The beloved Power Rangers have lost one of their original members, TMZ has learned. On Sunday (November 20), it was reported that 49-year-old Jason David Frank – best known for playing Green and White Ranger Tommy Oliver in the ’90s – has surprisingly died by suicide.
The actor’s rep, Justine Hunt, confirmed the news to the outlet. Sources with direct knowledge were able to determine the manner of death, though the actual cause has not yet been made public.
Frank previously spent years starring in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which made its debut in 1993. At the time, fans could only watch on in awe at the superhero crew’s undeniably impressive kung-fu skills that remain iconic to this day.
As TMZ notes, his Green character was initially an enemy of the Rangers, though he eventually took a turn and became one of them. Eventually, his powers deteriorated, and he became the White Ranger. Along with this change, Oliver became the group’s new leader and furthermore went on to star as a lead in the show for three seasons or 123 episodes.
Throughout his career, Frank went on to appear in several Power Rangers adaptations. Among them are Wild Force, Turbo, Zeo, Dino Thunder, Megaforce, Ninja Steel, and finally, HyperForce. Colours he rocked over the years include Red, Black, and once again, Green. Unsurprisingly, he’s something of a fan favourite within the franchise.
While his onscreen fighting skills were undeniably awesome, he had just as much skill off-camera. The late star spent time professionally training as an MMA fighter, also dabbling in Taekwondo, Judi, Muay Thai, and more.
Frank leaves behind four children. In a statement, his rep is requesting privacy for them. “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,” they wrote.
Others close to the California native have been sharing emotional statements as well. Walter Jones, known for playing the Black Ranger, tells TMZ, “He was an inspiration to so many people. His presence will be dearly missed. It’s so sad to lose another member of our Ranger family.”
“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,” Frank’s former co-star went on.