Jason David Frank, known for playing Tommy Oliver, the original Green Ranger in the popular Power Rangers media franchise, has died.
After rumors started spiraling online yesterday, a rep for the actor confirmed to Geek Ireland this morning that he has indeed passed away.
Several actors and people close to Jason David Frank have made tributes to the late actor. Bat In The Sun, the production company that is producing Franks’s upcoming film, Legend of the White Dragon, posted about the news on their Instagram story.
Multiple of Frank’s fellow Mighty Morphin Power Rangers co-stars have made posts mourning the loss of their friend.
Jason David Frank’s Legacy In Power Rangers
Jason David Frank was brought into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as Tommy Oliver / the Green Ranger in a guest-starring role. He originally was only supposed to appear in 10 episodes of the long-running series; however, the character ended up appearing in 234 episodes across ten seasons of the show.
He was introduced in the “Green With Evil” mini-series when the evil Rita Repulsa decided to make an evil Power Ranger of her own. She brainwashed Tommy Oliver into becoming the evil Green Ranger and nearly took down the Power Rangers. The Rangers were eventually able to break Tommy of the spell until he lost his powers later on in the season.
Tommy was eventually able to regain his Green Ranger powers temporarily but lost them again. Later, he gained new powers as the White Ranger and became the leader of the Power Rangers. He also led the team as the White Ninja Ranger, Red Zeo Ranger and Red Turbo Ranger before stepping down as a Power Ranger and giving the mantle to the new Red Ranger, TJ Johnson.
He returned with ten other Red Rangers at the time to take on remnants of the Machine Empire during Power Rangers Wild Force to celebrate the 10th season of the show.
Jason David Frank returned as a series regular in the 12th season of the show, Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Now, Tommy Oliver has received a Doctorate in Paleontology and is a high school teacher at Reefside High School. He serves as a mentor to the new team of Power Rangers and later joins the team as the Black Dino Thunder Ranger. The Dino Thunder Rangers also guest starred in the next season, Power Rangers S.P.D.; however, Frank did not reprise his role for the episode.
Frank later returned in the 21st season, Super Megaforce, where he was joined by every other Power Ranger at the time during the Legendary Battle against the Armada.
Jason David Frank’s final episode was during the 25th season of the show, Super Ninja Steel, where he appeared in the episode “Dimensions in Danger.” It was revealed that by this point, Tommy had married former Pink Ranger, Kat Hillard, and they had a son together named JJ.
A comic book story titled Power Rangers: Soul of the Dragon was made in 2018 to serve as an end to Tommy’s story. The story takes place 20 years after the events of Power Rangers Dino Thunder and sees Tommy searching for his son JJ, after he as gone missing. Frank served as a special consultant for the story.
Jason David Frank also played Lord Drakkon, an alternate universe/evil version of the character in the Power Rangers HyperForce web series as well as a promo for the “Shattered Grid” comicbook event.
A 30th anniversary special for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is currently in the works. However, Frank was not set to reprise his role in the special, which was filmed before his passing. Frank is set to star as Erik Reed in a film inspired by Power Rangers titled Legend of the White Dragon. The film was shot before his passing and, as of now, is set to be released in 2023.
Jason David Frank is proceeded in death by fellow Power Rangers actors Bob Manahan, the voice of Zordon, Frank’s own brother Erik Frank who portrayed David Trueheart, Thuy Trang, who portrayed Trini Kwan / the Yellow Ranger, Bob Papenbrook, the voice of Rito Revolto, Machiko Soga, who portrayed Rita Repulsa in Season 1, Richard Genelle, who portrayed Ernie, and Robert Axelrod, who voiced Lord Zedd.
Source: Geek Ireland