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Whatever Happened To The Original Green Power Ranger?

Face it, if you were a nineties kid, you loved the Power Rangers. For as silly as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers might have been — with its hilariously predictable episodic format and its goofy giant monsters — the show had a phenomenal cultural impact, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any Millennial in the U.S. who doesn't have a favorite Ranger.

That said, in the end, most fans agree that the coolest Ranger of all is Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, that rebellious antihero who swoops in, basically steals the Red Ranger's leadership position, and somehow makes you wonder what the rest of these guys did before he arrived. As played by actor and real-life martial artist Jason David Frank, Oliver was basically the Wolverine of the team, possessing a lone wolf attitude and the most advanced skills. From overcoming the dastardly manipulations of Rita Repulsa to summoning his Zord by playing his sword like a flute (hey, it was a strange show), Tommy never stopped impressing the audience.

Now, everyone remembers Tommy being upgraded to White Ranger status, but what happened after that is, for most viewers, a foggy unknown. Even casual fans know that there have been dozens of new Power Rangers shows after the original, of course, but what you might be surprised to learn is that Tommy's story continued into the 2010s ... and so did the real-life adventures of the actor who played him. 

Onscreen, the Green Ranger's legacy took him to new heights ... and Jason David Frank stayed with him

In his path from green-suited villain to white-suited team leader, Tommy Oliver came a long way. To this day, he's still generally regarded as the all-time favorite Power Ranger ... which probably accounts for the fact that for the past few decades, as Saban has introduced a seemingly endless number of new themed shows — from Power Rangers Time Force to Power Rangers Beast Morphers — they've never quite let Tommy go. 

Basically, Jason David Frank never closed the book on Tommy Oliver. 

Once the Mighty Morphin saga ended, Tommy continued leading the team through its next two incarnations, becoming the new Red Ranger. Following this, the next handful of Power Rangers shows moved on to new characters, finally bringing Tommy back into the fold for the Wild Force episode "Forever Red," which marked the 10th anniversary of the overall franchise. Here, an older Tommy is shown to be running a resort. When he discovers an evil plot involving an attempt to resurrect the monstrous personal Zord of Lord Zedd (remember that guy?), he leads a team of other former Red Rangers to save the day. From there, Tommy continued appearing occasionally. He became the Black Ranger — and earned a PhD at MIT — in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. He's mentioned in Power Rangers S.P.D., as well. Perhaps the moment that everyone was truly waiting for, though, finally occurred in Super Megaforce, in 2014, pictured above, when he only returned to lead some Rangers, but did so with his old Green Ranger costume and powers. After that, Tommy last appeared in 2018, via Power Rangers Ninja Steel. 

Throughout all these appearances, though, Jason David Frank has, behind the scenes, had a rather interesting career.

Jason David Frank is a martial artist first, actor second

Considering that Jason David Frank seems to have happily returned to his Green Ranger role on numerous occasions, you'd be forgiven for thinking he didn't have anything else going on. In fact, that couldn't be further from the truth. Because while Frank doesn't tend to do a lot of acting, outside of his Power Rangers days, he's actually a well known martial artist. 

As explained on Frank's official website, he possesses an eighth degree black belt in Karate, and is an inductee of the World Karate Hall of Fame. He also has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is a Master of Muay Thai, and has even created his own martial arts style, which he calls Toso Kune Do, which translates to "Way of the Fighting Fist." He teaches this skill at his martial arts school, Rising Sun Karate. In an interview with Comic Buzz, Frank described Toso Kune Do as representative of "the never ending journey and continual struggle for personal excellence. The Toso Kune Do system incorporates an entire arsenal of dynamic kicks, elusive hand techniques and powerful restraining holds, combining a mixture of philosophies and disciplines from multiple styles of Martial Arts around the world into its curriculum."

Frank is also an MMA fighter, a poet, and in 2020, was involved in the experimental anthology film Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. So, whether he's green or red, he stays pretty busy.