The latest movie reboot of the hit 1990s Power Rangers TV series sees a new team of five teenage characters going up against their arch nemesis Rita Repulsa, returning to the story from the very first season of the 24-season TV series in 1993 – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
To the delight of nostalgic fans, it was announced that two members of the original team would be making cameos in the new film.
Older and decidedly less powerful now, the original cast nonetheless caused a stir when they attended the film’s Los Angeles premiere recently.
Here’s a look at what they have been up to since they last used their morphers:
Austin St John (Red Ranger)
St John was born Jason Geiger but adopted “Austin St John” as his stage name since his management team felt Jason Geiger was not a strong name for showbiz.
St John ended up having the last laugh, however, as the name of his iconic Red Ranger character would turn out to be – Jason Lee Scott.
A real-life hero, the 41-year-old was stationed in the Middle East for a number of years as a paramedic and also trained as a firefighter, but has recently announced his return to acting.
Jason served as the leader of the original Ranger team, but St John is actually the youngest member of the original cast.
Thuy Trang (Yellow Ranger)
Trang died tragically in a car accident in 2001 when she was only 27 years old. The child of Vietnamese asylum seekers and born in Ho Chi Minh City (then known as Saigon) in 1973, the role of Trini Kwan, the Yellow Ranger, was Trang’s first major role.
Trang’s father got her to start learning kung fu when she was a child. She was also part of the trio with St John and Black Ranger Walter Jones who left the show due to payment disputes after one and a half seasons.
Walter Jones (Black Ranger)
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Jones played Zack Taylor, the Black Ranger and the team’s wisecracking prankster.
A career actor, Jones has made appearances on a number of television shows including Buffy The Vampire Slayer and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation but is perhaps better known for voicing characters in the animated movies Open Season 2 and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.
David Yost (Blue Ranger)
Yost’s character, Billy Cranston, was one of the longest serving Power Rangers, appearing in four seasons of the show. Billy stepped down as a Power Ranger in his fourth season, however, becoming a technical advisor located in the Rangers’ command centre.
Amy Jo Johnson (Pink Ranger)
Johnson captured the hearts of many a prepubescent boy in the 1990s with her turn as the original Pink Ranger, Kimberley Hart.
The strictly PG romance between Hart and Green/White Ranger Tommy was also one of the enduring subplots of the TV series.
The first wearer of the pink jump suit had her gymnastics background to thank for the show’s fight scenes.
But it was her training in theatre at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute that enabled the now 46-year-old to enjoy the most mainstream success as an actor among the main cast: Johnson held down a main role on the J.J. Abrams-creation Felicity for three seasons.
Said Johnson in an interview with Digital Spy: “Now, despite the fact that this was a non-union television series and I was paid peanuts and almost died a few times because of the makeshift low-budget stunts we performed, I am forever grateful. Truly.”
Jason David Frank (Green/White Ranger)
Frank has been the most closely identified member of the original team with the franchise through the years, making regular appearances on the convention circuit.
His character, Tommy Oliver, is widely considered to be a Power Rangers legend, serving as the Green, White, Red and Black Rangers in six different seasons over the years.
Frank, 43, has knowledge of many different forms of martial arts, which he blended into his own style of American Karate. He made his mixed martial arts professional debut in 2010.
When Frank returned as the Black Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Thunder in 2004, he had tattoos that covered both his arms. But since tattoos were not deemed kid-friendly, he was consequently always dressed in long-sleeved shirts. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network/Lester Wong