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Jason David Frank, Power Rangers Star, Dead at 49

The actor was best known for playing Tommy Oliver in the '90s series.
  • Jason David Frank. (Photo: Everett Collection)
    Jason David Frank. (Photo: Everett Collection)

    Jason David Frank, star of the original Power Rangers series, has died. He was 49 years old. 

    While an official cause of death has not been revealed yet, TMZ reports that the actor died of suicide. His representative, Justine Hunt, confirmed his passing in a statement. "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 be truly missed."

    Frank starred as Tommy Oliver in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from 1993 to 1995. While he was originally only set to appear as the Green Ranger for 14 episodes, his popularity with fans earned him a spot as the White Ranger and the team's new leader for his remaining time in the series. 

    In 1996, Frank played the Red Zeo Ranger for 50 episodes of Power Rangers Zeo, and returned to the franchise in 2002, when he became the Black Dino Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. In addition to being a mainstay in the Power Rangers franchise, Frank also appeared in Sweet Valley High and Family Matters. Frank was also an eighth-degree black belt in karate. 

    "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," said Frank's Mighty Morphin co-star Walter Jones.  "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."

    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Obits