Actor Jason David Frank, who played the first Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver, on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has shockingly passed away at age 49. Millions of ’90s kids grew up with Jason David Frank on the original 1993 series, and later, its many spin-offs. In addition to acting, Frank was a martial arts aficionado and competed in several mixed martial arts bouts in 2009 and 2010.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit the airwaves on Fox Kids Network in September 1993. Of course, it went on to become a pop-culture phenomenon. Very early in season one, they introduced Frank’s character of Tommy Oliver as a villain. Although he was brainwashed by Power Rangers’ nemesis, the evil Rita Repulsa. Not long after though, they inducted Tommy into the group as the Green Ranger. Very quickly he became one of the most popular characters on the show. Even though they never meant for his role to be permanent.
Eventually, Frank came back to the series as the White Ranger and the leader of the team. He later came back on various spinoff series, including as Red Zeo Ranger, the Red Turbo Ranger, and the Black Dino Ranger. He also played Tommy Oliver in the films Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. Frank also made a cameo in the 2017 reboot of Power Rangers. His last Power Rangers role was in 2018’s Power Rangers: Super Ninja Steel.
In the years after the original Power Rangers phenomenon, Frank was a frequent guest at conventions around the world. He became a beloved figure by many on that circuit during the 2000s. He began to do the convention circuit after his return to the Tommy Oliver character in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Tommy would return a few more times throughout the show’s history. He even fought other versions of himself in Super Ninja Steel. His last film was the crowdfunded Legend of the White Dragon, which will be his final on-screen role.
Frank is survived by his two sons, Hunter and Jacob, and his two daughters, Skye and Jenna.