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The Devastating Death Of Jason David Frank

Jason David Frank, the actor and martial artist behind Tommy Oliver, the iconic Green Ranger from "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" has died. Frank's representative Justine Hunt confirmed to TMZ that the actor died in Texas and is survived by his four children. He was 49. Several alumni from the "Power Rangers" franchise, including Black Ranger actor and costar Walter Emanuel Jones took to social media to grieve over Frank's passing. While speaking with TMZ, Jones described his former "Mighty Morphin" costar as an "inspiration to many" and fondly remembered how the Green Ranger was "one of the biggest pranksters on the show." 

Following the release of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" in 1993, Frank quickly became the poster child of the franchise, with the Green Ranger emerging as one of the most popular characters on the show. As the Green Ranger, Oliver began as a villain under Rita Repulsa's (Machiko Soga) spell, meant to destroy the Power Rangers. Following his defeat at the hands of the Red Ranger (Austin St. John), Oliver decided to use his powers for good, joining the titular team. With his cocky attitude and tendency to operate as a lone wolf, the Green Ranger frequently clashed with leadership and expectations. Oliver's arc later saw him assuming the role of the noble White Ranger, becoming the leader of the team.

Following the finale of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," Frank went on to portray Oliver countless times in several spin-offs, continuing his fan-favorite arc. 2004's "Powers Rangers Dino Thunder" saw Tommy as the mature and sensible leader for a new generation of Power Rangers. As the fandom saw the character grow on "Dino Thunder," they were treated to Tommy stepping into the shoes of the beloved Black Ranger. Frank's final performance as Tommy Oliver was in 2018's "Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel," which coincided with the 25th anniversary of the mega-franchise.  

Fans will always remember Frank as the emotional anchor for the entire franchise, and while he will always be remembered as the Green Ranger, there was more to the actor than just "Power Rangers."

Jason David Frank was more than just the Green Ranger

While it's unlikely that any other actor will come close to trumping Jason David Frank's performance as the Green Ranger, fans should know that the star was more than just a Power Ranger. In a way, playing Tommy Oliver was more of Frank's side hustle, with his day job being professional martial arts. The actor made headlines in 2010 when he made (and won) his MMA debut after signing onto SuckerPunch Entertainment. Prior to his professional career as a fighter, the Green Ranger actor had a number of ameteur fights under his belt.

His passion for martial arts eventually led to the fighter opening up his own karate dojo, Rising Sun Karate. Located just outside of Houston, Texas the school teaches Frank's unique and personally developed form of martial art: "Toso Kune Do," which translates to "Way of the Fighting Fist." Boasting an Eighth Degree Black Belt, Frank managed and taught at the Texas karate school since its inception.

Frank's bio on the official Rising Sun Karate website reveals that the Green Ranger began studying martial arts at the age of four and has won multiple accolades, including the coveted Arnold Schwarzenegger Classics Master Appreciation Award. Beyond karate, Frank achieved a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and trained with several revered martial artists, including Muay Thai instructor Master Toddy, who previously trained fighter and actor Gina Carano.

Prior to his passing in 2022, Frank confirmed that he had officially retired from his nearly three decade long stint as the Green Ranger and had intentions to work on more mature projects (via YouTube). All in all, Frank appeared as the Green Ranger over a dozen times and while his legacy as a Power Ranger is indescribable, his contributions to the world of martial arts should be celebrated just as well.