds the record for the most appearances in the Power Rangers TV franchise, with a total of 257 episodes across multiple shows. He also starred in several feature films, including 1995’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. His most recent role was in Legend of the White Dragon, a Power Rangers–inspired movie that began as a fan project on Kickstarter and is expected to release sometime in 2023.
Outside of his acting career, Frank was an esteemed martial artist who began training at the age of 4. According to his instructor bio at Rising Sun Karate, his time filming shows and movies also helped him expand his fighting knowledge. He eventually become an eighth-degree black belt who developed his own martial-arts style called Toso Kune Do (literally, Way of the Fighting Fist). In 2010, he made his professional debut as an MMA fighter, competing with the nickname Fearless Frank. Fellow MMA fighter and actor Mike Bronzoulis took to Facebook to share his condolences after Frank’s death. “RIP my brother from another mother Jason David Frank 🙏,” he wrote. “I’m still in shock💔 I’m feeling terrible he called left me a message and I took too long 😢 Jason was a good friend to me and I will miss him.”