The Vietnamese-born actress Thuy Trang was on her way to a very successful Hollywood career when her life was tragically cut short in 2001.  Dougal Macdonald, a writer with The Canberra Times who was otherwise critical of the film, described Trang as "deliciously evil". To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Power Rangers television show, Entertainment Weekly took a look back to examine the overnight rush to stardom experienced by Trang and the other teenage defenders of earth. The promo showed an image of the Yellow Ranger (now played by singer Becky G) standing on her Zord, along with the text "Driver's Ed not required."  Margaret Loesch, president of Fox Children's Network, released a statement about Trang and the other departing actors: "We will always consider them part of the Power Rangers family. Former Red Ranger Austin St. John said he and Trang used to hug each other to keep warm as they shivered in their spandex on the cold set. Trang's character was killed by a resurrected Corven after a fight scene. " She was paired with Jason David Frank, the martial arts instructor and actor who went on to portray the Green Ranger Tommy Oliver, during the audition.  Rockwood was thrown 35 feet out of the car and survived, but severed her spinal cord and was paralyzed from the neck down.  Austin St. John, Trang's co-star from the original series, said of the new film: "One of the hardest roles for me to accept was Trini's role because Thuy is gone now.  She was not cast until very late in the pre-production process, right before filming began.
I was so shocked.  Amy Jo Johnson later expressed regret that she and the other cast members did not join the three departing cast members in calling for union wages and recognition, wondering if all of them standing together may have led to a different result. , Trini Kwan was included as a cameo in an early draft of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), but Kwan's scene was cut from the final film. Trang was chosen for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, her first major role, after participating in an audition process that included about 500 actresses.  Walter Emanuel Jones said of Trang: "It hurt my heart to lose her. 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.  Trang was mistakenly credited as playing a masseuse in the film; her screen credit was accidentally switched with Tara Leon, who played a masseuse in the same short scene but was credited as a manicurist. I came from a country that was falling apart because of communism, and escaping to America, not knowing the language and then learning it from beginning, and overcoming that and where I am now, it just shows you that if you put your mind to it you can do anything you want to. This led to an introductory acting class at UCI in 1992 where she was spotted for a commercial for the Church of Scientology, even though she herself was a Buddhist.. , In 1979, when Trang was six years old, she and her family secretly boarded a cargo ship bound for Hong Kong.  Trang and her family lived in a detention camp as her father petitioned the U.S. government for political asylum for his family. Trang left Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the middle of the second season, along with fellow cast members Austin St. John and Walter Emanuel Jones, due to contractual and payment disputes. Trang, the first person in her family to study acting, said she intended to later finish her education despite undertaking an acting career. I just teaches me a lot about who I am and what I am, and about respect, discipline, patience, and perseverance, and endurance.  She made a guest appearance at the Little Saigon Tet Festival, an event honoring Vietnamese culture, in Westminster, California, on February 4, 1995. Thuy Trang (Vietnamese: Thùy Trang [tʰʷɪj˨˩ ʈaːŋ˧]; December 14, 1973 – September 3, 2001) was a Vietnamese-American actress. ", The tragic death of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' Thuy Trang, the long list of stars who strangely died at age 27. It would be tough for me to see anybody in that role.  New to the acting profession, Trang said she learned a great deal during her time on the show: "I'm finding that acting is all about being honest and truthful in every moment. Thuy’s family was finally reunited in California in 1980, and when she was 9, her father had her begin the study of kung fu. ", Ex-Green Ranger Jason David Frank fondly remembered the young woman he was paired up with for their audition: "She was always so positive and gave her all.
 Trang said of studying kung fu:.
 Bernardo Sim of Screen Rant called the costume colors a "somewhat problematic decision" and "subtle racism". To all the people out there, just live out your dreams.  The driver also survived the accident.  They were passengers in a car traveling on Interstate 5 between San Jose and Los Angeles, driving back late at night after having visited Rockwood's maid of honor in San Jose.  She also had a dog named Nia.. The family was taken to Hong Kong and then to live in a detention camp there. 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. , Trang earned earned her first major role in 1993, as Trini Kwan, the Yellow Ranger in the original cast of the TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Her energy drew you in, and her smile made your heart feel safe. " The pool of finalists for the part was narrowed down to 10 actresses, then five, then three, before Trang was finally selected. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he was forced to leave his family behind and fled the country, immigrating to United States.
Her former cast members had nothing but good memories of her. It's hard to believe she's gone. Jason David Frank said of her injuries: "She put her all into the scenes, so sometimes things happen. , Trang's body was cremated a week later on September 10, and her ashes were either scattered or interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California, though there is no headstone for her. She enrolled at the University of California, Irvine to study civil engineering, but switched her focus to acting after a talent scout spotted her. If you dream something, just pursue it and do it because if you put your mind to it, you can do basically anything and everything you want to.  Her agent arranged for her to participate in an audition process that included about 500 actresses of various races. ", Thuy Trang in Encyclopedia of Martial Arts: Hollywood Stars, On January 4, 1995, Trang and her Power Rangers co-stars St. John and Jones hosted an informational session about martial arts at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where they taught basic techniques to Newt Gingrich and other members of the United States House of Representatives from the 104th United States Congress. Our Power Rangers experience will always remain an exciting and important part of our lives and careers, and it is gratifying that through our participation in the show, we were able to touch the lives of so many young people. Trang appeared in 80 episodes in the series, which included the entire first season, and a portion of the second. Her career got underway when she starred as the original Yellow Ranger on the wildly popular children's super hero television show The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
 Trang performed many of her own stunts.  Her father, a South Vietnamese army (ARVN) officer, was tasked with protecting Saigon from communist North Vietnamese army.  Trang's family and her father were eventually reunited in the United States in 1980, and settled in the city of Fountain Valley, California. Like the other cast members, Trang only portrayed her character in scenes when she was out of her Power Rangers uniform; the in-costume fight scenes were footage adapted from the long-running Japanese television series Super Sentai, with Trang's voice dubbed over the action.
She was way too young and had so much more to share with the world. The Vietnamese-born actress Thuy Trang was on her way to a very successful Hollywood career when her life was tragically cut short in 2001.  Trang played Kali, a member of a gang led by notorious drug kingpin Judah Earl, who killed the protagonist, mechanic Ashe Corven, and his eight-year-old son after they witnessed Judah's henchmen murdering a fellow drug dealer. ", While Trang and the other cast members appeared in scenes with the characters out of the Power Rangers costumes, the in-costume fight scenes were footage adapted from the long-running Japanese television series Super Sentai. , During one scene in the Power Rangers film, the Trini Kwan character wears a T-shirt with "1973" on it, the year of Trang's birth, as an homage to the original actress.  Trang described her character as having "quick hands and a peaceful soul", and felt the character was inspiring for viewers who have long desired an Asian superhero: "Asians are not portrayed in the media very well, and there are not many roles for Asian people except for the stereotypes – gangsters, hookers, things like that. She was known for her role as Trini Kwan, the first Yellow Ranger on the original cast of … Trang's father died in 1992, when she was 18. According to her obituary in Black Belt magazine, Trang was an "accomplished kung fu stylist" who fled Hanoi, Vietnam, as a refugee to later be reunited with her father in California. " Johnson said: "I'll always remember her spunky, strong personality. , In September 2016, some fans were offended by marketing posters for the new Power Rangers film, which they considered disrespectful to Trang's memory.  It took place before a room of about 20 executives and required each actor to read the part and present their physical skills.  The actors were receiving non-union pay, in the amount of about $60,000 per year without any compensation for merchandising for the show, which was estimated to be worth about $1 billion.  Within the show, the actors' departure was explained by their characters being chosen as representatives in an international "Peace Conference" in Switzerland. "She especially had a way with kids.  Other reviewers were more negative about Trang's performance: The Advocate writer John Wirt called her "a flop", and Jon Bowman of The Santa Fe New Mexican said her "sneer is her most pronounced feature".
Even though she only played the part for the first year of the series, Trang quickly moved on to the silver screen, landing roles in feature films. "Opposites Attract", the 20th episode of season two, was the final Power Rangers episode in which Trang personally appeared; her character appears in subsequent episodes, but only in costumed form and not portrayed by Trang. A lot of older Asian people come up to me and say that I'm doing a service to the Asian community. I'll always remember her great laugh and infectious smile. Producers have said that race had nothing to do with colors of the costumes.  Trang made cameo appearances in martial arts videos made by St. John and Jones.  After securing the role, Trang moved from Fountain Valley to Los Angeles to be closer to the set of the show, which she found to be a major adjustment. She had a brief appearance in the film Spy Hard (1996), and played one of the lead villains in the film The Crow: City of Angels (1996).
Trang died in a car accident at age 27. After two seasons as the Power Rangers, we would now like to move forward to the many new opportunities that have been presented to us.
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