The actor and mixed martial artist Jason David Frank, who starred on the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has died, his representatives confirmed to the entertain news outlet Geek Ireland. He was 49 years old.
Frank attained fame in the early 1990s as the green power ranger, Tommy Oliver, who then becomes the white power ranger on a children’s television show about superheroes who are particularly skilled in martial arts. The show generated spin-off movies, action figures and other toys.
A cause of death wasn’t immediately released, though multiple reports indicated Frank died by suicide.
Word of Frank’s death prompted Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fans to flood social media with tributes.
The professional wrestler the Iron Sheik was among those who posted condolences, writing on Twitter: “RIP JDF YOU THE REAL LEGEND … I LOVE YOU FOREVER”.
Walter Emanuel Jones, the actor who played the original black power ranger, wrote on Instagram that he was sad to have lost a member of his “special family”.
“Can’t believe it,” Jones’s post added.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was about five teenagers deputized to save Earth from evil – it debuted on Fox in 1993 before becoming a pop-culture phenomenon.
Early in the first season, Frank’s character was initially a villain, brainwashed by the evil antagonist Rita Repulsa. But soon after, he was inducted in the group of heroes and became one of the most popular characters on the show and its related titles.
A practitioner of martial arts, Frank fought in several mixed martial arts bouts in 2009 and 2010.
TMZ first reported Frank’s death and said his second wife, Tammie Frank, filed for divorce from him in August. Frank is survived by four children – one from his marriage with Tammie Frank and three from his first marriage to Shawna Frank.