Jason David Frank’s cause of death has been revealed.
The Power Rangers star died by suicide, his wife, Tammie Frank, told People magazine.
Tammie said in a statement that her husband, an actor and martial artist, “tragically lost his life to suicide” on Nov. 19. They were in the process of working on their 19-year marriage after a separation and were away for what was supposed to be a “fun weekend getaway.” She called the 49-year-old’s death “as much a shock to me as anyone else,” and cleared up rumors they had gotten into a fight the night of his death.
“While Jason was a well-known name to some, we lived a very normal life with ups and downs, just like anyone else,” Tammie said. “It has shocked and saddened me beyond belief to see that the media has turned my family’s tragedy into a tall tale. Since Jason’s death, I have been harassed online and can no longer stand to watch my husband’s good name slandered.”
Tammie said she loved Jason, who was best known for portraying the Green and White Rangers, and they were “trying to work through our problems. His death comes as much a shock to me as anyone else. The truth is, I had no idea that Jason was thinking of ending things. Yes, he had struggled with mental health issues and depression before, but I could never predict what would happen that night.”
She confirmed that they separated earlier this year. That split occurred after the sudden death of her daughter Shayla, whom Jason helped raise as his own. Tammie said Jason was the one who found Shayla. She admitted they were struggling with that loss, which “wrecked our family emotionally,” while simultaneously raising Shayla’s baby boy. That put pressure on their marriage and they split, but reconciled six weeks ago. They were taking things slow, but the weekend he died, they were on a two-day trip to attend a country dancing event and work on their marriage after their “especially hard year.”
“It was meant to be a fun weekend getaway, and instead, I lost the love of my life,” she said. “Jason was a good man, but he was not without his demons. He was human, just like the rest of us.”
They had separate rooms at their Texas hotel, which was normal, she said, and admitted they received a noise complaint from hotel guests that night. However, she said it wasn’t because they were “fighting,” as reported, but because they were “having some fun.”
“We danced and stayed out at the event until the bar closed,” she explained. “When we got back to the hotel, Jason and I were having a heartfelt and emotional talk in his room. To help Jason relax and sober up before turning down to sleep, I went downstairs to get us snacks from the lobby. I must’ ve been gone no more than 10 minutes. I went back upstairs and began knocking on the door to no answer. I knocked repeatedly and kept calling for his name to open the door.”
Tammie said she wasn’t sure who called the police, but after they arrived, she was escorted downstairs while authorities opened the door “and found that Jason took his life. These were the ‘disturbances’ that have been brought up numerous times online. “
She called for people to “stop making assumptions and leave my family to grieve peacefully.” She said their family wants to remember their “happiest memories” of Jason, and asked only for “sympathy and understanding during this difficult time.”
It was reported on Nov. 20 that Jason had died with no cause of death immediately shared by the family.
“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,” said his rep. “He loved his family, friends and fans very much. He will be truly missed.”
Tammy shared photos of them together through the years in an Instagram post. She wrote: “The loss of my soulmate. Jason, I can’t go on without you! You are my world! Yes we had our struggles like any marriage. But months ago we both agreed it was worth saving. Deep conversations, vulnerability , forgiveness on both our parts. I am deeply lost, hurt and utterly destroyed. I lost my one and only true love. I am your forever ‘Firecracker’ baby…till we’re together again.”
Jason, a father of four, was best known for his Power Rangers roles — initially Green and later White. He played Tommy Oliver on the show’s original run, from 1993 to 1995, and then appeared in Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo and the other show offshoots. He continued to reprise the role for years, last appearing as 2018’s Power Rangers Ninja Steel for the 25th anniversary of the series.
He also had guest spots on Sweet Valley High and Family Mattersand did voice work in the video game Smite for the Transformers: Titans Return miniseries.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.