Go, go, Power Rangers! What a fascinating oddity the original series was. Maybe because they did 60 episodes in the first season!? The stasis: our world. The intrusion: Rita Repulsa. She was a nasty villain who plotted world destruction and domination, and used two boneheaded thugs, Bulk and Skull, to aid in the task. To combat Rita, an intergalactic sage, Zordon, chose five teenagers with attitudes to become the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. For sake of all things original, we’re sticking to the original cast of players. Where are they now?
10. Edwin Neal and Robert Axelrod — Lord Zedd
Lord Zedd was portrayed by Edwin Neal, and voiced by Robert Axelrod. Zedd joined the Power Rangers world in the second season, serving as the big boss villain, Rita Repulsa’s superior. Edwin Neal is well-known in the horror world, and has been acting in film and TV since the early 1970s. At 71, he’s still working as an actor around the clock and calendar. His Lord Zedd counterpart, Robert Axelrod, is another screen veteran, who has voiced hundreds of characters throughout his illustrious career. His most recent job? Voicing in Lord Zedd in the soon-to-be-released Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR). These are the actors who serve as unsung industry heroes. It’s awesome to see that they’re both still enjoying their craft, getting paid to do what they love and showing no signs of retirement!
9. Machiko Soga and Barbara Goodson – Rita Repulsa
Two lovely ladies teamed up for the perfection of Rita Repulsa, Japanese actresses Machiko Soga and legendary voice actress hailing from Brooklyn, Barbara Goodson. What a dynamic duo. Machiko was a dynamo actress portraying the physical manifestation of Rita Repulsa. She was a lightning bolt of an actress, and fully committed to every moment in front of the camera. (She also got the coolest costumes on the show.) Sadly, fans lost Machiko in 2006, after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. Her counterpart is still rolling strong with that shrieking, terrifying, Rita Repulsa voice. Addressing the career of Barbara Goodson, she has more career credits than we could possibly list. She has worked in animated features, hundreds of anime productions, live-action shows, feature films and video games. Now at 66, Barbara shows no signs of slowing down.
8. Paul Schrier – Bulk
Paul Schrier has made a career of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. In addition to playing Farkas Bulkmeier in the first three seasons of MMPR, Paul continued to play Bulk, and voice various roles in spinoffs, wrapping his time with the Rangers in 1999, only to come back for one final curtain call in 2011 for Power Rangers Samurai. In addition to enjoying acting work, Paul also directs for television. He directed a few episodes within the Power Rangers world, and also logged 16 directorial episodes of the Hello Kitty animated series. Paul is still working in the industry, probably collecting some pretty stellar residual checks from his time spent as Bulk. Chances are, he’s one of those voices responsible for many of the commercials and TV promos we see on a day-to-day basis.
7. Jason Narvy – Skull
Where there’s a Bulk, there’s a Skull. Jason Narvy wasn’t an actor running away from a job on a long-running series. He was offered the role of Skull in the original Power Rangers cast, and rode that horse until it stopped running. The series wouldn’t have been the same without the physical comedy and numskull antics of Farkas Bulkmeier and Eugene Skullovitch. They were the Abbott and Costello…the Laurel and Hardy…the Dick and Tom Smothers of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. So, what’s Jason up to in 2016? We’re not completely sure what he does on the day-to-day, but we imagine he’s also collecting some great residuals like the rest of the MMPR elite. We do know he’s slated to appear in a film entitled Gideon’s Frontier, with fellow Power Rangers alum Austin St. John, and Walter Emanuel Jones.
6. David Yost – Billy Cranston
There is no escaping a little drama when addressing the lives of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. We’ll begin with David Yost, who played Billy Cranston, aka, The Blue Ranger. David was one of the original cast members and stayed with the show through every season, then appeared in the films, before eventually walking off set and never returning to work. For years, it was believed that David bailed over a contract dispute, but in 2010, he suggested it was harassment over his sexual orientation that left him suicidal and needing to leave the production. According to David, he attempted sexual conversion therapy before eventually accepting his sexuality. Whether all of this is true, we’ll likely never know. Ultimately, it’s not all sad for David. He still works in the industry, and hits many conventions throughout the year spending time with fans.
5. Austin St. John – Jason Lee Scott
Born Jason Geiger, the fella we came to know and love as The Red (and Gold) Ranger, changed his name to Austin St. John when he began the pursuit of his life in front of the camera. Austin was one of the Rangers who was an accomplished martial artist coming into the show. He had extensive training in Tae Kwon Do, Judo and Kenpo. After his run with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Austin worked as an EMT and firefighter, and served time in Iraq and Kuwait as a medic for United States military operations. Still working in those fields, Austin has also decided to dip his toe back into the world of acting. In 2014, he began attending conventions, including Morphicon, and is set to appear in a couple films, one of which, Gideon’s Frontier, which will co-star Walter Jones and Jason Narvy from MMPR.
4. Jason David Frank – Tommy Oliver
Jason David Frank, who played the beloved Green Ranger, is a real life badass. When Zordon requested teens with attitude, Tommy Oliver was the prototype of what Alpha 5 was shooting for. Jason rode the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers train until it came into the station. He’s still beloved by fans. He makes appearances at conventions, and various autograph events, but his current ambition is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Jason is an accomplished fighter in many styles, including karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has modified his techniques with his own philosophies, and is an incredibly respected martial artist among amateur and professionals fighters. He’d love to sign with a quality promoter and bring his skill set to more rings and cages. It would be sweet to see the Green Ranger in a UFC event.
3. Thuy Trang – Trini Kwan
Thuy Trang was the original Yellow Ranger, and sadly, her life was cut short when she was killed in a car accident in 2001. She was 27. Thuy was one of three individuals who were involved in a late night car accident on California’s I-5 highway, when the driver lost control and slammed into a rock face next to the roadway, then rolled before hitting the guardrail and going over an embankment. Thuy died on her way to the hospital, having suffered massive internal trauma. Her fellow Rangers attended her funeral, with the exception of Jason David Frank, who was committed to the funeral of his brother at the same time.
2. Walter Jones – Zack Taylor
You may know him better as Walter Emanuel Jones, or the fact that—we can’t make this up—he is credited as The Black Ranger on IMDb. Yes, Walter is a black actor, and yes, he played The Black Ranger. How’s that for hitting things on the nose in the 1990s? Walter was replaced midway through the second season after a contract dispute—producers weren’t willing to pony up what he wanted. Ultimately, everyone made nice, and Walt returned to the mix in Lost Galaxy, and in some other MMPR reunion specials. At present, Walter is still enjoying the grind of an entertainment professional. In addition to acting, he is a singer and dancer. He has a few projects in the pipeline, some of them in production. As mentioned, he’s also slated to star in Gideon’s Frontier opposite Austin St. John.
1. Amy Jo Johnson – Kimberly Hart
Oh, Amy Jo! Was the Pink Ranger the reason most dudes watched the show, or just a few of us? Amy Jo Johnson was the quintessential girl next door type. She was tomboyish and feisty and had gymnastic skill. How could she not be a Power Ranger? Amy’s career was just scratching the surface when she took the job of Kimberly Ann Hart. She was considered a star on the rise. (Side note: check her out in Without Limits, starring Billy Crudup, Monica Potter and Donald Sutherland. It’s a small, but very memorable role, and her character is credited as “Iowa’s Finest.”) After MMPR, Amy continued to enjoy a great acting career, predominately in television, where she most recently appeared as a recurring character on USA Network’s Covert Affairs. She frequently plays police officers, or individuals seeking justice. Pink Ranger is in her blood.