If you were a child of the '90s then there's a solid chance that your eyeballs and parents' dollars helped contribute to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers pop culture phenomenon. That might not have been information you willingly doled out to your playground peers at the time, but A.) Somebody was watching them, and B.) You can now look back and laugh at your childhood anxieties. At least some of them.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show's first season on Fox Kids, Entertainment Weekly did an oral history that combines nostalgia and behind-the-scenes accounts from the original cast. And in that oral history (which can be read in its entirety here), the cast shared their memories of the late Yellow Ranger, Thuy Trang, who died in a car accident in 2001. Reports state that Trang had been traveling between San Francisco and L.A. with a friend when a third woman lost control of the vehicle they were in and slammed into a roadside rock face. The car then flipped several times before hitting the safety rail. Trang was 27-years-old.
She may be gone, but she's not forgotten, as evidenced by the cast's memories which made it into EW's pages.
Ex-Red Ranger Austin St. John talked about what it was like to work on one of the show's main sets with Trang, saying:
"The command center used to be freezing cold. Wearing nothing but spandex, we were all cold. We used to hold each other just to stay warm and chat in between shooting scenes. It was like a brother-and-sister sort of thing."
Said ex-Black Ranger Walter Emanuel Jones:
"We were really good friends. I was so proud of the work she was doing in films like The Crow! It hurt my heart to lose her. She was way too young and had so much more to share with the world. I remember how sweet Thuy was to people. She especially had a way with kids. Her energy drew you in, and her smile made your heart feel safe."
Former Green Ranger Jason David Frank was randomly paired with Trang at their audition, and stated he'd always remember her grinding through her scenes, hurt or not. “I remember Thuy was always getting hurt on set,” Frank said. “She put her all into the scenes, so sometimes things happen. I especially remember her having to be carried around a lot due to getting hurt. She was always so positive and gave her all. I’ll always remember that about her.”
Blue Ranger David Yost talked about what it was like when he got the news of Trang's passing. “[Original Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson] was the person who called to tell me,” he recalled. “I was so shocked. I remember calling Thuy’s voicemail a few times after I found out just to hear her voice and leave her a message saying I’ll miss her. Learning about her early childhood and everything she and her family went through leaving Vietnam, becoming refugees and immigrating to the United States, I admired her and her family’s strength to rebuild their lives here. I’ll always remember her great laugh and infectious smile.”
As for Johnson, she said "I’ll always remember [Thuy's] spunky, strong personality. She was such a bright light. It’s hard to believe she’s gone."
You can read the rest of the piece at Entertainment Weekly.