Actor and mixed martial artist Jason David Frank, famous for playing the green Power Ranger in the original TV series, has died at age 49.
TMZ, citing “sources with direct knowledge,” reported his death was a suicide.
Frank was best known as Tommy Oliver in the original run of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise which began in 1993.
He was most recently slated to reprise his role as the green Power Ranger in New Era – Legend of the White Dragon after it was successfully funded via Kickstarted. The film is set for a 2023 release.
He is survived by his four children.
‘Dearly missed:’ Tributes pour in for Frank
Walter Jones, who played the black ranger, paid tribute to his former colleague.
“He was an inspiration to so many people. His presence of him will be dearly missed. It’s so sad to lose another member of our Ranger family,” Jones told TMZ.
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 from him and all that will miss him.”
The CEO of Sucker Punch Entertainment – a sports marketing and management company -Brian Butler-Au was among the high-profile people who paid tribute to the actor.
“Shocked to hear about the passing of my friend and client @jdfffn. Everyone has demons but some worse than others,” tweeted Mr Butler-Au.
“If you know people that are depressed please reach out to them. Rest easy my friend.”
Another friend and MMA fighter Mike Bronzoulis also shared a heartfelt Facebook post in which he said he was contacted by Frank before his death.
“RIP my brother from another mother Jason David Frank,” he wrote.
“I’m still in shock. I’m feeling terrible he called left me a message and I took too long.
“Jason was a good friend to me and I will miss him. Love n prayers for his wife Tammie and their kids from him, I pray that God gets yall through this difficult time.”
In a comment to TMZ, Frank’s rep asked the media for privacy.
“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,” they said.
“I have loved his family, friends and fans very much. He will truly be missed.”