It's Morphin' Time!
Can you believe it's been 20 whole years since the first Power Rangers movie graced the silver screen and caused kids everywhere to lose their minds? Mighty Morphin [Power Rangers](tag:1408875) was such a huge part of my childhood that it really felt like I knew Tommy, Billy, Kimberly, Zordon and the rest of the gang. I remember playing Power Rangers with my friends as a kid and all the arguments that followed because everyone wanted to be the Red or White Rangers. I still remember the villainous Ivan Ooze and his plot to rid the world of parents.
Unlike the TV Show, which utilized Japanese footage that was then dubbed over, the Power Rangers movie was produced 100% by the American studios and as such, there was a notable increase in production quality. Let's take a look to see exactly what our favourite teens with attitude have been up to since 1995.
Note: I've included the original Black, Yellow and Red Rangers into this list as well despite them not being in the movie because MY CHILDHOOD!
Karan Ashley - The 2nd Yellow Ranger/Aisha Cambell
After her time ended as the Yellow Ranger, Karan made a few guest appearances in shows such as The Steve Harvey Show and Kenan & Kel, but never anything substantial. In 2011, she joined the National Talk Radio Show "UnCensored Radio" as co-host and quickly moved her way up to becoming the show moderator. Karan embraces her Power Rangers past and makes the journey to various Power Ranger Cons across the country when she has the time.
Fun Fact: Before she was the Yellow Ranger, Karan was a member of the short-lived girl group, K.R.US.H, that was even featured on the soundtrack for the movie, Mo' Money.
Thuy Trang - The Original Yellow Ranger/Trini Kwan
Thuy Trang played the role of Trini Kwan and was the original Yellow Ranger when Power Rangers first debuted in the West. For those of us who were around when the show first premiered, she will always be the iconic Yellow Ranger to us all, and we were all saddened when she left the show due to a contract dispute at the time.
After her time on Power Rangers, Trang went on to act in a few other films such as Spy Hard and The Crow: City of Angels before leaving acting altogether. She made cameo appearances in martial arts instructional videos produced by fellow Ranger, Austin St. John, and remained close friends with the original cast of the show over the years.
Unfortunately, Thuy Trang passed away in a horrible traffic accident in 2001 when her friend, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle unexpectedly. The original cast of the Power Rangers all attended her funeral with the exception of Jason David Frank, who was experiencing a death in the family at the same time. While her acting career may have been short-lived, Thuy Trang will always be remembered by Power Rangers fans around the world as the original Yellow Ranger.
Johnny Yong Bosch - The 2nd Black Ranger/Adam Park
Johnny Yong Bosch (JYB) took on the role of being the second Black Ranger both in the TV Show and movie after the original actor (Walter Jones) left due to salary disputes. JYB played the role of Adam and over the years he has been one actor to completely embrace and celebrate his time on the show. In addition to doing the voice work for Power Rangers video games, JYB has even made his most recent appearance on the show back in 2007's Power Rangers Operation Overdrive for a two episode 15-year celebration.
And speaking of voice work, if you're a fan of anime or video games, then there's a VERY good chance that you've heard Mr. Bosch in one of his many roles. JYB has kept himself extremely busy after his time with Power Rangers ended and is now known to anime fans and gamers across the globe as one of the biggest voice actors in the business. He has voiced huge characters in popular shows and movies such as Code Geass, Bleach, Akira, Trigun and Kill la Kill just to name a few. He has also done voice work for fan favourite games such as Ape Escape, Devil May Cry, Persona 4, Soul Calibur V, and most recently, Mortal Kombat X.
See what I mean about keeping busy? Johnny Bosch's career has only soared since 1995 and he clearly loves his job and his fans.
Fun Fact: JYB is actually the lead guitarist and vocalist of the the band, Eyeshine. Here's one of their more recent tracks for your listening pleasure.
Walter Emmanuel Jones - The Original Black Ranger/Zack Taylor
After leaving Power Rangers, Walter continued to experience mild success as an actor and voice actor. He found several smaller roles in various TV shows and movies over the years such as Family Matters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Shield and even had a small role in Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
He doesn't regret his time as the Black Ranger, despite his salary disagreements, and openly embraces the fan base that has developed over the years. In fact, Walter Jones is the only Ranger who has ever returned to the show to provide voice overs for the villainous characters and not to reprise his role in any way. Walter has also done minor voice work for video games over the years including the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption and Freedom Fighters.
Fun Fact: Walter is actually missing the middle finger on his left hand. The camera crew tried to hide this when filming Power Rangers, but there are a few moments in the show where you can see the missing finger.
Steve Cardenas - The 2nd Red Ranger/Rocky DeSantos
For many other actors in this list, Power Rangers was just one role for them before they tried to advance their career in the entertainment industry. That's not the case for Steve Cardenas though. This guy has been studying and training in several various forms of martial arts since he was only twelve years old. From the time he was a kid, the various arts of fighting have been his life.
In fact, after leaving Power Rangers, Steve not only continued to hone his skills and learn more ways to kill you, but he also opened up schools in California, Texas and Hollywood to teach children and adults how to kill you as well. On top of being a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Steve also has the Gold Medals for the 2009 American National Championship, 2010 Jujitsu Pro Gear Open, and Silver Medal in the 2010 No-Gi World Championships. Whoa.
Fun Fact: Steve had no prior acting experience before Power Rangers. He learned everything on the job, and has done no acting outside of Power Rangers since leaving the show.
Austin St. John - The Original Red Ranger/Jason Scott
Let's get this one out of the way. Austin St. John has never done porn, much less gay porn. This is one of the biggest rumours that I've heard from multiple people over the years and it simply isn't true.
After leaving the show back in 1994, Austin St. John made guest appearances in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the Forever Red special and with his most notable role at the Gold Ranger in Power Rangers: Zeo. In addition to this, Austin has also authored the book, Karate Warrior: A Beginner's Guide to Martial Arts, and is a second-degree black belt in Tae-Kwon Do, a first-degree black belt in Judo, and he also practices Shenkito and Kenpo.
When St. John isn't busy interacting with fans at various Cons across the country, he's busy saving lives. Aside from brief stints in acting after his time as a Ranger, Austin St. John has been a firefighter and a Washington D.C paramedic.
Fun Fact: Austin St. John will actually return to the world of acting for the indie post-apocalyptic film, Survival's End, which is currently in production.
David Yost - The Blue Ranger/Billy Cranston
Billy was always my favourite Power Ranger as a kid. Maybe it's because blue is my favourite colour, or maybe it's because with Billy being the geeky one in the group, I could identify the most with him. The concept of a nerd that gets super powers and fights evil is one that has always appealed to me (which also explains my fondness of Peter Parker). Out of all the cast, David Yost was actually one of the few original Power Rangers who remained on the show for a while before finally leaving Power Rangers: Zeo in 1996.
However, despite his lengthy presence on the show, David Yost was constantly harassed on the set by many of the staff and even producers because they had suspected that he was gay. It's even been rumoured that some of the higher ups went as far as interrogating Yost's co-stars individually about his sexuality. Granted, this was 20 years ago and that sort of behaviour would never fly now, but that still doesn't make what happened behind the scenes any less deplorable.
Yet, despite all of this unjustified harassment, David Yost still embraces his history with the Power Rangers and is a frequent guest at various Cons where he has a sizeable fan base to this day. He continues to have a presence in Hollywood as an actor/producer and is expected to make a cameo in Amy Jo Johnson's directorial debut "The Space Between".
Fun Fact: Yost's character 'Billy Cranston' is actually named after Bryan Cranston. Yes, Heisenberg! Back in the early 90's, Cranston did a lot of voice over work and was well known at Saban Entertainment - the company that brought Power Rangers to the West. Not only did they name the Blue Ranger after him, but Bryan Cranston also provided to the voice work for Power Ranger villains such as Snizzard and Twin Man. How cool is that?
Amy Jo Johnson - The Pink Ranger/Kimberly Hart
Say hello to every young boy's first crush when Power Rangers hit the small screens back in 1993. Kimberly Hart was cute but fierce and definitely knew how to take care of herself. I think if Johnny Bosch experienced the most success in terms of vocal work after the show, then it's safe to say that Amy experienced the most on screen success after her time as the Pink Ranger.
After moving on from Power Rangers, she found roles in other TV shows and TV movies such as Susie Q, Saved by The Bell: The New Class, and then eventually became a regular cast member in Felicity for a few years. After her run there, she continued to receive small roles and parts in various shows, but it was in 2008 when she found TV success again by getting the lead role in a TV show called Flashpoint.
Amy Jo Johnson, unlike her co-stars, actually didn't embrace her Power Rangers history for quite a while. She's been on record saying that while it was a good first job, the experience is one she'll probably never be able to live down. However, more recently, she's started to accept her past and even opened up to the idea returning for Power Ranger Specials as the Pink Ranger again. She still remains in contact with all of her co-stars and recently wrapped up production on her crowdfunded directorial debut, The Space Between.
Fun Fact: In a push to hit her funding goal, David Yost publicly challenged Amy Jo Johnson to don her Pink Ranger Uniform and to play her guitar and sing in the streets of Toronto to create awareness for the crowdfunding campaign. It worked and her movie was fully funded.
Fun Fact #2: In a bar in Toronto one of my friends attempted to talk to Amy Jo Johnson and nervously opened up by addressing her as the Pink Ranger. She blew him off and this is now a story that none of us will ever let him forget. Sorry dude.
Jason David Frank - The White Ranger/Tommy Oliver
If Steve Cardenas was born to study the martial arts, then Jason David Frank was born to be a Power Ranger. I'm not kidding. From his time on the show to his time off it, Jason David Frank has completely accepted and embraced the Power Ranger lifestyle and fan base unlike any other actor to join the series.
Not only has JDF made several guest appearances on the show over the years, but he even came back to the show as a regular character in 2002's and 2004's Power Rangers: Wild Force and Power Rangers: Dino Thunder respectively. Hell, just last year he appeared in Power Rangers Super Megaforce reprising his role as Tommy Oliver! Oh and when he's not busy being a Power Ranger, he's also a professional MMA fighter and even created his own form of martial arts called "Toso Kune Do". In addition to all of this, not only does he own his own Karate studio where he teaches others how to fight, but his wife, Tammie Frank is also a martial arts expert and teaches Karate to women.
Jason David Frank is very vocal when it comes to the future of the Power Rangers brand. He wasn't a fan of the "dark" Power Ranger fan film that hit the web a few months ago and if he had his way, he would like to have creative input in the upcoming Power Rangers reboot movie that's currently in production.
Fun Fact: Jason David Frank guest starred in the online fan video: White Ranger Vs. Scorpion, and it was awesome!
Paul Freeman - Apoca- I mean, Ivan Ooze
Paul Freeman's portrayal as Ivan Ooze is one that you can tell the actor had fun with. In fact, during the conception of this film, Freeman was under the impression that this was just going to be a made-for-TV movie, which was honestly how the project started. However, once the studio started putting some money in the project, they decided to go all out and bring the picture out in a theatre wide release.
Paul Freeman may not be an actor you think you know, but then what if I told you that he was also Rev. Philip Shooter in Hot Fuzz? Ring some bells now? Okay, here's another one. Paul Freeman was the actor that portrayed Indiana Jones' arch rival, René Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yup, there we go!
It's pretty crazy that an actor who is known for taking on pretty serious roles and who has done various National Theatres roles would don the purple make up and be the villain in a kids movie, but I'm glad he did it. Ivan Ooze was a fun villain and the Power Rangers wouldn't be as interesting if the villains weren't interesting.
Bulk (Paul Schrier) & Skull (Jason Narvy)
If you ask any real Power Rangers fan out there which characters received the most development on the show, almost all of them will tell you that it's Bulk and Skull! These two were first introduced to us as nothing more than a couple of bullies who eventually became obsessed with finding out the true identity of the Power Rangers. Fast forward to the end of their run where they were not only training to become police officers because they wanted to be heroes in their own way, but they also stood up to evil and helped protect citizens when things looked their darkest. Man...I really need to re-watch that Power Rangers in Space finale again.
Jason Narvy who portrayed Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch actually went on to earn a PhD in theatre studies and is a classically trained pianist, a member of the Screen Actor's Guild and a Shakespearian stage actor. Yeah, I didn't see that coming either. Yet, despite all of this, Jason fully embraces his Power Rangers history and remains close friends with many of the original cast. Currently, he is the assistant professor in the Theatre Department at Concordia University Chicago.
Paul Schrier who played Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier also promotes and celebrates his history with the show. The thing is, Paul Schrier never really left the show and over the years his character "Bulk" has made regular appearance across the various Power Ranger Series. He was most recently seen as a regular cast member in 2012's Power Rangers: Super Samurai and when he's not on the show, he tours across the country and goes to a multitude of Cons. Schrier is also and anime fan and artist, and has even helped illustrate the comic book: The Red Star.
Fun Fact: Jason Narvy & Paul Shrier are not just on screen best friends. The two are constantly seen together and are best friends in real life. Shrier even has a Bulk & Skull tattoo and they both carry Power Rangers wallets!
And before you go, here are a few pics of the cast hanging out over the years: