Actor Jason David Frank, who played the role of Tommy Oliver in the Power Rangers TV series, has died aged 49.
His manager Justine Hunt confirmed to The Associated Press that the actor died Saturday in Texas, describing him as a “wonderful human being.”
Frank’s character began as the Green Ranger in the show’s first season and was introduced to viewers as an enemy of the Power Rangers.
But later on, he got good and finally transformed into White Ranger.
Hunt asked for “the privacy of his family and friends during this horrific time as we come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful human being.”
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers launched in 1993 on Fox Kids and originally aired for three years, with the vigilante action heroes quickly becoming popular with young audiences.
The franchise continued over the next few years with a series of new iterations and adaptations, with Frank often returning to his role on the show and becoming a fan favourite.
Walter Jones, one of Frank’s co-stars on the show, wrote on Instagram: “I can’t believe this…RIP Jason David Frank. I am sad to have lost another member of our special family.”
Frank’s death comes two decades after that of co-star Thuy Trang, who died aged 27 in 2001 from injuries sustained in a car crash.
Frank’s Green Ranger was originally introduced as an antagonist in the series – who had been bewitched by the Power Rangers’ nemesis, Rita Repulsa.
Initially slated for a limited appearance, Frank eventually became a series regular due to the character’s popularity with viewers.
After the Green Ranger was freed from Rita’s mind manipulation, viewers saw him transform into the White Ranger – a role Frank filled for the next two seasons.
Frank has appeared in a plethora of spin-offs and reboots of the series, including Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers Megaforce, Power Rangers: DinoThunder, and Power Rangers Ninja Steel.
In addition to being an on-screen action hero, in real life, Frank also possessed a black belt in karate and had experience in various other martial arts styles, including taekwondo, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay Thai.
The actor has been inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and the Black Belt Hall of Fame.
He also taught martial arts and co-founded the Rising Sun Karate Academy. Two sons and two daughters survive him.