Being a nerd and a fan of pop culture has its ups and downs. On the one hand, the stuff we love, whether its comics, toys, video games etc. bring us joy and we find life-long friends, even love, amongst those fandoms. And then there are the moments when it hurts to be a nerd, because when the people responsible for bringing the characters and creations to life pass away, we hurt and we mourn, not only for the loss that individuals family/friends are going through, but for the passing of someone who contributed to a thing we hold dear.
Across the world fans of Power Rangers are mourning the death of long-time Ranger actor Jason David Frank. JDF, famous for playing the original Green and White Rangers on the original show and being a part of various incarnations of the franchise over the years was 49 years old.
His representative Justine reached out to TMZ with the following statement:
“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. He loved his family, friends and fans very much. He will truly be missed.”
This hurts for me not only as someone who grew up watching the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers show, but because I was fortunate to meet JDF thanks to the good people at local shop Geek Inc. Comics. I volunteered to assist the day he was visiting in 2020 as part of the Power Ranger Protection Program, which was started to help out comic shops during the worst times of the pandemic.
All day long people were lined up outside the store, eager to meet this man, this Ranger. What was fantastic was the number of small kids that were their with their parents, the next generation of Power Rangers fans. JDF did not call it quits until everyone who came out to meet him got an autograph or a photo. And then he spent time with us staffers to snag a photo. He took the time to meet people he would probably never see again because of how important this show and his character meant to them all. Jason brought a bit of joy to everyone that day.
Farewell JDF. You were awesome, you were amazing. You were mighty.
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.