Jason David Frank

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Jason David Frank
Jason David Frank (44471975230) (cropped).jpg
Frank at the Louisville Supercon in 2018
Born(1973-09-04)September 4, 1973
Covina, California, U.S.
DiedNovember 19, 2022(2022-11-19) (aged 49)
Texas, U.S.
Suicide
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight214 lb (97 kg)
DivisionHeavyweight
StyleToso Kune Do[1]
StanceOrthodox
Fighting out ofHouston, Texas, U.S.
TeamSilverback MMA
Rank8th Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate
Black Belt in Wado-ryu Karate
Black Belt in Taekwondo
Black Belt in Judo
Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Ajarn Degree in Muay Thai[2]
Years active2010 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total1
Wins1
By submission1
Losses0
Amateur MMA record
Total4
Wins4
By knockout2
By submission2
Losses0
Other information
Children4
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Last updated on: April 28, 2010

Jason David Frank (September 4, 1973 – November 19, 2022) was an American actor and martial artist. He was known for his role as Tommy Oliver in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and other Power Rangers series.

Early life

Frank was born in Covina, California on September 4, 1973.[3][4]

Career

Power Rangers

Frank was cast in the role of Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger. The role was set for 14 episodes, but due to the popularity of the character he was brought back as the White Ranger and the new leader of the team.[5]

Frank was supposed to be the lead character Adam Steele in VR Troopers (originally called Cybertron) and shot a pilot episode before being called back to Power Rangers. According to both Frank and Brad Hawkins, Hawkins' character was to replace Tommy Oliver originally as the White Ranger on Power Rangers.[6][7] However, due to Tommy Oliver's popularity with Power Rangers fans, Frank was brought back, with Tommy Oliver becoming the White Ranger.[8] Hawkins would take over on VR Troopers. The character Adam Steele was renamed Ryan Steele. After three seasons, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers transitioned into Power Rangers Zeo. The transition is part of the annual Ranger suit change to match the annual change of the Super Sentai series. Frank's character became the Red Zeo Ranger (also called Zeo Ranger V).

The following year in Power Rangers Turbo, his character became the first Red Turbo Ranger. During mid-season, Frank and fellow cast members Johnny Yong Bosch, Nakia Burrise and Catherine Sutherland agreed to leave and were replaced.

After he left the series in 1997, Frank came back to Power Rangers as the Red Zeo Ranger in 2002 for the special 10th-anniversary episode, entitled "Forever Red", in Power Rangers Wild Force, which brought back ten former Red Rangers, and reunited him with Austin St. John.

He then reprised his role in 2004 in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, as the Black Dino Ranger. During this time, Frank was always shown in long-sleeved shirts to cover the tattoos on his arms.

This was also the case during "Forever Red" of Wild Force. Being the Black Dino Ranger was a favor to Douglas Sloan.[9] He joked that Saban and Disney are "both the same, they're cheap" but that he was impressed with the production crew for Dino Thunder.[10]

Frank reprised his role as Tommy Oliver (who in turn was the Green Ranger for the episode) in the season finale of Power Rangers Super Megaforce.[11] Frank expressed interest in developing a Green Ranger solo series or feature film after an encounter with Stan Lee at a comic book convention.[12]

Frank had a cameo role in the 2017 film Power Rangers, as a citizen of Angel Grove, alongside fellow Power Rangers actress Amy Jo Johnson. In 2018, he reprised his role as Tommy in episode 10 of Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel for the 25th anniversary of Power Rangers. In August 2022, Frank revealed that he had retired from the franchise.[citation needed]

Bat in the Sun: Super Power Beatdown

On November 7, 2013, Frank appeared on Super Power Beatdown as the White Ranger taking on Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.[13] He appeared again on May 5, 2015, as the Green Ranger and fought Ryu from Street Fighter.[14] After success with the Super Power Beatdown series, Bat in the Sun began developing a web reality series of Frank titled My Morphing Life.[15] In 2015, the show began airing season 2.

New Era – Legend of the White Dragon

The film Legend of the White Dragon launched on Kickstarter in 2020. Initially it was going to be a mini-series or fan film. With the popularity and excitement, it grew into a full-feature film. The film includes past Power Rangers performers such as Frank, Jason Faunt, and Ciara Hanna. Other cast members include Mark Dacascos, Michael Madsen, Andrew Byron Bachelor, and Jenna Frank. The movie wrapped in 2021. It is currently in post-production and set to release in 2023; in view of Frank's death (see below) in 2022, there has been talk of dedicating the film to his memory.

Fighting and martial arts

Toso Kune Do
FocusHybrid
HardnessFull-contact
Country of originUnited States
CreatorJason David Frank
ParenthoodKarate (Shōtōkan, Wado-ryu), Judo, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Olympic sportNo

With his knowledge of many different styles of martial arts that include Shōtōkan, Wadō-ryū, Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, and Aikido, Frank collected the most practical applications, modified them with his own philosophies and created his own blend of American Karate, "Toso Kune Do" (translation: "Way of the Fist-Fighter").[16][17][unreliable source?] On June 28, 2003, he was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.[18] Frank appeared at the Arnold Classic on February 29, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio.[citation needed]

Frank was temporarily a Guinness World Record holder in January 2013, as he successfully broke the existing record for the most 1 inch pine boards broken during freefall. The previous record was only two boards broken, but Frank attempted to break eight and successfully broke seven in his record breaking attempt. His record was eclipsed only a few months later in May 2013 by current Guinness World Record holder Ernie Torres, who broke twelve boards during his attempt.[19]

Mixed martial arts

On August 21, 2009, Frank officially announced his signing with SuckerPunch Entertainment,[20][unreliable source?][21][22] a sports marketing and management company specializing in MMA. He began training with UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard.

Frank made his much anticipated MMA debut for the United States Amateur Combat Association at the company's first event "Lonestar Beatdown: Houston" on January 30, 2010, at the Houston Arena Theatre. He defeated Jonathon "the Mack Truck" Mack in the first round by omoplata submission.[23][unreliable source?][24][25] Frank fought in his second fight at Lonestar Beatdown: Dallas on February 19 in Arlington, Texas. His opponent was Chris Rose who made his ring entrance wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles robe. Frank defeated Rose in round 1 by TKO (strikes).[26][27][28]

On May 8, 2010, he fought for the Texas Rage in the Cage Amateur Association "Cage Rage 7" in State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. His opponent was James Willis. Frank defeated Willis via KO in 23 seconds of the first round with a rising knee.[29]

Frank was scheduled to make his debut with Ultimate Warrior Challenge at their upcoming event on May 22 against James "Ray" Handy Jr. in a light heavyweight bout.[30]

On May 21, Frank had announced on his official Facebook fan page that James Handy was injured and Carlos Horn would replace him, changing the fight to a heavyweight bout. Frank defeated Horn in the first round by an armbar submission.[31] Since turning pro, Frank expressed interest in signing a deal with Strikeforce and potentially fighting Herschel Walker.[32]

Frank announced on his Facebook fan page that he would be scheduled to make his professional debut on August 4, 2010, in Houston at "Puro Combate #1." He fought at heavyweight, with his opponent being Jose Roberto Vasquez. Frank won his pro MMA debut quickly at the time of 0:46 in the first round by a Rear Naked Choke Submission.[33][34]

Frank was scheduled for a Light heavyweight bout on December 9, 2010, at Puro Combate 3. The fight was canceled on December 8 due to his opponent not being medically cleared. He was then scheduled to face Shawn Machado on July 22, 2011, at Legacy FC 7. However, due to a possible biceps tear the fight was cancelled.[35]

Personal life

Frank at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon

Frank was Christian, and said he began attending church after the death of his brother.[36] He married his first wife, Shawna, in 1994 and the couple had two sons and a daughter. They divorced in 2001. In 2003, he married his second wife, Tammie,[37] and the couple had one daughter.[38] In 2022, Tammie filed for divorce.[39] At the time of his death, they had begun to reconcile.[40]

In 2017, he was targeted by a man named Matthew Sterling while attending Phoenix Comicon. Police were able to arrest Sterling before he got near Frank, after being tipped off due to social media threats made by Sterling. Sterling was later committed to 25 and a half years at the Arizona State Hospital.[41]

Death

Frank died in Texas on November 19, 2022, at the age of 49.[3][42] On November 30, Frank's widow, Tammie, revealed that Frank had been battling with depression and mental health issues and he had died by suicide. They were staying in a hotel in separate rooms. After talking with him in his room, Tammie went downstairs to the hotel's lobby. When she returned to Frank's room, he did not answer the door. Police arrived, opened the door and found Frank dead in the room.[40] Frank was laid to rest in Forest Lawn-Covina Hills in his hometown of Covina, California alongside his brother and mother.

Filmography

Television

Title Year Role Notes
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 1993–1996 Tommy Oliver – Green Ranger / White Ranger 124 episodes[43]
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Alpha's Magical Christmas 1994 Tommy Oliver Video short
Cybertron Adam Steele – Cybertron 1 episode (Pilot)
Power Rangers Zeo 1996 Tommy Oliver – Zeo Ranger V Red 50 episodes
Sweet Valley High A.J. 4 episodes
Family Matters Skull Episode: "Karate Kids"
Power Rangers Turbo 1997 Tommy Oliver / Red Turbo Ranger 19 episodes
Power Rangers: The Lost Episode 1999 Tommy Oliver Archival footage
Undressed 2000 Carl Episode: "Episode #3.16"
Power Rangers Wild Force 2002 Tommy Oliver / Zeo Ranger V Red Credited as Jason Frank
Episode: "Forever Red"
Power Rangers Dino Thunder 2004 Dr. Tommy Oliver / Black Dino Ranger 38 episodes (12 voice only)
Power Rangers Super Megaforce 2014 Dr. Tommy Oliver / Green Ranger / White Ranger Episode: "Legendary Battle"
My Morphing Life 2014–2022 Himself Web series[44]
Transformers: Titans Return 2017–2018 Emissary
(voice)
Web series[45]
Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe 2018 Ray Garrison / Bloodshot Web series
Power Rangers Hyperforce Dr. Tommy Oliver / Black Dino Ranger
Lord Drakkon
Web series;
Episodes: "Dr. Tommy Oliver Returns"
"Shattered Grid, part 2"
Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Dr. Tommy Oliver / Green Ranger / White Ranger / Zeo Ranger V Red / Black Dino Ranger / Robot Tommy Episode: "Dimensions in Danger"
We Bare Bears 2019 Silver Bear
(voice)
Episode: "Imaginary Friend"[46]

Film

Film Year Portraying Notes
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie 1995 Tommy Oliver / The White Power Ranger
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie 1997 Tommy Oliver / The Red Turbo Ranger
Paris 2003 Chad (uncredited)
The Junior Defenders 2007 Tommy Keen
Fall Guy: The John Stewart Story 2007 John Stewart
The Blue Sun 2010
Crammed 2: Hoaching 2011 Christopher Crammed
Power Rangers 2017 Angel Grove Citizen Cameo
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars – Street Fighter Showdown[47] 2018 Tommy Oliver
Making Fun: The Story of Funko 2018 Himself Documentary
Legend of the White Dragon 2023 Erik Reed / White Dragon Final role

Video games

Video Game Year Portraying Notes
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie 1995 Tommy / White Ranger Voice
Piper 1996 Piper Windsong Video capture
Power Rangers Dino Thunder 2004 Dr. Tommy Oliver / Black Dino Ranger Voice
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid 2019 Tommy Oliver / Lord Drakkon / Green Ranger / White Ranger Voice

Mixed martial arts record

Professional

Professional record breakdown
1 match 1 win 0 losses
By knockout 0 0
By submission 1 0
By decision 0 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 Jose Roberto Vasquez Submission (rear-naked choke) Texas Cage Fighting – Puro Combate 1 August 4, 2010 1 0:46 Houston, Texas, United States

Amateur

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 Jonathon Mack Submission (omoplata) Lonestar Beatdown: Houston January 30, 2010 1 1:07 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 2–0 Chris Rose TKO (punches) Lonestar Beatdown: Dallas February 19, 2010 1 2:09 Arlington, Texas, United States
Win 3–0 James Willis KO (knee) Texas Rage In The Cage: Cage Rage 7 May 8, 2010 1 0:23 McAllen, Texas, United States
Win 4–0 Carlos Horn Submission (armbar) UWC 8: Judgement Day May 22, 2010 1 0:21 Fairfax, Virginia, United States

References

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  4. ^ Mouriquand, David (November 20, 2022). "Jason David Frank, 'Power Rangers' star and former MMA fighter, dies aged 49". Euronews. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  5. ^ Patel, Vimal (November 20, 2022). "Jason David Frank, Who Starred in 'Power Rangers' Franchise, Dies at 49". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  6. ^ "THE POWER RANGERS ZEO NEWSLETTER – THE NEWSLETTER OF THE POWER RANGER CLUB – ISSUE #62 – MAY 8, 1996 – "MAN, THEY'RE NEVER GONNA BELIEVE THIS ON THE INTERNET!"". Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "CYBERTRON: The Original Pilot for VR Troopers, Starring Jason David Frank!!!". Archived from the original on October 17, 2007.
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  29. ^ "Photo Gallery". Texas Rage in the Cage. May 8, 2010. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  30. ^ "UWC 8 – Judgement Day – May 22, 2010 – GMU Patriot Center – Fairfax, VA". Uwcmma.com. May 22, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
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  38. ^ Massabrook, Nicole (November 20, 2022). "'Power Rangers' Star Jason David Frank Dead at 49". US Weekly. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
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  40. ^ a b Garner, Glenn; Goldstein, Joelle (November 30, 2022). "Jason David Frank's Wife Reveals 'Power Rangers' Star Died by Suicide: 'He Was Not Without His Demons'". People. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  41. ^ Leatherman, Benjamin (January 24, 2020). "Phoenix Comicon Gunman Mathew Sterling Sentenced to 25 Years in Arizona State Hospital". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  42. ^ Reul, Katie (November 20, 2022). "Jason David Frank, 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' Star, Dies at 49". Variety. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  43. ^ Callas, Brad (November 20, 2022). "'Power Rangers' Actor Jason David Frank Dead at 49". Paramount Global. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  44. ^ Nicholson, Max (April 2, 2015). "Jason David Frank Talks My Morphing Life, Power Rangers and More". IGN. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  45. ^ Burlingame, Russ (July 18, 2017). "Transformers: Titans Return Cast Brings in Judd Nelson, Jason David Frank, Wil Wheaton and More". Comicbook.com. Paramount Global. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  46. ^ @ThatRetro (December 15, 2018). "@Galileo908 It is" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  47. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Power Rangers Legacy Wars: Street Fighter Showdown Short Film | Power Rangers Official". YouTube.

External links