Jason David Frank — best known for his role as Tommy, the original Green Ranger — in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has died at the age of 49 by suicide.
Multiple people close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Sunday.
Born in California, Frank landed his role as Tommy Oliver in the Power Rangers franchise in the early 1990s. Originally slated to appear in 14 episodes, Frank’s character was so beloved by fans that he was brought back and became a staple among the cast before ultimately appearing in 123 episodes in the series.
Frank continued appearing in various Power Rangers projects including two films released in 1995 and 1997.
In addition to his acting career, Frank was a lifelong martial arts enthusiast as an 8th degree black belt in Shotokan karate as well as a black belt in taekwondo and judo. He also held a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
In 2009, Frank declared his intention to cross over into mixed martial arts after training for most of his life. He put together a 4-0 amateur career while competing in Texas and Virginia. He made his professional MMA debut in 2010 when he picked up a first-round submission win as part of the Texas Cage Fighting promotion.
“Just to go out there and do my best, and prove that I’m a real fighter,” Frank said when announcing his plans to compete in MMA. “I’m not looking for any titles specifically. Ultimately, I want to give my fans something to watch and be proud of.”
Frank’s longtime MMA manager Brian Butler from Suckerpunch Entertainment paid tribute to his client in an Instagram post on Sunday.
Frank is survived by his four children.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 on any phone.