According to multiple reports on social media, and confirmed by a rep to TMZ, former Power Rangers star Jason David Frank has died from what TMZ’s sources say was suicide. Frank was one of the original stars of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, debuting in the first show in 1993 as Tommy Oliver, the initially villainous Green Ranger, who later became a good guy and then the White Ranger after that. He reprised his role multiple times throughout the decades-long run of Power Rangers shows, either as a main character or in a special cameo. Frank was 49.
Power Rangers, especially the original series, famously used stock footage from a Japanese Super Sentai show for its fight scenes—during which regular teenagers are transformed into super-powered warriors—which caused some problems for the producers when Frank’s Tommy Oliver became a fan-favorite. They only had so much footage of the Sentai equivalent of their Green Ranger, which necessitated the introduction of various plot points that kept Tommy Oliver off the board (at least in terms of the Rangers fighting monsters) for a time, like when Tommy lost his Ranger powers and was later reborn as the White Ranger.
A similar issue came up in other Power Rangers shows, but that didn’t stop Frank from continuing to be a favorite: He appeared in Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, Power Rangers Hyperforce, and Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel, plus the 1995 and 1997 Power Rangers movies and the 2017 Power Rangers reboot (in which he had a cameo appearance).
Outside of Power Rangers, Frank was also a trained MMA fighter and had extensive knowledge of various martial arts styles. He is survived by his four children.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by dialing 988.