Following the passing of actor and mixed martial artist Jason David Frank — who is best known to a generation of fans for playing the original Green Range — Power Rangers has shared a touching tribute video that honors his legacy with the franchise.
The video was posted on the official website Power Rangers Twitter page. It’s a montage of Frank’s time with the series across its many installments as Tommy Oliver. The caption reads, “Ranger Nation, we mourn together. Today, we celebrate the heart, strength, and raw talent that Jason David Frank brought to Power Rangers as Tommy Oliver. He was truly a legend among us and we will miss him. May the Power protect him, always.”
Frank’s passing was confirmed on Nov. 20 by his representative, Justine Hunt, after rumors pertaining to his tragic death began to surface on social media. The actor was 49 years old.
Frank began his time on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 1993. While not one of the original five members of the team, his role as Tommy Oliver/the Green Ranger was introduced during a Season 1 story arc which found him being kidnapped and brainwashed by the evil Rita Repulsa because his fighting skill matched that of Jason/the Red Ranger (Austin St. John). After passing a series of tests, he was entrusted with Rita’s Sword of Darkness, which is the source of the evil spell keeping him under her control.
The Green Ranger came close to defeating the Power Rangers, even sabotaging their command center in the process. As his rampage on the town of Angel Grove grew more cataclysmic, Jason ultimately defeated Tommy in a one-on-one duel that saw the destruction of the Sword of Darkness. With Rita’s hold over him now at an end, Tommy decided to use his powers for good, and became an official member of the Power Rangers.
The role of Tommy was only meant to be a limited one, but he proved to be a true fan favorite. After initially being written out when he lost his Green Ranger powers, he was eventually brought back as the White Ranger and the new leader of the Power Rangers, replacing Jason. Frank went on to play Tommy for many more years, and he holds the record for the most appearances on the series across different versions of the show. Following three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power RangersFrank appeared in Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers Super Megaforce and Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel.
Frank’s time with the character also transitioned to the big screen. The actor appeared as Tommy in 1995’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. When the 2017 Power Rangers reboot was released, Frank made a cameo appearance as a resident of Angel Grove alongside his fellow Powers Rangers co-star Amy Jo Johnson, who played his love interest Kimberly/the Pink Ranger in the original series.
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