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Jason David Frank

He is the Power Rangers’ Power Ranger! The Ranger that cannot die! He also proved his point by turning his hand to MMA.

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How did one man manage to become the legend of a franchise where he is still in demand 21 years after his first appearance?

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Well it almost didn’t happen! As Frank originally auditioned for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers pilot. He went for the part of the Red Ranger but was unsuccessful. He later tried out again in 1993 when he was 19. He was cast in the role of Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger.

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 was to replace Frank originally as the White Ranger on Power Rangers. However, due to Frank’s popularity with Ranger fans, he was brought back as the White Ranger again. Hawkins would take over on VR Troopers. The character, Adam Steele was renamed Ryan Steele.

After three seasons Mighty Morphin Power Rangers became 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. The following year in Power Rangers: Turbo he 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.

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After he left the series in 1997, Frank came back to Power Rangers as Zeo Ranger V in 2002 for the special 10th anniversary episode, entitled “Forever Red”, in Power Rangers: Wild Force (reuniting with Austin St. John). He then reprised his role in 2004 in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, as the Black Dino Ranger. During his time as the Black Dino Ranger he was always shown in long-sleeved shirts to cover his tattoos on his arms. This was also the case during “Forever Red” of Wild Force. Being the Black Dino Ranger was a favour to Douglas Sloan. He has joked that Saban and Disney are “both the same, they’re cheap” but that he was impressed with the production crew for Dino Thunder. Frank again returned as Tommy Oliver in the series finale of Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

Frank has expressed interest in developing a Green Ranger solo series or feature film after an encounter with Stan Lee at a comic book convention.

Frank has been featured on the YouTube channel “Bat in the Sun” in a miniseries following his everyday life. He also reprised his role of Tommy Oliver as the Mighty Morphin White Ranger in the “Super Power Beatdown” episodes, which pitted his White Ranger character against Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion. In another episode, Jason will play Tommy again but as the Might Morphin Green Ranger, pitted against Street Fighter’s Ryu.

Sadly, Frank passed away on 19th November 2022 at teh age of 49 years old.

 

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