The untimely death this week of Jason David Frank at the age of 49 has led to an outpouring of stories about the late actor and mixed martial artist, best known for his role in over a hundred episodes of the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV series from 1993 to 1996. Frank played Tommy Oliver, who started out as the villainous Green Ranger before becoming the heroic team leader, the White Ranger. It was a role that carried over into “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,” which thrust Frank into the spotlight even more and gave him the chance to meet other famous actors like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michael Madsen.
In a 2019 interview with TheHipHop Lab, Frank recounted his memory of the premiere of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.” Van Damme was not in the film, but he attended the premiere, and Frank said he had been excited to meet him, only to be pushed back by his security and told that he had five minutes. “It ruined my movie premiere,” Frank said. He was so disappointed that he left the premiere, whereupon he encountered a young Power Rangers fan and a dad who “looked like a gangster.” He recalled:
“So I went outside, this little kid — in dirty pajamas, I’ll never forget it — came out of the bushes in like these dirty White Ranger pajamas. […] And this kid’s like, ‘Hey, man, can I have your autograph?’ And I said, ‘Sure, man.’ And then, you know, this dad came up […] and he said, ‘Thanks, man, I appreciate it. Thanks for taking care of my kid.’ So, ‘Oh, no, no problem, sir.’ I took care of his kid, and they said, ‘You know who that was? That was Michael Madsen.'”
Frank And Madsen Reunited
Above, you can see Frank’s HipHop Lab appearance; the question leading up to the Van Damme and Madsen story begins around the 19:20 mark. Madsen’s 1995 film, “Species,” would hit theaters a week after “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,” and he was already well-known at the time for his signature role as Mr. Blonde in “Reservoir Dogs” along with his performances in films like “The Getaway” and “Wyatt Earp.”
Frank said that he didn’t know who Madsen was at the time, but later came to regard “Donnie Brasco” as one of his favorite movies. Years later, Frank and Madsen reconnected at the Wizard World fan convention, and Madsen still remembered Frank’s kindness to his son. Frank’s final film, “Legend of the White Dragon,” would give him the chance finally to act opposite Madsen, with the added twist that Madsen was now playing his character’s dad.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: Jason David Frank Had A Heart-Warming Interaction With Reservoir Dogs Star Michael Madsen’
Author: Joshua Meyer
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November 22, 2022