The TV-viewing world has lost yet another pop culture icon. Jason David Frank, best known to Saturday morning TV aficionados for his role as Tommy Oliver on the expansive Power Rangers franchise, has died. As of right now, details on the matter are still scarce, though sources report that the veteran actor died by suicide. Frank was 49 at the time of his passing.
Jason David Frank’s rep, Justine Hart, confirmed his death to TMZ and stated that the star died in Texas. Hart also shared a statement with the news site in which she delivered the family’s wishes and paid tribute to her client:
Jason David Frank was born in Corvina, California on September 4, 1973. The young man would ultimately rise to prominence when he was tapped for the role of Tommy Oliver during production on Season 1 of Fox’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which premiered in 1993. Though the character was initially only meant to appear in 14 episodes, the cool teen – who joined the titular team as the imposing green ranger, became a regular. In Season 2, Tommy became the white ranger and the new leader of the group, and Frank would play the role in the theatrical adaptation of the series After MMPR ended its three-season run in 1995, he starred in the follow-up shows Power Rangers Zeo and Turbo (and the feature film of the same name), before stepping away from the franchise in 1997.
However, the star would revisit the franchise five years later during a special anniversary episode of Power Rangers Wild Force called “Forever Red.” While that was just a guest spot, he returned full-time in 2004 when he played Tommy in Power Rangers Dino Thunder (a show that’s particularly close to my heart). After that, he made further guest appearances on the Super Megaforce and Super Ninja Steel seasons of the long-running show. He even played the role in the interactive tabletop game Hyperforce. The legend also made an appearance in the PR movie that was released in 2017 alongside pink ranger actress Amy Jo Johnson. One of the cameos was cut, but Frank shared the other, which showed him sporting his glorious long hair.
Aside from his work on the children’s program, Jason David Frank also became mixed martial arts fighter in 2009. The star ultimately raked up a few wins over a few years. When it comes to acting, he also landed a number of other notable roles, including that of comics creation Bloodshot, a character that was later played by Vin Diesel. Nevertheless, many arguably still know him best for his stints as green, white, red and black rangers.
For years, the actor and athlete toured the country, attending conventions and meeting up with fans. He was a true pop culture icon to so many and, even to this day, many idolize the green ranger persona. As someone who grew up as a fan of the beloved rangers, I’m saddened by the fact that the man who brought Tommy Oliver to life is no longer with us. Though it goes without saying that his contributions to TV and entertainment will never be forgotten.
We here at CinemaBlend extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Jason David Frank, who is survived by his four children, during this difficult time. Also, those who are considering suicide or know someone who is, can look to resources for assistance. You can look to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 800-273-8255.
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