Jason David Frank, best known for portraying Tommy Oliver, the original Green and White Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, died at 49 years old in Texas, a representative confirmed Sunday to media outlets.
“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,” Justine Hunt, a representative for Frank, told TMZ. “He will truly be missed.”
Although sources have not confirmed the cause of his death, TMZ reports that Frank’s death resulted from suicide.
Born in Covina, California, Frank began making waves in his career in the 1990s in both television and film adaptations of the popular franchise. During his time with the franchise, he started as the Green Ranger in Season 1. He later became the group leader as the White Ranger, and was a leading cast member for 123 episodes spread over 3 seasons.
Walter Jones, who played the Black Ranger alongside Frank in the family television series, told TMZ his co-star “was an inspiration to so many people.
“His presence will be dearly missed,” Jones said. “It’s so sad to lose another member of our Ranger family. 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.”
Amy Jo Johnson, who played the Pink Ranger, posted a tribute to her former co-star on Instagram.
“Jase, you were beautiful and truly unique,” she wrote on Instagram. “My life just won’t be the same without your frenetic, hilarious, caring, driven, and creative ball of energy. I will always love you, dear friend. Please Rest now In Peace.”
The actor was also a professionally trained mixed martial artist. During his 34 years of experience, Frank earned an 8th degree black belt in American Karate, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, won the gold medal at Mater Toddy’s Full Contact Muay Thai competition in Las Vegas, and created the martial art known as Toso Kune Do.
The World Karate Union Hall of Fame inducted Frank in 2003 as the American Karate Master of the Year.
Frank, who also trained taekwondo and judo, fought professionally from 2008 to 2010.
Frank owned and operated Rising Sun Karate and MMA, founded Jesus Didn’t Tap, the first Christian line of MMA fighting apparel and gear.
Mike Bronzoulis, a closer friend and trainer of Frank, shared a picture of the two on Facebook after hearing the news of Frank’s death.
‘RIP my brother from another mother Jason David Frank, Bronzoulis wrote. “I’m still in shock. I’m feeling terrible he called left me a message and I took too long.”
‘Jason was a good friend to me and I will miss him” he added. “Love n prayers for his wife Tammy and their kids, I [pray] that God gets yall through this difficult time.’
Frank posted on Twitter last summer announcing he would make an appearance at the first edition of ComicCon Paraguay scheduled November 25th-27th.
— Jason David Frank (@jdfffn) July 21, 2022
Frank is survived by his wife, Tammie, and four children.