In case you've been living under a rock, today is the twenty-second anniversary of the premiere of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on FOX Kids. And if you were a kid like me, then being a power ranger was all you cared about for six straight years. Adapted from a popular Japanese franchise called Super Sentai, it featured a group of teenagers that were chosen by Zordon the wizard to defend earth from the evil Rita Repulsa and her monsters. They also turned into superheroes based on dinosaurs, so that makes it even better. Power Rangers was like crack for kids. It spawned series after series of other groups of Power Rangers, and has become a staple of 90s pop culture.
The teenagers that made up the Mighty Morphin' team were some of my childhood heroes, and they were certainly heroes to plenty of other kids too. But what happened to them? New Power Rangers shows meant new groups of teenage heroes, so what did the original Rangers do once their time was up?
1. Jason David Frank
Jason David Frank played Tommy Oliver, the mysterious green ranger that was brainwashed by Rita Repulsa into being her slave. He, of course, got over it and became the eventual leader of the Ranger team. Why am I starting with Tommy when he didn't join the team until later? Because if you know anything about any of the Rangers post-MMPR, it's Jason David Frank. He still does the whole Power Rangers circuit: He goes to conventions, guest stars on the newer seasons as his original character (Tommy Oliver has been a character on no less than seven of the separate Power Rangers TV Series) and has even expressed a desire for a Green Ranger solo show or movie. He's also done some MMA fighting as well as boxing, and has web-based reality show called "My Morphin' Life," which began its second season in 2015.
2. Austin St. John
Austin St. John portrayed Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger and original leader of the team. His character was a major jock, sure, but he had all kinds of compassion for his friends. Austin St. John appeared in three of the subsequent Power Rangers shows before taking time off to serve as a firefighter and an EMT. He still attends Power Rangers conventions, though, and has recently announced his first acting project since a guest appearance on Power Rangers: Wild Force in 2002 - a movie called Survival's End.
3. Walter Emanuel Jones
Walter Emanuel Jones played the Black Ranger, Zack Taylor. He was the comic relief on the show, if you don't count the entire show as comic belief, and he was incredibly confident to the point of showboating. But let's be honest. We all loved him. Jones kept acting, but never did anything quite as popular as Power Rangers. In fact, one of his credits was a major role in the movie Backyard Dogs, which was IMDB's worst movie of all time until they took straight-to-video titles off of the list.
4. Thuy Trang
Thuy Trang played the Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan, who was a quiet, caring, and Earth-conscious Ranger and an amazing Kung Fu artist. After she left the show, she appeared as a primary character in The Crow: City of Angels. In a horrible tragedy, however, she was killed in a car accident in 2001 at the young age of twenty-seven. Many of her costars from Power Rangers attended the funeral, and an Episode of Power Rangers Time Force was dedicated to her memory.
5. David Yost
David Yost was the only actor to appear in every single episode of the original series - many of the others passed on their Ranger mantles to new characters over contract disputes. His character, Billy Cranston, was the brains of the operation - an intellectual genius who had to train his confidence and physical ability to enable him to fight monsters with his friends. Yost also played Billy in part of Power Rangers Zeo, but abruptly left toward the end of the season. It was later revealed that Cranston left the show not due to pay, as it was originally believed, but because of homophobic remarks from the show's producers. David Yost is still in the convention circuit as well as the entertainment business. He is currently a licensing manager for a production studio.
6. Amy Jo Johnson
Amy Jo Johnson played Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger. She was a bit of a valley girl, but she had a big heart, and cared very much for her friends and fellow Rangers. Johnson had a major supporting role on the WB's Felicity, and is still acting, having had roles in Flashpoint and Covert Affairs. She has also had a music career, and released three studio albums.