Jason David Frank, best known for his portrayal as the original Green Ranger on the hit superhero series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, died at the age of 49, via People.
A representative for Frank confirmed his death to the outlet. “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,” the rep said in a statement. “He will be truly missed.”
While no cause of death was provided, TMZ reported that Frank died by suicide in Texas.
Frank played the role of Tommy Oliver throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ original three-season run on Fox Kids from 1993 to 1996.
The young audience was enthused by the show’s dynamic casting of kung-fu savvy vigilantes. The Power Rangers franchise has continued across multiple iterations and adaptations in the years since, with Frank often returning to his role in the series, becoming a beloved figure among the fanbase, per Variety.
Frank’s character was initially introduced as an antagonist in the series, the Green Ranger who is placed under a spell by the Power Rangers’ nemesis Rita Repulsa, according to Variety. The Green Ranger is a deadly adversary to the team of heroes.
Originally slated for a limited appearance, Frank ended up becoming a series regular due to the character’s popularity among fans. After the Green Ranger is freed from Rita’s mind manipulation, he is transformed into the White Ranger — a role that Frank fulfilled for the two seasons that followed.
Walter Jones, one of Frank’s co-stars on MMPR, who essays the Black expressed his grief in comment to TMZ. “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.”
He continued, “Jason was one of the biggest pranksters on the show. He had a wild sense of humour. 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.”