Jason David Frank: Actor and mixed martial artist Jason David Frank, who starred in the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has passed away, his representatives confirmed to entertainment news outlet Geek Ireland. His age was 49 years.
Frank rose to fame in the early 1990s as the Green Power Ranger, Tommy Oliver, who then becomes the White Power Ranger, on a children’s television show about superheroes who are particularly skilled in martial arts. The show spawned spin-off movies, action figures, and other toys.
A cause of death was not immediately released, although multiple reports indicate that Frank died of suicide.
Word of Frank’s death prompted Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fans to post tributes on social media.
Professional wrestler Iron Sheik was among those who wrote on Twitter, “Rip JDF you the real legend… I love you forever”.
Actor Walter Emanuel Jones, who played the original Black Power Ranger, wrote on Instagram that he was saddened to lose a member of his “special family”.
“Can’t believe it,” Jones’ post added.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was about five teens deputized to save Earth from evil — it debuted on Fox in 1993 before it became a pop-culture phenomenon.
At the beginning of the first season, the character of Frank was initially a villain, having been brainwashed by the evil antagonist Rita Repulsa. But shortly after, he was inducted into the ranks of the heroes and became one of the most popular characters on the show and its related titles.
A martial arts practitioner, Frank fought in several mixed martial arts bouts in 2009 and 2010.
TMZ first reported Frank’s death and said his second wife, Tammy Frank, filed for divorce from him in August. Frank is survived by four children – one from his marriage to Tammy Frank and three from his first marriage to Shawna Frank.
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