Jason David Frank, Who Starred in ‘Power Rangers’ Franchise, Dies at 49
Jason David Frank, who played the Green Ranger and later the White Ranger on the popular 1990s children’s television show “The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” died on Saturday. He was 49.
Justine Hunt, his manager, confirmed his death.
Ms. Hunt did not give a cause of death or say where Mr. Frank died. In a statement, she asked for respect for the privacy of “his family and friends during this horrible time” but declined to comment further. Information about survivors was not immediately available.
The campy “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” featured six teenage high school students in color-coded costumes who transformed into superheroes to defend Earth against evil aliens. They were implored to “Go Go Power Rangers” in the theme song, which was seared into the memory of many tweens of the time.
Mr. Frank was intended to be in only 10 episodes of the original show as the Green Ranger, a bad boy turned good, but he later came back as the White Ranger and then other characters in reboots of the show.
He played the same character, Tommy Oliver, in six different iterations of the Power Rangers franchise.
Mr. Frank’s character appeared in more than 200 episodes of the franchise, more than any other Power Ranger, according to the movie website IMDb. Mr. Frank also starred in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” (1995) and “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie” (1997).
The original series was a pop-culture force.
It debuted in August 1993, and by December 1994 the Power Rangers’ share of the market for action figures had jumped to 40 percent from 4 percent; sales of the product line neared $1 billion for the year. By comparison, sales of Cabbage Patch dolls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, other popular toys of the era, topped out at $550 million and $450 million.
Mr. Frank used his martial-arts skills on and off the show.
In 1994, he developed his own martial arts system called Toso Kune Do, which means Way of the Fighting Fist, according to IMDb.
The style of fighting, which is based on the teachings of Bruce Lee, Ed Parker and other martial artists, is practiced at a school that was owned by Mr. Frank called Rising Sun Karate, with locations in Texas and California.